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
We will focus exclusively on the deepest, most explanatorily-powerful arguments both for and Speak the Truth in Love: An Atheists Morality Recapagainst 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-consequen-tialists 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 consequen-tialism 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 (by application only)
Instructor:  D. Raffman     W 12-3
The Socrates Project, offered every year, is a full year course with two components.  First, you will serve as a TA for either PHL103H5 Knowledge and Reality or PHL113H5 Persons and Value during winter semester.  You will attend the two course lectures each week and teach one tutorial section of 20-25 students, meeting with them for 1 hour each week on Friday.  You will grade their papers, hold office hours, and meet with the professor and head TA (a graduate student) as needed.  You will be paid for at least 80 hours of work at the regular unit 1 TA hourly wage.

The second component of the course is a seminar led by a member of the Philosophy faculty during fall semester, together with the writing of a research paper for an Independent Study course in winter semester.  Your supervisor for the Independent Study will be a faculty member of your choosing who is an expert in the area of your research paper.  The seminar will meet once a week for 3 hours during fall term.  Roughly 25% of the seminar will focus on the methods and challenges of teaching philosophy, in preparation for your winter TA work.  The remaining 75% of the seminar will focus on the topics that members of the seminar will write about in their research papers.  Each student will choose a paper topic, assign several readings for the seminar, and then lead the seminar discussion of the topic.  Guest faculty who work on these topics may visit the seminar from time to time.  [36S]  See here for further information and application form.
Preparation: PHL245H5 and 4.5 PHL credits preferred.

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]
Prerequisities: PHL245H5 and 4.5 PHL credits

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.