200-Level Courses (2020-21)

PHL 200F    Ancient Philosophy
Instructor: J. Allen       W 5-7  Online synchronous
Some core texts of ancient philosophy, concentrating on the work of Plato and Aristotle. Topics include the good life, the soul, knowledge, virtue and the nature of reality. [36L]
Exclusion: PHL200Y5, PHL202H5, PHLB31H3
Prerequisites: PHL101H5, 102H5, 103H5, 113H5 or 105Y5 (any of these courses may be taken as a co-requisite) or 4.0 credits.


PHL 204S    Philosophy in Everyday Life

Instructor:  L. Dunford      M 10-11/W 9-11  Online Synchronous
This one-semester course covers philosophical topics that most people talk about, or at least think about, in their everyday lives,—e.g., during conversations with friends, or while watching the news, or when deciding how to vote in an election. Such topics include, for example, the difference between art and pornography, the possibility of life after death, the evolution vs. creationism debate, the ethics of abortion and doctor-assisted suicide, and the possibility of intelligent robots. Each topic will be introduced via relevant public media (e.g., articles from the New York Times series “The Stone” and similar pieces from The Guardian, CBC news, NPR) and other popular sources (e.g., Ted Talks, youtube videos)) and then pursued in several accessible readings from the philosophical literature. A shared “library” of readings for the course will be built up (e.g., on Blackboard) by the instructors and students and updated as new issues of popular interest arise. [36L]
PHL204H5 does not count for credit toward any minor, major, or specialist program in philosophy, but can be taken to fulfill the Humanities breadth/ distribution requirement.

PHL 210Y    17th and 18th Century Philosophy   
Instructor: M. Rozemond (F)/R. Matyasi(S)         T/R 10-11  Online synchronous
This course studies questions central to early modern philosophy, the era of the scientific revolution, when science, philosophy and religion were not yet separate.  We will explore questions like: what is the nature of matter? Can everything be explained in terms of matter or should we accept the existence of immaterial things?  Is there room for free will in the world?  How does knowledge work?  And what is God’s role in the world?  Philosophers we study will include Descartes, Spinoza, Locke, Anne Conway, Margaret Cavendish, Leibniz, David Hume, Immanuel Kant.
Exclusion: PHLB35H3.
Prerequisites: PHL101H5 or 102H5 or PHL103H5 or 105Y5 or PHL113H
(any of these courses may be taken as a co-requisite) or 4.0 credits.

PHL 220S    Existentialism
Instructor:  O. Ware         M 1-3/W 1-2  Online Synchronous

Human perception and knowledge of reality; freedom and the meaning of human life; sexuality and the body. Authors include Heidegger, Buber, Marcel, Camus, Sartre, de Beauvoir, Merleau-Ponty. [36L].
Exclusion: PHLB30H3
Prerequisites:PHL101H5 or 102H5 or PHL103H5 or 105Y5, or PHL113H5 (any of these courses may be taken as a co-requisite) or 4.0 credits.

 

PHL 239F   Critical Reasoning  [formerly offered as PHL247H]
Instructor: E. Steinberg          M 9-11/W 9-10  Online synchronous
This course focuses on how to detect bad arguments, improve weak ones, and create good arguments. Skills at identifying, analyzing, improving and creating arguments are critical thinking skills. In this course you will analyze the structure of arguments, identify common fallacies in them, evaluate the strength and weakness of arguments and learn how to improve them, using course terms with precision. [36L]
Exclusion: PHL145H5, TRN200Y1

PHL 239S   Critical Reasoning   [formerly offered as PHL247H]
Instructor: E. Steinberg         T 11-12/R 11-1  Online Synchronous
This course focuses on how to detect bad arguments, improve weak ones, and create good arguments. Skills at identifying, analyzing, improving and creating arguments are critical thinking skills. In this course you will analyze the structure of arguments, identify common fallacies in them, evaluate the strength and weakness of arguments and learn how to improve them, using course terms with precision. [36L]
Exclusion: PHL145H5, TRN200Y1

PHL 240F    Minds and Machines
Instructor:  M. Matthen         T 9-10/R 9-11  Online synchronous
Can machines think and feel? Are human beings simply very complicated organic machines? These questions are discussed in the light of recent work on the simulation of intelligence and purposive behaviour. [36L]
Prerequisites: PHL101H5 or 102H5 or PHL103H5 or 105Y5 or PHL113H5 (any of these courses may be taken as a co-requisite) or 4.0 credits.

PHL 245F    Modern Symbolic Logic
Instructor: A. Koo           W 1-2/F 9-11  Online synchronous
The application of symbolic techniques to the assessment of arguments. Propositional calculus and quantification theory. Logical concepts; techniques of natural deduction. [36L]
Exclusion: PHLB50H3
Recommended Prep: PHL102H5

PHL 245S    Modern Symbolic Logic
Instructor: A. Koo          T 1-3/R 1-2  Online Synchronous
The application of symbolic techniques to the assessment of arguments. Propositional calculus and quantification theory. Logical concepts; techniques of natural deduction. [36L]
Exclusion: PHLB50H3
Recommended Prep: PHL102H5

PHL 246F    Probability & Inductive Logic 
Instructor: J. Weisberg         T/R 12-1  Online asynchronous
The elements of axiomatic probability theory, and its main interpretations (frequency, logical, subjective). Reasoning with probabilities in decision making and science. [36L]
Prerequisites: PHL101H5, 102H5, 103H5, 105Y5 or 113H5 (any of these courses may be taken as a co-requisite) or 4.0 credits.
Recommended Prep: 245H5

PHL 246S    Probability & Inductive Logic
Instructor: J. Weisberg     T/R 10-11 Online Synchronous
The elements of axiomatic probability theory, and its main interpretations (frequency, logical, subjective). Reasoning with probabilities in decision making and science. [36L]
Prerequisites: PHL101H5 or 102H5 or 105Y5 (any of these courses may be taken as a co-requisite) or 4.0 credits.
Recommended Prep: 245H5

PHL 255S    Philosophy of Science
Instructor: M. Matthen         T 9-10/R 9-11  Online Synchronous
The nature of science and its development. Topics may include: the contrast between science and religion, between science and pseudo-science; the nature of scientific reasoning; scientific reality; science and objectivity; scientific revolutions; and the interaction between science, society, and values. [36L]
Exclusion: PHL252H5, 355H1, C72H3
Prerequisites: HL101H5 or 102H5 or PHL103H5 or 105Y5 or PHL113H (any of these courses may be taken as a co-requisite) or 4.0 credits.

 

PHL 258F    Puzzles and Paradoxes
Instructor: N. Charlow M 1-3/W 2-3  Online synchronous
Philosophy often begins with a puzzle or paradox. Zeno once convincingly argued that motion was impossible, but people continue to move. The “liar’s paradox” seems to show that everything is both true and false, but that cannot be right. In this course, we will examine these and related issues. [36L]
Exclusion: PHLB55H3
Prerequisites: PHL101H5 or PHL102H5 or PHL103H5 or PHL105Y5 or PHL113H5 (may be taken as a corequisite) or 4.0 credits.

PHL 265F    Social and Political Philosophy
Instructor: E. Steinberg   T/R 5-6  Online synchronous
A survey of the major political theorists/theories of the Western philosophical tradition. Questions to be addressed include: Why obey the law? What is justice? What is the best form of government? [36L]
Exclusion: PHL277Y5, PHLB16H3, PHLB17H3
Prerequisites: PHL101H5 or 102H5 or PHL103H5 or 105Y5 or PHL113H (any of these courses may be taken as a co-requisite) or 4.0 credits.

 

PHL271H5F – Ethics and the Law 
Instructor: A. Sepielli           M/W 1-2  Online synchronous
Moral issues in the law, such as civil liberties and police powers, censorship, civil disobedience, the death penalty, inequality, paternalism and the constitutional protection of human rights. Case studies from Canadian law. [24L, 12T]
Exclusion: PHLB11H3
Prerequisites: (PHL101H5 or PHL102H5 or PHL103H5 or PHL105Y5 or PHL113H5) (may be taken as a corequisite) or 4.0 credits.

 

 

 

PHL 275S    Ethics and Moral Philosophy
Instructor: P. Clark    M/W 10-11  Online Synchronous
A survey of the major moral theorists/theories of the Western philosophical tradition. Questions to be addressed include: Why be moral? What makes certain actions right or wrong? Can we know what is morally right or wrong? [24L, 12T]
Exclusion: PHL277Y5, PHLA11H3
Prerequisite: PHL101H5 or PHL102H5 or PHL103H5 or PHL105Y5 or PHL113H5 (may be taken as a corequisite) or 4.0 credits.

PHL 283F    Bioethics
Instructor:  J. Wright    T 3-5/R 3-4  Online synchronous
Moral implications of recent developments in medicine and the life sciences; related legal and social issues. Euthanasia, health care priorities, abortion, fertility control, against the background of some major ethical theories. [36L]
Exclusion: PHL281Y1, PHL281H1, PHLB09H3
Prerequisites: PHL101H5 or PHL102H5 or PHL103H5 or PHL105Y5 or PHL113H (any of these courses may be taken as a co-requisite) or 4.0 credits.

 

PHL 293F    Special Topics in Philosophy: South Asian Philosophy 
Instructor: O. Ware        T 2-3/R 1-3 Online synchronous
In this course we will read some classic texts from the South Asian literary and philosophical world, starting in the western hemisphere with Hermann Hesse’s novel, Siddhartha. Along the way we will read the Bhagavad-Gita, the Dhammapada, and the Yoga Sutras. With every text we will ask ourselves: What relevance do these works hold for people in modern times? And how can the fundamental concepts of these traditions be put into practice in our own lives?
Exclusion: PHL390H5
Prerequisites: PHL101H5 or PHL102H5 or PHL103H5 or PHL105Y5 or PHL113H (any of these courses may be taken as a co-requisite) or 4.0 credits.

PHL 295S Philosophy of Business
Instructor: E. Steinberg     M 11-1/W 11-12 Online synchronous
Philosophical issues in ethics, social theory, and theories of human nature insofar as they bear on contemporary conduct of business. Issues include: Does business have moral responsibilities? Can social costs and benefits be calculated? Does modern business life determine human nature of the other way around? Do political ideas and institutions such as democracy have a role within business? [36L]
Exclusion: PHLB06H3
Prerequisites: (PHL101H5 or PHL102H5 or PHL103H5 or PHL105Y5 or PHL113H5) (may be taken as a corequisite) or 4.0 credits.