General Information

The word "philosophy" comes from two ancient Greek words, "philos" and "sophia" which, taken together, mean something like "love of knowledge or wisdom." Traditional philosophical questions involve the ultimate nature of reality, the limits and nature of human knowledge, and the foundations of religious and moral beliefs and values.

The essence of philosophy lies in its method. Philosophy is an essentially critical subject, which requires a readiness to consider both sides of a question, and to test statements by raising possible objections from many points of view. A student in philosophy learns to make careful distinctions, to see logical relationships, and to argue rationally. These skills are useful in all fields, especially global ones like law, whether or not the student pursues an academic career in philosophy.

Because the scope of philosophy includes almost everything, it touches on almost every area of study. Philosophy is, as a result, essential to a rich and liberal education. Philosophy helps you do well what you will need to do in any case: gain an overall perspective on your field of study and your life generally, seeing how the parts fit into a coherent whole. Philosophy is recognized to be an especially good background for law, medicine, politics, theology, and the other professions which involve making broadly-based judgments. Students who take an honours degree in philosophy usually have in mind advanced education in philosophy or entry into a professional college.

The Department of Philosophy at the University of Saskatchewan offers a well-rounded curriculum leading to the B.A. and B.A. Honours degrees. Admission to an undergraduate program requires admission to the College of Arts and Science. Any student qualified for admission to the University is eligible to take the Introduction to Philosophy and Critical Thinking courses. Many of the second year courses require only the completion of one year in university as a prerequisite.

The Department of Philosophy has a small but lively group of undergraduates and graduate students who meet each other both in classes and in the student Philosophy Club.

Academic Honesty


Academic honesty is a matter that the University and the Department of Philosophy take very seriously. Students must familiarize themselves with the rules regarding academic honesty. Ignorance of the rules regarding or the nature of academic dishonesty is not a defense against a charge. Potential punishments include expulsion from the University or revocation of a degree or diploma.

Many cases of plagiarism result from confusion or ignorance rather than from genuine intent to deceive.Note, however, that these are not excuses: "The critical consideration is the impression created in the mind of the others, not the subjective intent of the student. This determination involves an objective evaluation of the manuscript. No intent to deceive is required to establish plagiarism." (University Council policy on Student Academic Misconduct)

The University Guidelines for Academic Conduct describes the University's expectations for both student and faculty conduct.

The definition of academic dishonesty that follows is copied from the University of Saskatchewan Council's policy document on Student Academic MisconductNote especially the definition of plagiarism.

Academic Misconduct

"Academic Misconduct" is what the university calls cheating. The  Regulations on Student Academic Misconduct  of the University of Saskatchewan Council provides the following list of academically dishonest behaviour:

  • Providing false or misleading information or documentation to gain admission to the University or any University program;
  • Theft of lecture notes, research work, computer files, or academic materials prepared by another student or an instructor;
  • Using work done in one course in fulfillment of the requirements of another course unless approval is obtained from the instructor by whom the material is being evaluated;
  • Presenting the work of someone else as one's own;
  • The supply of materials prepared by the student to another student for use by that student as the work or materials of that student;
  • Alteration or falsification of records, computer files, or any document relating to a student's academic performance;
  • Violation of the university's research integrity policy

Excerpt from the Research Integrity Policy

Definition of Research Misconduct.  Definitions of research misconduct include, but are not limited to: 

  • The intentional fabrication or falsification of data, erroneously reporting research procedures, or data analysis; the use of someone else’s data or ideas and claiming it as one’s own; plagiarism; or other deceitful acts or improprieties in proposing,conducting, reporting, or reviewing research;
  • Failure to comply with pertinent federal, provincial, international, or University guidelines for the protection of researchers, human subjects, the public, and the welfare of animals; or failure to meet other legal requirements that relate to the conduct of research;
  • Failure to conduct research in the manner in which it has been approved by the University’s Research Ethics Boards;
  • Failure to disclose any conflict of interests when asked to undertake reviews of research grant applications or to test products for sale or distribution to the public;
  • Failure to disclose conflict of interests prior to any commitment or expenditure of research funds and failure to notify their respective unit head should a conflict arise at a later point;
  • Failure to disclose to the University any financial interest in a company that contracts with the University of Saskatchewan to undertake research, particularly research involving the company’s products, or to provide research-related materials or services. Financial interest means ownership, direct or indirect beneficial interest, substantial stock holdings, a directorship, honoraria or consulting fees, but does not include minor stock holding (<$10,000) in publicly traded corporations;
  • Misuse of funds acquired for the support of research; and,
  • Failure to comply with terms of research funding agreements or university policy on Research and Scholarly Activities and the Administration of Research Funds.
  • Fabrication or invention of sources;
  • Failure to observe any stated rule with regard to the procedure used in an examination (or any activity undertaken for academic credit) where such a failure could result in the student gaining relatively greater credit;
  • Altering answers on a returned examination;
  • When prohibited, removing an examination from the examination room;
  • Seeking to acquire or acquiring prior knowledge of the contents of any examination question or paper with the intention of gaining an unfair advantage;
  • Possessing or using notes or other sources of information or devices in an examination not permitted by the course instructor;
  • Consulting or seeking the assistance of others when writing a "take home" examination unless permitted by the course instructor;
  • Providing false or misleading information with the intent to avoid or delay writing an examination or fulfilling any other academic requirement ;
  • Failing to observe the terms of any undertaking of non-disclosure given in connection with an examination;
  • Misrepresenting or conspiring with another person to misrepresent the identity of a student writing an examination or engaging in any other form of assessment;
  • Knowingly doing anything designed to interfere with the opportunities of another person to have his or her contribution fully recognized or to participate in the academic program;
  • Preventing others from fair and equal access to University facilities or resources including library resources;
  • Using or attempting to use personal relationships, bribes, threats or other illegal conduct to gain unearned grades or academic advantages;
  • Knowingly assisting another person engaged in actions that amount to academic dishonesty;
  • Plagiarism: the presentation of the work or idea of another in such a way as to give others the impression that it is the work or idea of the presenter.  Adequate attribution is required. What is essential is that another person have no doubt which words or research results are the student's and which are drawn from other sources. Full explicit acknowledgment of the source of the material is required. Examples of plagiarism are:
    • The use of material received or purchased from another person or prepared by any person other than the individual claiming to be the author. [It is not plagiarism to use work developed in the context of a group exercise (and described as such in the text) if the mode and extent of the use does not deviate from that which is specifically authorized].
    • The verbatim use of oral or written material without adequate attribution.
    • The paraphrasing of oral or written material of other persons without adequate attribution
  • Unprofessional conduct or behaviours that occur in academic or clinical settings or other work placements, or that are related to the student's area of professional practice.

Related Resources:

Scholarships and Funding

The University has variety of funding sources available both to entering and continuing undergraduate students in Philosophy.

Of particular note among the latter are the following:

  • John Bateman Memorial ScholarshipAwarded annually to a Philosophy student with the highest academic standing.
  • Nathan Danylczuk Memorial BursaryOpen to full time students entering 3rd or 4th year of a Bachelor of Arts four-year or Honours degree program majoring in Philosophy.  Applicants must have a minimum average of 70% on all courses and provide a letter to the department outlining their extra-curricular involvement in Department of Philosophy activities.
  • R.A. Wilson Memorial ScholarshipOffered annually to a student who is proceeding to the fourth year of an Honours Program in English or Philosophy.

Related Resources:

Philosophy in St. Thomas More College

Philosophy Help Centre

Sponsored by the Department of Philosophy and the College of Arts and Science

The Department of Philosophy's Essay Tutor offers essay tutoring for philosophy essays. Philosophy graduate student tutors will read first drafts and give advice about how to strengthen the argument(s) of essays, offer suggestions for improving organization, and point out weaknesses and places where more detail or clarity is needed.

The Philosophy Essay Tutor cannot provide philosophical advice or provide judgments about the material students are writing about. For this sort of help, students must see their Professor and/or Teaching Assistant. The Help Centre is strictly for help with strengthening the structure and general argumentation in philosophy essays.

Students in Philosophy 110, 120, and 133 are especially encouraged to make use of this service; students in any philosophy class are welcome.


Term 2

 The Philosophy Help Centre is operating in person

 ARTS 607

Monday 1:30- 3:00pm
Tuesday 12:30- 2:00pm
Wednesday 9:00- 10:30

Any University of Saskatchewan undergraduate student writing a philosophy or other argumentative essay.

Graduate students in philosophy.

Graduate student tutors will give advice about how to organize your essay and will read your first draft and offer suggestions for improving it, pointing out weaknesses and places where more detail or clarity is needed.

The graduate student tutors may also give some advice about the content of your essay, but they are not going to write your essay for you and will expect you to go to your professor if your are having difficulty understanding the material in the course or the articles or books relevant to the essay topic you are working on.

It is best if you have written a complete first draft of your essay, after having done the reading and research on the essay topic; since tutors can then give you more specific advice about the organization and presentation, and point out weaknesses or arguments needing more detailed or clearer presentation. Bring a copy of the assigned essay topics with you to your appointment.

If you do not have a full draft ready, you will need to have at least some of your ideas written out before seeing a tutor.

The University Help Centre (first floor of the Main Library) offers one-on-one help and seminars in essay writing.

Related Resources