400-Level Courses (2019-20)

PHL 451F Seminar in Philosophy of Language and Logic
Instructor: N. Charlow     M 12-3                         
Advanced topics in philosophy of language, logic, or philosophy of logic. [36S]
Prerequisites: PHL245H5 and 4.5 PHL credits


PHL 475S Seminar in Moral and Political Philosophy – Consequentialism
Instructor: A. Sepielli     M 3-6
In this course, we will focus exclusively on the deepest, most explanatorily-powerful arguments both for and against consequentialism. We will not spend much time on bare allegations that the theory is counterintuitive here and there, nor will we dwell on the technical problems that consequentialism allegedly can solve but its competitors cannot. Rather, we’ll focus on questions like: Does consequentialism’s appeal rest on a mistaken view about the nature of human action? Can we show by metaphysical or conceptual analysis that certain distinctions to which non-consequentialists assign significance — e.g. doings vs. allowing, intending vs. foreseeing — are in fact morally irrelevant? Is consequentialism too demanding? And what exactly does this mean — “too demanding” — and why should it be such a grave objection to a moral theory? Can consequentialism hope to gain any support from empirical theories of moral judgment — and in particular, from theories of evolutionary biology or cognitive neuroscience? We will probably read work from Henry Sidgwick, Bernard Williams, Elizabeth Anscombe, Jonathan Bennett, Talbot Brewer, Christine Korsgaard, David Sobel, Joshua Greene, Fiery Cushman, and Molly Crockett. [36S]
Prerequisites: 4.5 PHL credits

PHL489Y The Socrates Project Seminar 
(by application only)

Instructor:  D. Raffman     W 12-3      [36S]   
The Socrates Project is a full-year course with two components. First, you will serve as a TA for a section of PHL105Y. You will attend two 1-hour PHL105Y lectures each week, and teach one tutorial of 20-25 students, meeting with them for 1 hour each week. You will grade their papers, hold office hours, and meet with the relevant professor as needed. You will be paid for 100 hours of work each semester, for a total of 200 hours, at the current hourly wage for CUPE Unit 1. The second component of the course is a seminar component that meets once per week for 3 hours. Roughly 75% of the seminar will be devoted to more in-depth study of the topics taken up in the PHL105Y. You will write a seminar paper on one of these topics under the supervision of a UTM Philosophy faculty member working in the relevant area. You will also give an oral presentation on your topic to the seminar members. The remaining 25% of the seminar will focus on the methods and challenges of teaching philosophy, benchmark grading, and grading generally.

PHL495H5F – Special Seminar: Philosophical Problems

Instructor: B. Katz     T 1-3/R 1-2
This course will focus on one of the basic questions in philosophy of language, namely, the relationship between meaning and reference. We will study a range of classical and contemporary theories about the semantics of referring expressions such as proper names, definite descriptions, and indexicals. We will begin with Frege and Russell and, then, turn to more recent authors such as Strawson, Donnellan, Kripke, and Kaplan, among others. Throughout, we will try to reach a better understanding of how questions about meaning and reference connect with a range of topics central to contemporary philosophy, such as the connection between propositional attitudes and the explanation of action, the relation between thought and language, the nature of fictional and non-existent objects, and the interaction between semantics and pragmatics. [36S]

PHL 496F, 497S   Individual Studies

Individual studies courses (PHL 496H5F, PHL 497H5S) must be arranged well in advance of registration with the individual faculty advisor, and the plan of study must be approved by the departmental chair (please fill out and submit the Independent Study Form – PDF). Anyone wishing to take an individual studies course must contact a potential faculty supervisor with a plan of study (a topic, a course of readings). Spaces are very limited, and faculty will agree to supervise only students who show evidence of excellent self-motivation.