Philosophy at U of T Scarborough Campus
Philosophy has been taught at the University of Toronto Scarborough since the 1964 founding of UTSC, now a sprawling modern campus known for its verdant tree-lined pathways, stellar facilities, and location close to popular natural landmarks in Toronto’s greenest area. We are a growing department, currently home to 450+ undergraduate students and 13 faculty members. Our programs, which combine the academic rigour of a U of T degree with an intimate campus atmosphere, offer our students the benefit of relatively small class sizes and the opportunity to get to know outstanding faculty members who bring cutting edge research to their teaching. This is the UTSC advantage! As part of U of T’s tri-campus framework, UTSC Philosophy students also have access to one of the largest, most comprehensive, and most respected philosophy departments in the world. Course highlights at UTSC include our very popular biomedical ethics studies as well as our Socrates Project, a 4th-year experiential learning course. Studying philosophy is important because philosophical issues are at the heart of the problems we all confront – about freedom, value, the nature of knowledge or the relationship between what we experience and scientific explanations of reality. In all of our courses, our pedagogical aim is to make philosophical issues come to life while students learn key skills: how to think critically and analytically about difficult questions that cannot be studied experimentally; how to construct and assess arguments; and how to write clear and incisive essays.
New department home in the MW building
This year we are particularly thrilled to welcome students back to our new space on the third floor of the MW building.
Our department offices are now open so feel welcome to drop by, or email our excellent Department Administrator Jason Ferreira and Departmental Assistant Natalie Zammit to book an appointment. They are happy to answer any questions you may have.
We also invite students to make use of our department lounge – to relax, study and engage in philosophical discussions.
Message from the Acting Chair
Welcome to the Department of Philosophy for the 2022-2023 academic year! After six years under the wonderful leadership of our outgoing Chair, Sonia Sedivy, UTSC has appointed a new Chair, Julia Nefsky. I am delighted to act on Julia’s behalf for one year, while she pursues her research programme.
In 2021-2022, two of our members won prestigious UTSC awards: Bill Seager won the Principal’s Research Award, the premier award at UTSC in recognition of his lifetime achievement in philosophy and especially the philosophy of consciousness; and Jessica Wilson won the UTSC Research Excellence Faculty Scholars Award for outstanding and innovative world-class research in metaphysics. Meanwhile, Christian Pfeiffer, a specialist in Aristotle’s metaphysics, was promoted to Associate Professor with tenure. Congratulations to Bill, Jessica, and Christian! And a sad goodbye to Bill, who has retired is now Professor Emeritus.
This year, we welcome four new faculty: Nathan Howard, Assistant Professor, Ethics; Andrew Lee, Assistant Professor starting in 2023-24, Philosophy of Mind; Eric Mathison, Assistant Professor, Bioethics; and Rory Harder, Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream, Philosophy of Language.
Professor & Acting Chair
We have an outstanding group of Assistant Professors in the Teaching Stream offering a wide variety of new content in our established courses: Michael Blezy, Rachel Bryant, Douglas Campbell, Elliot Carter, Hamish Russell, and Rory Harder.
Eric Mathison will provide inspiration at the helm of our Biomedical Ethics Minor program. With the program’s continued growth we have added a new stream in this area to the Socrates Project. Students are now able to gain experiential learning as teaching assistants and researchers in Biomedical Ethics.
Professor Sonia Sedivy and Professor Julia Nefsky will be on sabbatical this year, while the rest of our crew – Professors Benj Hellie, Philip Kremer, Christian Pfeifer, and Jessica Wilson – will all be teaching and pursuing their research endeavours.
Check out the interviews below to get to know more about our stellar and diverse faculty.
More interviews coming soon!
Last but definitely not lease, we would like to highlight our Association of Philosophy Students (APS), which received both the President Award & the Academic Advocacy Award from the Scarborough Campus Student Union in 2020-21. Please be sure to check out the APS webpage and follow them on social media to find out about fun and instructive philosophy events happening throughout the year.
Your Association of Philosophy Students (APS) executive for 2022-23 are:
President: Syed Faateh Ali
Vice-President External: Leon Kirkhner
Vice-President Operations: Alexander Marcu
Vice-President Speaker Relations: Jla Starr Johnson
Vice-President Public Relations: Sodaba Khalilullah
Vice-President Public Relations: Qinran Tian
Vice-President Academics: Elisa Patel
Vice-President Events: Tasnim Anzar
We invite you to have a look around our UTSC website here to discover more about studying Philosophy at the University of Toronto Scarborough. We hope to inspire you to come and explore life’s big questions with us.