200-Level Courses (2021-22)

PHL 200F    Ancient Philosophy
Instructor: J. Allen       T 5-7
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 or PHL102H5 or PHL103H5 or PHL113H5 or 4.0 credits.

PHL 204S    Philosophy in Everyday Life
Instructor: L. Fletcher     T 11-12/R 11-1 
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: L. Fletcher         M/W 9-10  
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 PHL102H5 or PHL103H5  or PHL113H or 4.0 credits.

PHL 220S    Existentialism
Instructor:  TBA        W 9-10/F 9-11 
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 PHL102H5 or PHL103H5 or PHL113H5 or 4.0 credits.

PHL 221S    Philosophy at the Movies
Instructor:  J. Riggs       T 10-11/F 9-11 
This course considers fundamental philosophical themes – the meaning of life and death, the nature of responsibility, fate and agency, knowledge and illusion, personal identity, alienation and belonging, love and sex, politics, ethics, and morality, among others – through film. The course also considers some questions about film as a philosophical genre: of the medium of film as an alternative medium (an alternative to language and explicit argument) of philosophical expression; of whether and how film may convey philosophical insight otherwise unavailable; and of the role of interpretation in understanding film philosophically. [36L].
Prerequisites:PHL101H5 or PHL102H5 or PHL103H5 or PHL113H5 or 4.0 credits.

PHL 239F   Critical Reasoning  [formerly offered as PHL247H]
Instructor: J. Riggs          M 5-7/W 5-6 
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: J. Riggs        W 1-2/F 1-3 
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:  D. Raffman         T 12-1/R 11-1 
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.
Prerequisites: PHL101H5 or PHL102H5 or PHL103H5 or PHL113H5 or 4.0 credits.

PHL 245F    Modern Symbolic Logic
Instructor: J. Riggs           T 4-7  
The application of symbolic techniques to the assessment of arguments. Propositional calculus and quantification theory. Logical concepts; techniques of natural deduction. [36L]
Exclusion: PHL245H1 or PHLB50H3
Recommended Prep: PHL103H5 or PHL113H5

PHL 245S    Modern Symbolic Logic
Instructor:   J. Riggs        W 3-6  
The application of symbolic techniques to the assessment of arguments. Propositional calculus and quantification theory. Logical concepts; techniques of natural deduction. [36L]
Exclusion: PHL245H1 or PHLB50H3
Recommended Prep: PHL103H5 or PHL113H5

PHL 246F    Probability & Inductive Logic 
Instructor: J. Weisberg         T/R 10-11  
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 PHL102H5 or PHL103H5 or PHL113H5 or 4.0 credits.
Recommended Prep: PHL245H5

PHL 246S    Probability & Inductive Logic
Instructor: J. Weisberg     T/R 11-12 
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 PHL102H5 or PHL103H5 or PHL113H5 or 4.0 credits.
Recommended Prep: PHL245H5

PHL 258F    Puzzles and Paradoxes
Instructor: N. Charlow M 1-3/W 1-2 
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 PHL113H5 or 4.0 credits.

PHL 265F    Social and Political Philosophy
Instructor:  J. Brandt  T/R 12-1 
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 PHL113H or 4.0 credits.

 

PHL271H5S – Ethics and the Law 
Instructor:   J. Brandt       M/W 12-1
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 PHL113H5 or 4.0 credits.

 

PHL 275S    Ethics and Moral Philosophy
Instructor: A. Sepielli    M 2-3/W 1-2  
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 PHL113H5 or 4.0 credits.

PHL 283F    Bioethics
Instructor:  J. Brandt    T 9-10/R 9-11  
We will explore ethical questions that arise in health care including what counts as a fair allocation of health-care resources.  This question is especially pertinent in a world dramatically impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Further, we will explore the Mad Movement and its’ rejection of medical models of mental illness, and explore what counts as death and debates around assisted dying. We will debate ethical issues that are raised by the availability and use of reproductive technologies and abortion. The course will conclude with a discussion of organ transplantation, and whether it is appropriate to devote considerable resources to organ transplantation when other kinds of health care go unfunded, along with who gets priority for those that are available. [36L]
Exclusion: PHL281Y1, PHL281H1, PHLB09H3
Prerequisites: PHL101H5 or PHL102H5 or PHL103H5 or PHL113H or 4.0 credits.

PHL 285F    Philosophy of Art
Instructor:  D. Raffman  M 11-1/W 12-1 
A study of some of the most important philosophical questions about art. For example, what exactly is a work of art? Can any object whatsoever be, or become, an artwork? Who or what determines whether something is art? Does each person decide for themselves, or does a certain community (the “art world”) decide? Can one interpretation or evaluation of a work be better, or more justified, than another? If so, how do we tell which one is better?
Exclusion: PHLB03H3
Prerequisites: PHL101H5 or PHL102H5 or PHL103H5 or PHL105Y5 or PHL113H5 or 4.0 credits.