Fall 2018 UTSC Courses

Please consult the UTSC Timetable for the days/times of each course.

PHLA10H3: Introduction to Philosophy: Reason and Truth

Instructor: Seager, William

Description: An introduction to philosophy focusing on issues of rationality, metaphysics and the theory of knowledge. Topics may include: the nature of mind, freedom, the existence of God, the nature and knowability of reality. These topics will generally be introduced through the study of key texts from the history of philosophy.

PHLB07H3: Ethics

Instructor: Stump, Jacob

Description: What is the difference between right and wrong? What is ‘the good life’? What is well-being? What is autonomy? These notions are central in ethical theory, law, bioethics, and in the popular imagination. In this course we will explore these concepts in greater depth, and then consider how our views about them shape our views about ethics.

PHLB09H3: Biomedical Ethics

Instructor: Brandt, Joshua

Description: This course is an examination of moral and legal problems in medical practice, in biomedical research, and in the development of health policy. Topics may include: concepts of health and disease, patients’ rights, informed consent, allocation of scarce resources, euthanasia, risks and benefits in research and others.

PHLB20H3: Belief, Knowledge and Truth

Instructor: Boyd, Kenneth

Description: An examination of the nature of knowledge, and our ability to achieve it. Topics may include the question of whether any of our beliefs can be certain, the problem of scepticism, the scope and limits of human knowledge, the nature of perception, rationality, and theories of truth.

PHLB31H3: Introduction to Ancient Philosophy

Instructor: Stump, Jacob

Description: A survey of some main themes and figures of ancient philosophical thought, concentrating on Plato and Aristotle. Topics include the ultimate nature of reality, knowledge, and the relationship between happiness and virtue.

PHLB35H3: Introduction to Early Modern Philosophy

Instructor: Hübner, Karolina

Description: This course is an introduction to the major themes and figures of seventeenth and eighteenth century philosophy, from Descartes to Kant, with emphasis on metaphysics, epistemology, and ethics.

PHLB50H3: Symbolic Logic I

Instructor: Kremer, Philip

Description: An introduction to formal, symbolic techniques of reasoning. Sentential logic and quantification theory (or predicate logic), including identity will be covered. The emphasis is on appreciation of and practice in techniques, for example, the formal analysis of English statements and arguments, and for construction of clear and rigorous proofs.

PHLB55H3: Puzzles and Paradoxes

Instructor: Hellie, Benj

Description: Time travel, free will, infinity, consciousness: puzzling and paradoxical issues like these, brought under control with logic, are the essence of philosophy. Through new approaches to logic, we will find new prospects for understanding philosophical paradoxes.

PHLB99H3: Writing for Philosophy

Instructor: Wilson, Jessica

Description: Philosophical writing emphasizes clear reasoning. Students will learn to analyze texts, to discern and assess argument structure, and to develop techniques for writing a clear well-argued analysis of a subject matter. These key writing skills lie at the core of philosophical method and they are also applicable across subject areas and disciplines. This course is strongly recommended for philosophy specialists and majors, open to philosophy minors, and open to all other students by permission of the instructor.

PHLC07H3: Death and Dying

Instructor: Brandt, Joshua

Description: An intermediate-level study of the ethical and legal issues raised by death and dying. Topics may vary each year, but could include the definition of death and the legal criteria for determining death, the puzzle of how death can be harmful, the ethics of euthanasia and assisted suicide, the relationship between death and having a meaningful life, and the possibility of surviving death.

PHLC09H3: Topics in Continental Philosophy

Instructor: TBD

Description: This course is a reading and discussion intensive course in 20th century German and French European philosophy. Among the movements we shall study will be phenomenology, existentialism, and structuralism. We will look at the writings of Martin Heidegger, Jean-Paul Sartre, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Michel Foucault, and Gilles Deleuze, among others.

PHLC37H3: Kant

Instructor: Hübner, Karolina

Description: This course focuses on the thought of Immanuel Kant, making connections to some of Kant’s key predecessors such as Hume or Leibniz. The course will focus either on Kant’s metaphysics and epistemology, or his ethics, or his aesthetics.

PHLC43H3: History of Analytic Philosophy

Instructor: Hellie, Benj

Description: This course explores the foundation of Analytic Philosophy in the late 19th and early 20th century, concentrating on Frege, Russell, and Moore. Special attention paid to the discovery of mathematical logic, its motivations from and consequences for metaphysics and the philosophy of mind.

PHLC60: Metaphysics

Instructor: Wilson, Jessica

Description: A follow up to PHLB60H3. This course will consider one or two metaphysical topics in depth, with an emphasis on class discussion.

PHLC86H3: Issues in the Philosophy of Mind

Instructor: Fortney, Mark

Description: Advanced issues in the philosophy of mind. For example, an examination of arguments for and against the idea that machines can be conscious, can think, or can feel. Topics may include: Turing’s test of machine intelligence, the argument based on Gödel’s theorem that there is an unbridgeable gulf between human minds and machine capabilities, Searle’s Chinese Room thought experiment.

PHLC92H3: Political Philosophy

Instructor: TBD

Description: An examination of some central philosophical problems of contemporary political philosophy.

PHLD87H3: Advanced Seminar in Philosophy of Mind

Instructor: Fortney, Mark

Description: This course offers in-depth examination of selected contemporary theories and issues in philosophy of mind, such as theories of perception or of consciousness, and contemporary research examining whether minds must be embodied or embedded in a larger environment.

PHLD88Y3: Advanced Seminar in Philosophy: Socrates Project

Instructor: Boyd, Kenneth

Description: The Socrates Project Seminar is a full-year seminar course that provides experiential learning in philosophy in conjunction with a teaching assignment to lead tutorials and mark assignments in PHLA10H3 and PHLA11H3. Roughly 75% of the seminar will be devoted to more in-depth study of the topics taken up in PHLA10H3 and PHLA11H3. Students will write a seminar paper on one of these topics under the supervision of a UTSC Philosophy faculty member working in the relevant area, and they will give an oral presentation on their research topic each semester. The remaining 25% of the seminar will focus on the methods and challenges of teaching philosophy, benchmark grading, and grading generally.