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Philosophy

English Language Requirements
Beginning Fall, 2007 students registering in post-secondary level courses (numbered 100 to 499) will be required to meet the English language entrance proficiency requirements. Students in ESL or the University Foundations programs can register in those courses identified in the University Foundations program with lower levels of language proficiency.

PHIL 1003 credits
Reasoning
Prerequisite(s): None
Have you ever tried to figure out why someone's reasoning wasn't quite right? Have you ever had your own cherished reasoning demolished? Have your essays, exams, or lab reports ever been torn apart for being illogical? If so, you need this course.
Good reasoning is the basis for successful thought and action. Good methods of reasoning help us to analyze an issue or problem, to assess various solutions, and to understand how to find the correct answer.
In order to detect and avoid errors in our reasoning, we examine fallacies of reasoning, different forms of arguments, the concepts of truth and validity, proof and evidence, consistency and contradiction, definition and generalization, deduction and induction. Throughout the course, we apply our methods of reasoning to various issues, both practical and theoretical.

PHIL 1103 credits
Morality and Politics
Prerequisite(s): None
There have always been conflicts between individuals, and between social organizations and the individuals who compose them. What is the nature and source of these conflicts? Are they due to human nature? What rights and obligations do individuals have? What rights and obligations do social organizations -- such as the state, a trade union, the family -- have to their members? What are justice and freedom? These questions, and the answers offered by classic and contemporary authors such as Plato, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Mill, and Marx, are examined in lectures, films, discussions and writing.

PHIL 1203 credits
Knowledge and Reality
Prerequisite(s): None
Many of the traditional problems and arguments in philosophy deal with the nature of human individuality.
Individuality is acclaimed as one of the great achievements of western civilization. The progress of civilization has often been measured by how much individuality is allowed to flourish. What is individuality? What makes me a unique individual?
In order to answer these questions, we also need to ask: When do I have free will to express my individuality? What is the relationship between my physical nature -- my body -- and my spiritual nature -- my mind? Am I really anything more than a complicated thinking machine? What happens to me when I die?

PHIL 2103 credits
Contemporary Issues in Morality and Politics
Prerequisite(s): 15 credits of university-level course work
Through seminars and directed reading, problems of current interest in moral and political philosophy are dealt with, including conflicts between dominant moral theories, between the demands of morality and of politics, and between theories of justice, freedom, and human nature.
Note: PHIL 210 is the same as POSC 270. Although the transferability may differ, credit cannot be obtained for both PHIL 210 and POSC 210 at UCFV.

PHIL 2203 credits
Issues in Metaphysics and Epistemology
Prerequisite(s): 15 credits of university-level course work
Through seminars and directed reading, traditional problems of metaphysics and epistemology are examined, such as the nature of persons, theories of truth, free will and determinism, the nature of space and time, language and meaning, the relation of evidence to knowledge and belief, scientific method.

PHIL 2303 credits
Philosophy of Law
Prerequisite(s): 15 credits of university-level course work
Our legal and penal systems are often severely criticized. We can better understand these criticisms and the issues they raise if we can answer a number of philosophical questions about the nature of law, punishment, and responsibility.
Why do we have laws? What is law: is it essentially a constraining force or is it a force for freedom? What is the relationship of the law to morality: should the law enforce morality? When is a person responsible for an act and thus legally liable for punishment? Why do we punish criminals: to deter crimes, to rehabilitate the criminal, or to "pay back" the criminal? Is it ever justified to break the law?
Note: PHIL 230 (formerly 130) is the same as CRIM 130. Although the transferability may differ, credit cannot be obtained for both PHIL 230 and CRIM 130 at UCFV.

PHIL 2403 credits
Faith and Reason: Philosophy of Religion
Prerequisite(s): 15 credits of university-level course work
Religion is hailed for giving value to our lives where science and humanism fail, and it is condemned as a crutch, an illusion, a mere hedging of bets. What is the special character of religion? Is it appropriate to ask for evidence in religion, for example, in support of the existence of God, or does religion rely on special experiences of revelation and miracles? These questions raise many further issues such as the nature of God, the possibility of an afterlife, and the nature of good and evil. Responses to these and other questions given by people such as Plato, Aquinas, Descartes, Hume, and Freud are examined in lectures, films, discussion, and writing.

PHIL 2503 credits
History of Western Philosophy: Ancient Philosophy
Prerequisite(s): 15 credits of university-level course work
Who was Socrates and why did so many want him dead? What is Platonic love, anyway? Why did Diogenes wear nothing but a barrel? These questions and many more will be explored in this course. Western philosophy began in Ancient Greece and the questions and concerns that fascinated the Greeks are still with us today. In this course, students will read the works of Plato and Aristotle as well as those of the Pre-Socratics and the Hellenistic schools of Stoicism and Epicureanism. The class will be of value to students of philosophy as well as those interested in the history of Western culture.

PHIL 2513 credits
History of Western Philosophy: Descartes to Kant
Prerequisite(s): 15 credits of university-level work.
It is often said that intellectual modernity begins with the philosophy of Rene Descartes. This course is true to that assertion. We will explore the writings of Descartes with the hope of shedding light on his work as well as on the work of those who came after. By the end of the course, the student will have also studied the works of Locke, Berkeley, Hume, Spinoza, Leibniz, and Kant. The course will be of interest to students of philosophy as well as those curious about the root of so many ideas we now take to be commonplace.

PHIL 2523 credits
History of Modern Philosophy: From Kant to Sartre
Prerequisite(s): 15 credits of university-level course work
The real-life killers depicted in Orson Welles' film Compulsion were said to have been inspired by the writings of Freidrich Nietzsche. Adolf Hitler was rumoured to have carried a copy of Arthur Schopenhauer's The World as Will and Representation with him during World War I. These are just two examples of the intersection of 19th and 20th century philosophy and history. In this course we will examine the works of Nietzsche, Schopenhauer and other European philosophers such as Hegel, Heidegger and Sartre. The intent is to highlight the works of these thinkers so that the student can understand their importance to philosophy as well as the impact they had on the world.

PHIL 3053 credits
Philosophy of Decision Making and Dispute Resolution
Prerequisite(s): 60 credits of university-level course work. PHIL 100 and/or 110 recommended
Complex decisions and dispute resolution tax our reasoning skills to the limit and challenge our hopes and beliefs. This course reflects critically on the philosophical principles behind different models of decision making and dispute resolution currently in use in law, business, and social settings. It enables students to make informed judgements about how suitable these models are for their own professional and personal contexts.

PHIL 3103 credits
Ethics and Public Policy
Prerequisite(s): 45 credits in Applied or Arts or Science programs, including nine credits in Philosophy or Political Science; or permission of the instructor
Sometimes our ethics are about how we act individually; for example, whether to make a charitable donation for cancer research. Sometimes, our ethics are about our political practices; for example, whether to make our charitable donations tax deductible.
What role should ethics play in our social and political practices? Should our ethics -- what we think is right -- take into account the realities of politics -- of how we collectively make decisions? Should we structure our social and political practices to meet ethical requirements?
In order to pursue these questions about diverse practices such as health care, international relations, business, employment relations, and government, we will look at various approaches to ethics that focus on practical issues of forming, justifying, and implementing political and social solutions.

PHIL 3123 credits
Occupational Ethics
Prerequisite(s): 45 credits from Applied or Arts or Science programs, including one of Philosophy 110,210, 230, Political Science 120 or 270
Whether you are an employee, an employer, or an entrepreneur, you will face difficult ethical decisions in your working life. Every stage of employment, from choosing your career to deciding to retire, raises ethical issues. Every working relationship raises questions about your role and responsibilities, whether you are the boss or the customer, the professional or the student, the caregiver or the client. How should you choose a career? What rights should you have as a boss or as a subordinate? What information is private, what should be kept confidential, and what information must be shared? How will you determine and balance your loyalties, your priorities, and your responsibilities? When and why should you go the extra mile for a client, a colleague, or a boss? When should your job take second place to your personal life? This course will examine a variety of ethical issues in employment and show you how to apply ethical theories to situations you will face.

PHIL 3153 credits
Contemporary Ethical Theory
Prerequisite(s): PHIL 110 and six additional credits of Philosophy or Politics courses
Justifying positions on practical moral issues such as abortion, capital punishment, the duty to contribute to famine relief, or the rights of aboriginal peoples, requires reference to ethical principles which must themselves be justified. This course addresses problems in the justification of moral principles. Topics to be covered may include the objectivity of moral judgment, moral relativism, the nature of the good, impartiality, egoism, utilitarianism, deontology, feminist ethics and virtue ethics. The course will focus on detailed discussion of these concepts and theories as they affect practical moral reasoning.

PHIL 3183 credits
Environmental Ethics
Prerequisite(s): 45 credits, including nine credits in Philosophy or Political Science; or permission of the instructor.
Do modern Western assumptions divorce humans from nature, divide mind and body, and justify using science and technology as means of dominating our environment for human convenience? Do environmental problems result? Are there better approaches to the environment? We will examine local examples of global issues to produce proposals for individual and collective action.

PHIL 3233 credits
Philosophical Issues in the Social Sciences: Values, Objectivity, and Neutrality
Prerequisite(s): Six credits of philosophy or 45 credits of Arts and Applied Arts courses
The social and human sciences are highly influential in contemporary social and political life. To what extent are economics, sociology, archaeology, anthropology, psychology, and political science, truly "scientific"? Is it reasonable to expect them to lead to law-like conclusions about social phenomena? What is the role of interpretation in explanations of social events? How do the facts of cultural and gender diversity affect the capacity to understand social phenomena? Is there some cross-cultural rationality that can be applied to all societies? Is it possible for social scientists to maintain political and gender neutrality, or is social inquiry always tainted by the biases of the researcher?

PHIL 3253 credits
Contemporary Philosophy: The Problem of Truth
Prerequisite(s): PHIL 120 and six additional credits of Philosophy
"The truth is out there." "Truth is stranger than fiction." "The truth will set you free." Clichés concerning the truth abound. However, in contemporary academic circles, these commonplace assertions are actively questioned. Hence it's not unusual to find philosophers who argue that the truth is nowhere, that the truth is fiction or that the idea of truth is a weapon of oppression. In this course we examine such radical positions as well as recent attempts made to redeem the concept of truth. Topics to be examined may include the relationship between language and truth, the debate over the nature of texts, and the status of truth as a socially determined concept.

PHIL 3533 credits
Philosophies of India
Prerequisite(s): Six credits of Philosophy or forty-five credits in university-level course work
This course will examine Indian philosophy and its answers to fundamental and traditional philosophical questions regarding the nature and meaning of human existence, and the nature and limits of knowledge, and with practical questions concerning how one should live. Over the last 3,000 years a variety of schools have been developed to come to terms with these questions in the Indian context. PHIL 353 will introduce the principal schools of Indian philosophy, drawing attention to their importance in making sense of contemporary Indian society. Influences of Islam, Sikhism, Gandhi, and Aurobindo will be considered. The course will be of interest to students of philosophy who wish to explore an exciting and rich philosophical tradition that is in many ways distinct from that of the West, and to students who wish to develop understanding of Indian society and culture.

PHIL 3603 credits
Special Topics: Contemporary Issues for Philosophical Analysis
Prerequisite(s): 45 credits from Arts, Sciences or Applied programs, including one of PHIL 100, PHIL 110, PHIL 120
The course will provide students with an opportunity to investigate contemporary cultural and social issues using the methods of philosophical analysis. The student will gain a broader understanding of modern problems and will acquire a greater appreciation for the practical application of philosophical techniques. Topics will vary with instructor but may include the status of gender in society, the concept of information, and the philosophy of technology.

PHIL 3623 credits
Philosophy of Education
Prerequisite(s): PHIL 110 or 45 credits of Arts and Applied Arts courses
This course is an introduction to the ethical and philosophical dimensions of education. Topics to be examined concern the aims of education, autonomy, the justification of education, the value of knowledge, the distinction between education and indoctrination, the education of the emotions, the justification of educational authority, equality of educational opportunity, personal relationships in teaching, professional ethics in teaching, and moral education.
Note: Students cannot take EDUC 362 for further credit.

PHIL 3643 credits
Philosophy and Children
Prerequisite(s): 45 credits from Applied or Arts or Science programs
What is a child? The concept of a child occupies a precarious position and has not always received the attention that it deserves. Not yet a fully rational agent, but endowed with the potential to become one, the child’s status spells trouble for core philosophical concepts. Theories of rationality, freedom, personal identity, and responsibility all impact children and their caregivers, yet often ignore them. Delving into philosophical theory and the practical issues of childhood, this course is of great importance not just to philosophers but to anyone who works with children, has children, or was once a child.

PHIL 3673 credits
Philosophy for Counsellors
Prerequisite(s): 45 credits in Applied or Arts or Science programs, including one of PHIL 100, 110, 120, 210 or 240
How can philosophy make you a better counsellor? What are the strategies you can offer someone who is trying to make a moral decision? This course will introduce students interested in the practice of psychotherapy, counselling, and social work to the useful skills and information found in philosophy. Topics may include how to apply ethical theories to every-day moral decision-making, how to recognize and deal with a client’s problematic thinking habits, and how to differentiate between facts, values, feelings, and meaning.

PHIL 3703 credits
Practical Studies in Applied Ethics and Politics
Prerequisite(s): One of PHIL 110 or PHIL 210 or PHIL 230, and one of POSC 100 or POSC 110 or POSC 120 or POSC 270
This course provides an opportunity to connect the philosophical and political aspects of practical life with work, through participation in jobs and activities such as student and educational governance, charitable, not-for-profit institutions, or work in business and government. Students will apply theoretical work on leadership, public service, and ethics to understanding ethical decision-making, the duties and rights of individual members within organizations and society, and political structures.

PHIL 4803 credits
Selected Topics in Morality and Politics
Prerequisite(s): 45 credits from Arts, Science, or Applied programs, including any one of: POSC 311, POSC 312, PHIL 305, PHIL 310, PHIL 315
A detailed exploration of one or more typical issues in the application of morality to politics, or politics to morality.

PHIL 4813 credits
Selected Topics in Epistemology and Metaphysics
Prerequisite(s): 45 credits from Arts, Sciences or Applied programs, including one of PHIL 120, PHIL 220
This course will allow the student to investigate a range of problems in epistemology and metaphysics. It builds on the discussion of topics introduced in lower level courses in the philosophy of knowledge and reality. The focus will vary with the instructor but can include cognitive philosophy, philosophy of mind, fundamental ontology and skepticism.

PHIL 4823 credits
Selected Topics in the History of Philosophy
Prerequisite(s): 45 credits from Arts, Sciences or Applied programs, including one of PHIL 120, PHIL 220, PHIL 250, PHIL 251 or PHIL 252
The course will allow the student to investigate a specific area in the history of philosophy. It will build on what is offered in lower level philosophy courses. The course is primarily intended as an exploration of material not covered in other classes or for a more advanced study of a particular philosopher.

PHIL 4833 credits
Selected Topics in Philosophy
Prerequisite(s): 45 credits from Arts, Sciences or Applied programs, including three credits of lower level philosophy
The course will allow the student to investigate in detail topics not found in regular course offerings or to engage in a more detailed study of problems or philosophers introduced in other courses. Topics covered will vary according to instructor and may include such areas as philosophy of art, philosophy of language or hermeneutics and phenomenology.

PHIL 4903 credits
Directed Studies in Ethical and Political Philosophy
Prerequisite(s): Twelve credits of Philosophy or Political Science courses, and written consent of both the Faculty Member and the department head
This course offers the student the opportunity to pursue in depth independent study of a particular issue, problem or topic in the areas of ethical or political philosophy. The student must, in consultation with a Faculty Member, develop a detailed individual course proposal indicating the readings or other study to be undertaken and how the course work will be assessed.

PHIL 4913 credits
Directed Studies in Philosophy
Prerequisite(s): Nine credits of Philosophy courses, and written consent of both the faculty member and the department head
This course offers students the opportunity to pursue in-depth independent study of a particular issue, problem, or topic in any area of philosophy. The student must, in consultation with a faculty member, develop a detailed individual course proposal indicating the readings or other study to be undertaken and how the course work will be assessed.
Note: This course does not count towards the minor in Applied Ethical and Political Philosophy.

Last updated: March 31, 2007Top


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