Introductory and Intermediate Level Courses

These 1000 and 2000 level courses have no prerequisites, and except where otherwise noted, each may be taken as a first course in Philosophy.

PHIL1101Critical Thinking3 ch (3C) (W)

Improves the ability to analyse and evaluate arguments and assertions met with in everyday life, and hence sharpens skills of reasoning to sound conclusions from available evidence. Does this by studying the classic fallacies that people often commit and using elementary formal logic to explore differences between deductive and inductive reasoning.

PHIL1201Ethics of Life and Death3 ch (3C) (W)

Introduces various ethical theories and examines moral problems including abortion, euthanasia and capital punishment.

PHIL1202Tyranny, Violence & Liberty3 ch
The course will examine the response that individuals have had to tyrants and violence. Some of those will be considered Plato, the White Rose Group and Martin Luther King. When Human Rights are violated liberty is at risk.
PHIL1301 Introduction to the History of Philosophy I3 ch (3C) (W)

This course offers a general survey of philosophy from the Pre-Socratics to Scholasticism. It will concentrate upon issues central to ancient and medieval philosophy through a look at such figures as Parmenides, Plato, Augustine and Aquinas.

PHIL1302Introduction to the History of Philosophy II3 ch (3C) (W)

This course offers a general survey of philosophy from Rationalism to German Idealism. It will concentrate upon the concerns of modern philosophy by looking at the philosophies of such figures as Descartes, Hume, Kant, Hegel and Marx. Designed to bridge the gap for upper year students. 

PHIL1401God, Mind and Freedom3 ch (3C) (W)

This course provides an introduction to three important, interconnected issues in metaphysics. Questions concerning the definition and existence of free will, the nature of the mind and its relation to the brain, as well as whether or not there are good reasons to believe in God, will be explored.

PHIL1501Monsters and Philosophy (O)3 ch (C)

As a category, Monsters challenge our understanding of the normal, the natural, the intelligible and the ethical. In so doing, the study of monsters provides an opportunity to explore the perennial questions of philosophy in a new and interesting way. This course will use monsters as a tool to explore aspects of the three main branches of philosophy: metaphysics, ethics and epistemology. Some of the topics to be discussed will include human nature, the conditions of knowledge, the mind-body problem, artificial intelligence, ethical dilemmas and theories, the metaphysics of identity, and good and evil.

PHIL2201 Introduction to Ethics3 ch (W)

This course investigates core problems and key authors in ethical theory. The main focus of the course is to treat the rival theories of eudaimonism, deontology and utilitarianism as they are expressed both in contemporary ethical literature and in their historical context by Aristotle, Immanuel Kant, and John Stuart Mill. We also give some attention to those figures that have influenced their development, such as Plato, Niccolò Machiavelli, Thomas Hobbes, Jeremy Bentham and Jean-Jacques Rousseau. In the last part of the course, we turn to another alternative--the work of Friedrich Nietzsche and his influential critique of much of the Western ethical tradition that preceded him.

PHIL2501 Philosophy and Film (O)3 ch (C) (W)

Film is an incredible medium. Many issues in Philosophy can be explored and explained through the medium of film. This course will examine some philosophical problems occasioned by great films. Some of the topics to be discussed might include free will and determinism, the mind-body problem, just war theory, human nature, and/or ethical theories.