Academic Calendar Fall 2017

Philosophy


English language proficiency requirements

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.

Please note that not all courses are offered every semester.

PHIL 100

3 credits

Reasoning: An Introduction to Critical Thinking

Prerequisite(s): None.

Good reasoning is the basis for successful thought and action. This course introduces methods for creative and successful reasoning such as analyzing and evaluating evidence, recognizing different forms of arguments, and applying innovative, critical thinking to both practical and theoretical issues.

PHIL 110

3 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, and 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, Marx, and Cordova are examined in lectures, films, discussions, and writing.

PHIL 120

3 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 210

3 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 270 at UFV.

PHIL 220

3 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 230

3 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 UFV.

PHIL 240

3 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 250

3 credits

History of Western Philosophy: Ancient Greek Philosophy

Prerequisite(s): 15 university-level credits.

Western philosophy began in Ancient Greece, and the questions and concerns that fascinated the Greeks are still with us today. Students will read the works of Plato, Aristotle, the Pre-Socratics, and the Hellenistic schools of Stoicism and Epicureanism.

PHIL 251A

3 credits

Rationalism and Early Modern Philosophy

Prerequisite(s): 15 university-level credits

Rationalism, as a philosophical school of thought, originates in the 17th century with the work of Rene Descartes. Descartes presents his philosophy as a critical reaction to prior schools of thought. At the core of his objections is the claim that genuine knowledge is a result of operations of reason independent of experience. He contends that previous philosophies cannot meet the requirements imposed on knowledge by reason. In this course, we will explore how Descartes’ rationalism arises from his critique of philosophical traditions and how subsequent rationalist philosophies, such as those of Spinoza and Leibniz, are themselves predicated on a critique of Descartes’ arguments.

PHIL 251B

3 credits

Empiricism and Early Modern Philosophy

Prerequisite(s): 15 university-level credits

For the Empiricist philosophers of the 17th and 18th centuries, anything that can be known about the world or about ourselves is said to be found in sensation and perception. However, this general agreement that knowledge is a function of experience gives way to disagreements regarding the nature of experience and what it actually enables us to know. In this course, we will examine the fundamentals of early modern empiricism, with a particular emphasis on how major philosophers of the time approached the question of knowledge, ethics, and politics. Philosophers to be covered include John Locke, George Berkeley, and David Hume.

PHIL 252

3 credits

History of Continental Philosophy

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 Friedrich Nietzsche. Adolf Hitler was rumoured to have carried of 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 300

3 credits

Symbolic Logic in Context

Prerequisite(s): 45 university-level credits

Symbolic logic is a formal reasoning system which has been influential in philosophy, computing, and mathematics. This course provides an overview of its most basic elements: propositional and predicate logic and their methods of proof. These elements are then critically analyzed to assess their strengths and weaknesses as a grounding for analytic philosophy and for rationality in general.

PHIL 305

3 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 310

3 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 315

3 credits

Contemporary Ethical Theory

Prerequisite(s): PHIL 110 and six additional credits of Philosophy or Political Science courses.

Topics covered include contemporary meta-ethics and normative ethics such as recent consequentialist theories, deontological theories, virtue ethics, error theory, moral relativism, and moral realism.

PHIL 318

3 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 322

3 credits

The Philosophy of Mind

Prerequisite(s): 45 university-level credits

We commonly suppose that our basic conscious awareness brings with it knowledge of what we take to be our minds. However, upon reflection, we come to realize that the source of our mental activities is not as immediate or as clear as we would like. Traditionally, philosophers have been at the forefront in addressing questions regarding the nature of the mind. This course allows students an opportunity to explore dominant trends in the philosophy of mind, with an emphasis on contemporary positions.

PHIL 323

3 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 352

3 credits

History of Analytic Philosophy

Prerequisite(s): 45 university-level credits, including 6 credits of lower-level philosophy

For many Anglo-American philosophers, the history of 20th century philosophy is the history of analytic philosophy. What began as a term denoting a philosophical method has become a label for an entire philosophical tradition. In this course we will investigate major developments in analytic philosophy. We will begin with its emergence in the late 19th century and examine its dominant 20th century forms. Philosophers to be covered in the course may include Frege, Russell, Wittgenstein, Quine, and Davidson.

PHIL 353

3 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 360

3 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 362

3 credits

Philosophy of Education

Prerequisite(s): PHIL 110 or forty-five 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 with credit for EDUC 362 cannot take this course for further credit.

PHIL 364

3 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 367

3 credits

Philosophy for Counsellors

Prerequisite(s): 45 university-level credits

This course is designed to enhance philosophical reasoning skills and increase knowledge of the content of philosophy in order to improve ability to deal with the issues and problems presented by patients and clients. The most successful methods in clinical psychology, psychotherapy, and counselling clinical methods, such as Rational Emotional Behavior Therapy, existential therapy, cognitive therapy, and Logo therapy, are largely fashioned after philosophy. Philosophical training is invaluable to clinical psychologists, therapists, and counsellors in their professional services to the public. This leaves them better prepared to deal with their clients’ philosophical issues such as ethical decision-making, sorting out confused reasoning, coming to terms with religion, defining reality, and determining what it means to be a healthy person within society.

PHIL 370

3 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 371

3 credits

Power, Knowledge, and Order: Early Western Political Thought

Prerequisite(s): One of POSC 120, POSC 270, PHIL 110, PHIL 210, or 45 university-level credits.

This course covers the history of Western political thought from Classical Greece through the Italian Renaissance. The course will focus on the writings of Plato, Aristotle, Cicero, Augustine, Aquinas, and Macchiavelli. It provides a good overview for students in History, English, and other disciplines, as well as Political Science.
Note: This course is offered as POSC 311 and PHIL 371. Students may take only one of these for credit.

PHIL 372

3 credits

Order, Liberty, and Equality: Western Political Thought from the 17th Century to 1900

Prerequisite(s): One of POSC 120, POSC 270, POSC 311, PHIL 110, PHIL 210, or 45 university-level credits.

This course will cover the history of Western political thought from the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. The course will focus on the writing of Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Bentham, JS Mill, Madison, Hegel, and Marx. It provides a good overview for students in History, English, and other disciplines, as well as Political Science.
Note: This course is offered as POSC 312 and PHIL 372. Students may take only one of these for credit.

PHIL 412

3 credits

Corporations, Globalization, and Ethics

Prerequisite(s): 45 university-level credits including one of the following: PHIL 110, PHIL 210, PHIL 230, POSC 120, or POSC 270.

This course examines the roles of corporations within society and the impacts of their actions on various stakeholders, including indigenous populations. What limitations, if any, can rightly be imposed on these organizations? What are the rights and duties of employees?

Note: Students with credit for PHIL 312 cannot take this course for further credit.

PHIL 425

3 credits

20th Century Continental Philosophy

Prerequisite(s): 45 university-level credits including 6 credits of 100- or 200-level PHIL courses.

20th century Continental philosophy is the source of phenomenology, existentialism, post-structuralism, and postmodernism. All of these have been profoundly influential on the humanities and on society. Philosophers covered in this course may include Heidegger, Sartre, Arendt, Foucault, and Derrida.

Note: Students with credit for PHIL 325 cannot take this course for further credit.

PHIL 426

3 credits

Contemporary Analytic Philosophy

Prerequisite(s): 45 university-level credits including 6 credits of 100- or 200-level PHIL courses.

How does philosophy of language connect to philosophy of mind? Quine's "Word and Object" is a seminal work in analytic philosophy which deals with this question, meaning nihilism, and all the themes that are Quine’s legacy today. In addition to Quine, philosophers to be covered may include Davidson, Schiffer, Stich, Fodor, Boghossian, Burge, and Putnam.

Students with credit for PHIL 325 cannot take this course for further credit.

PHIL 480

3 credits

Selected Topics in Morality and Politics

Prerequisite(s): 45 university-level credits including one of the following: POSC 311, POSC 312, PHIL 305, PHIL 310, or PHIL 315.

A detailed exploration of one or more issues in moral or political philosophy.

PHIL 481

3 credits

Selected Topics in Epistemology and Metaphysics

Prerequisite(s): 45 university-level credits including one of PHIL 120 or PHIL 220.

A detailed examination of one or more topics in epistemology and metaphysics. The focus will vary with the instructor but could include cognitive philosophy, philosophy of mind, fundamental ontology, or skepticism.

PHIL 482

3 credits

Selected Topics in the History of Philosophy

Prerequisite(s): 45 credits university-level credits, including one of the following: PHIL 120, PHIL 220, PHIL 250, PHIL 251, or PHIL 252.

Students will investigate a specific area in the history of philosophy. This 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 483

3 credits

Selected Topics in Philosophy

Prerequisite(s): 45 university-level credits including three credits of lower-level Philosophy.

Detailed investigation of topics not found in regular course offerings or 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 490

3 credits

Directed Studies in Ethical and Political Philosophy

Prerequisite(s): 12 credits of Philosophy or Political Science, and written consent of the faculty member, the department head, and the College of Arts Associate Dean of Students.

In-depth independent study of a particular issue, problem, or topic in ethical or political philosophy. The student must, in consultation with a faculty member, develop an individual course proposal.

PHIL 491

3 credits

Directed Studies in Philosophy

Prerequisite(s): 9 credits of Philosophy, and written consent of the faculty member, the department head, and the College of Arts Associate Dean of Students.

Independent study of an issue, problem, or topic in any area of philosophy. The student must, in consultation with a faculty member, develop a detailed individual course proposal.

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