Classes

PHIL 990 Seminar

The graduate seminar involves paper presentations on current research by graduate students, department and cognate faculty, and visiting scholars. Graduate students must register in and attend the seminar on a continuous basis, and are only eligible to graduate once they have successfully presented a seminar.

PHIL 994 Research

All Masters students taking the thesis-based option must register for this course in every term.

Maintenance of Status

All Masters students taking the course-based option must register for "Maintenance of Status" for every term in which they are not registered in a course for credit.

GSR 960 Introduction to Ethics and Integrity

All graduate students are required to register for this short online course upon commencing their programs. The purpose of this course is to discuss ethical issues that graduate students may face during their time at the university. The five modules in GSR 960 look at general issues for graduate students including integrity and scholarship, graduate student–supervisor relationships, conflict of interest, conflict resolution, and intellectual property and credit.

Term 1

PHIL 820: Philosophical Texts
Dwayne Moore
Topic: Free Will and Determinism
This is an advanced introduction to the free will and determinism debate. Pre-theoretically, humans appear to possess free will—Sally, standing in the food court, can freely choose to eat at New York Fries or Harveys. Moreover, moral responsibility may require free will—John is morally responsible for stealing the car because he chose to steal the car, when he could have refrained from doing so. On the other hand, humans appear to be determined by a number of sources. Plausibly, humans are biologically determined, socio-culturally constructed, controlled by unconscious processes, and causally determined by prior microphysical causal processes. How can human actions be free when their behaviour is determined by forces beyond their control?

This course studies various definitions of, and arguments in support of, both free will and determinism. We then study numerous classical and contemporary resolutions to the free will and determinism debate. These include the libertarian view of free will, agent causation, soft determinism and other compatibilist positions, hard determinism, and illusionism. We will then consider numerous related issues, including fatalism, the question of whether God’s foreknowledge would prevent free will, the question of whether humans freely determine their beliefs, and how free will and determinism impacts criminal responsibility.


PHIL 833: Kantian Ethics
Emer O’Hagan
Kant’s ethical theory is grounded on the thesis that autonomy is the source of value.  Value exists because rational nature (the capacity to set ends according to reason) exists and is an end in itself; morality is possible because we can be moved by principles of reason.  In this course we will examine Kant’s ethical theory, focusing on his Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals, and The Metaphysics of Morals.  We will also study contemporary Kantian ethicists on a variety of issues, including some of the following: Can Kantian ethics can support duties to non-human animals?  Is lying really always impermissible?  What is the place of gratitude in Kantian morality?  Does Kant have anything worthwhile to say about sex and
marriage?

PHIL 845: Topics in Metaphysics - The God Question
John Liptay

Term 2

PHIL 845: Topics in Metaphysics - Identity, Modality and Objecthood.
Robert Hudson
This course is a survey of contemporary, analytic views on the nature of identity (When is one thing the same as another?), modality (What do we mean by possibility and necessity?) and objecthood (Which material objects are there?). Readings are drawn from Metaphysics: An Anthology, 2nd edition, edited by Jaegwon Kim, Daniel Z. Korman, and Ernest Sosa (Wiley-Blackwell, 2011).



PHIL 862: Marx's Social Philosophy
Pierre-François Noppen