Queries in truth, knowledge, ethics, logic.

Philosophy

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The department of Philosophy is located in SDU Main Building.
(902) 628-4353

Philosophy is for the intellectually curious. We like to analyse the concepts that underpin our world views. For example: What is justice, morality, love, knowledge, nature, freedom, identity? To help you explore these questions, we offer courses in epistemology, metaphysics, ethics, logic, political philosophy, environmental philosophy, the philosophy of religion, and the history of philosophy, among others. Our goal is to provide a nurturing, respectful, and engaging environment to help you craft well-articulated, well-defended, autonomous thought.

As with anything, the more you put into philosophy, the more you will get out of it. We love voracious readers of primary texts. We love critical, creative, and reflective thinkers. We love those who recognize that philosophical argumentation requires careful support. We especially love those who can write clearly, succinctly, and offer poignant illustrations. If these are traits you love as well, it may be time to give philosophy a whirl.

Please check out our full course offerings and the research interests of our faculty. Should you have any questions, please ask me.

Pamela Courtenay-Hall, Chair
UPEI Department of Philosophy
Want more information about Philosophy? Leave your email address and we'll get in touch!
First Name:
Last Name:
E-mail:
Careers:
  • Activist
  • Book Critic
  • Essayist
  • Foreign Service Officer
  • Lawyer
  • Professor
The department of Philosophy is located in SDU Main Building.
(902) 628-4353

Admission

To be admitted to the honours program, the student must submit a letter of application to the chair of the department. The letter must include a brief proposal of the intended research, a naming of the student’s potential supervisor (we recommend prior consultation with the potential supervisor), and a copy of the student’s updated transcripts. Applicants must have registered in, or have completed, the major program in philosophy.

Normally, students should submit their applications during their fifth semester. The department, acting as a committee, will determine who is admitted based on the following considerations:

  • The student has an average of at least 75% in all Philosophy courses
  • The student has an overall average of at least 70% in all academic courses
  • The student has shown the ability of, or has the potential for, completing independent philosophical research
  • Availability of suitable supervisors

Since the demand for the program may exceed the resources available, meeting the minimum entry requirements does not guarantee admission.

Requirements

To receive an honours in Philosophy, an honours philosophy student must satisfy the following requirements:

  • At least 126 semester hours of academic credit (42 courses).
  • At least 54 semester hours of credit (18 courses) in Philosophy, including seven courses from the following menu:
    • A) PHIL 251 (Formal Logic);
    • B) PHIL 221 (Social Philosophy), OR PHIL 222 (Political Philosophy);
    • C) PHIL 262 (Plato and Aristotle), OR PHIL 384 (Rationalists and Empiricists), OR Phil 385 (Kant);
    • D) PHIL 303 (Ethical Theory), OR PHIL 203 (Environmental Philosophy);
    • E) PHIL 373 (Philosophy of Language), OR PHIL 301 (Philosophy of Science);
    • F) PHIL 480 (Research Seminar), AND PHIL 490 (Honours Thesis)
  • Of the remaining eleven courses, at least ten courses should be completed at the 300 or 400 level, including any of the courses satisfying (C), (D), (E), and (F) above.
  • A requirement of Philosophy 490 will be a written thesis (7000-9000 words) and an oral defence. The defence committee consists of at least three faculty members, including the student’s supervisor. The committee decides final grades, not the supervisor.
  • A student must complete the above requirements while maintaining a minimum average of 75% in all philosophy courses.

 

Want more information about Philosophy? Leave your email address and we'll get in touch!
First Name:
Last Name:
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Careers:
  • Activist
  • Book Critic
  • Essayist
  • Foreign Service Officer
  • Lawyer
  • Professor
The department of Philosophy is located in SDU Main Building.
(902) 628-4353

Students must complete a minimum of 42 semester hours in Philosophy with at least six courses (18 hours) at the 300 or 400 level.
NOTE: All courses are 3 hours.

The Department strongly recommends that the following courses should be completed by philosophy majors intending to pursue graduate studies in Philosophy: PHIL 221 (Social Philosophy); PHIL 251 (Formal Logic); PHIL 262 (Plato and Aristotle); PHIL 303 (History of Ethical Theory in 1900); PHIL 373 (Philosophy of Language); PHIL 384 (Rationalists and Empiricists); PHIL 385 (The Philosophy of Kant).

Want more information about Philosophy? Leave your email address and we'll get in touch!
First Name:
Last Name:
E-mail:
Careers:
  • Activist
  • Book Critic
  • Essayist
  • Foreign Service Officer
  • Lawyer
  • Professor
The department of Philosophy is located in SDU Main Building.
(902) 628-4353
  1. A minor in Philosophy consists of twenty-one semester hours in Philosophy.
  2. At least three courses (9 semester hours) should be at the 300 or 400 level. The Department strongly recommends that Philosophy minors complete the following courses to ensure development of basic philosophical knowledge: Philosophy 101 (Introduction to Philosophy) and Philosophy 111 (Critical Thinking).
Want more information about Philosophy? Leave your email address and we'll get in touch!
First Name:
Last Name:
E-mail:
Careers:
  • Activist
  • Book Critic
  • Essayist
  • Foreign Service Officer
  • Lawyer
  • Professor
The department of Philosophy is located in SDU Main Building.
(902) 628-4353
  • Verner Smitheram, Professor Emeritus
  • Pamela Courtenay-Hall, Chair and Associate Professor
  • Malcolm Murray, Professor
  • Tony Couture, Associate Professor
  • Neb Kujundzic, Associate Professor
  • David Bulger, Adjunct Professor
Overview

Philosophy is for the intellectually curious. We like to analyse the concepts that underpin our world views. For example: What is justice, morality, love, knowledge, nature, freedom, identity? To help you explore these questions, we offer courses in epistemology, metaphysics, ethics, logic, political philosophy, environmental philosophy, the philosophy of religion, and the history of philosophy, among others. Our goal is to provide a nurturing, respectful, and engaging environment to help you craft well-articulated, well-defended, autonomous thought.

As with anything, the more you put into philosophy, the more you will get out of it. We love voracious readers of primary texts. We love critical, creative, and reflective thinkers. We love those who recognize that philosophical argumentation requires careful support. We especially love those who can write clearly, succinctly, and offer poignant illustrations. If these are traits you love as well, it may be time to give philosophy a whirl.

Please check out our full course offerings and the research interests of our faculty. Should you have any questions, please ask me.

UPEI Department of Philosophy
Pamela Courtenay-Hall, Chair
Honours

Admission

To be admitted to the honours program, the student must submit a letter of application to the chair of the department. The letter must include a brief proposal of the intended research, a naming of the student’s potential supervisor (we recommend prior consultation with the potential supervisor), and a copy of the student’s updated transcripts. Applicants must have registered in, or have completed, the major program in philosophy.

Normally, students should submit their applications during their fifth semester. The department, acting as a committee, will determine who is admitted based on the following considerations:

  • The student has an average of at least 75% in all Philosophy courses
  • The student has an overall average of at least 70% in all academic courses
  • The student has shown the ability of, or has the potential for, completing independent philosophical research
  • Availability of suitable supervisors

Since the demand for the program may exceed the resources available, meeting the minimum entry requirements does not guarantee admission.

Requirements

To receive an honours in Philosophy, an honours philosophy student must satisfy the following requirements:

  • At least 126 semester hours of academic credit (42 courses).
  • At least 54 semester hours of credit (18 courses) in Philosophy, including seven courses from the following menu:
    • A) PHIL 251 (Formal Logic);
    • B) PHIL 221 (Social Philosophy), OR PHIL 222 (Political Philosophy);
    • C) PHIL 262 (Plato and Aristotle), OR PHIL 384 (Rationalists and Empiricists), OR Phil 385 (Kant);
    • D) PHIL 303 (Ethical Theory), OR PHIL 203 (Environmental Philosophy);
    • E) PHIL 373 (Philosophy of Language), OR PHIL 301 (Philosophy of Science);
    • F) PHIL 480 (Research Seminar), AND PHIL 490 (Honours Thesis)
  • Of the remaining eleven courses, at least ten courses should be completed at the 300 or 400 level, including any of the courses satisfying (C), (D), (E), and (F) above.
  • A requirement of Philosophy 490 will be a written thesis (7000-9000 words) and an oral defence. The defence committee consists of at least three faculty members, including the student’s supervisor. The committee decides final grades, not the supervisor.
  • A student must complete the above requirements while maintaining a minimum average of 75% in all philosophy courses.

 

Major

Students must complete a minimum of 42 semester hours in Philosophy with at least six courses (18 hours) at the 300 or 400 level.
NOTE: All courses are 3 hours.

The Department strongly recommends that the following courses should be completed by philosophy majors intending to pursue graduate studies in Philosophy: PHIL 221 (Social Philosophy); PHIL 251 (Formal Logic); PHIL 262 (Plato and Aristotle); PHIL 303 (History of Ethical Theory in 1900); PHIL 373 (Philosophy of Language); PHIL 384 (Rationalists and Empiricists); PHIL 385 (The Philosophy of Kant).

Minor
  1. A minor in Philosophy consists of twenty-one semester hours in Philosophy.
  2. At least three courses (9 semester hours) should be at the 300 or 400 level. The Department strongly recommends that Philosophy minors complete the following courses to ensure development of basic philosophical knowledge: Philosophy 101 (Introduction to Philosophy) and Philosophy 111 (Critical Thinking).
Faculty
  • Verner Smitheram, Professor Emeritus
  • Pamela Courtenay-Hall, Chair and Associate Professor
  • Malcolm Murray, Professor
  • Tony Couture, Associate Professor
  • Neb Kujundzic, Associate Professor
  • David Bulger, Adjunct Professor

Overview

Philosophy is for the intellectually curious. We like to analyse the concepts that underpin our world views. For example: What is justice, morality, love, knowledge, nature, freedom, identity? To help you explore these questions, we offer courses in epistemology, metaphysics, ethics, logic, political philosophy, environmental philosophy, the philosophy of religion, and the history of philosophy, among others. Our goal is to provide a nurturing, respectful, and engaging environment to help you craft well-articulated, well-defended, autonomous thought.

As with anything, the more you put into philosophy, the more you will get out of it. We love voracious readers of primary texts. We love critical, creative, and reflective thinkers. We love those who recognize that philosophical argumentation requires careful support. We especially love those who can write clearly, succinctly, and offer poignant illustrations. If these are traits you love as well, it may be time to give philosophy a whirl.

Please check out our full course offerings and the research interests of our faculty. Should you have any questions, please ask me.

Pamela Courtenay-Hall, Chair
UPEI Department of Philosophy

Honours

Admission

To be admitted to the honours program, the student must submit a letter of application to the chair of the department. The letter must include a brief proposal of the intended research, a naming of the student’s potential supervisor (we recommend prior consultation with the potential supervisor), and a copy of the student’s updated transcripts. Applicants must have registered in, or have completed, the major program in philosophy.

Normally, students should submit their applications during their fifth semester. The department, acting as a committee, will determine who is admitted based on the following considerations:

  • The student has an average of at least 75% in all Philosophy courses
  • The student has an overall average of at least 70% in all academic courses
  • The student has shown the ability of, or has the potential for, completing independent philosophical research
  • Availability of suitable supervisors

Since the demand for the program may exceed the resources available, meeting the minimum entry requirements does not guarantee admission.

Requirements

To receive an honours in Philosophy, an honours philosophy student must satisfy the following requirements:

  • At least 126 semester hours of academic credit (42 courses).
  • At least 54 semester hours of credit (18 courses) in Philosophy, including seven courses from the following menu:
    • A) PHIL 251 (Formal Logic);
    • B) PHIL 221 (Social Philosophy), OR PHIL 222 (Political Philosophy);
    • C) PHIL 262 (Plato and Aristotle), OR PHIL 384 (Rationalists and Empiricists), OR Phil 385 (Kant);
    • D) PHIL 303 (Ethical Theory), OR PHIL 203 (Environmental Philosophy);
    • E) PHIL 373 (Philosophy of Language), OR PHIL 301 (Philosophy of Science);
    • F) PHIL 480 (Research Seminar), AND PHIL 490 (Honours Thesis)
  • Of the remaining eleven courses, at least ten courses should be completed at the 300 or 400 level, including any of the courses satisfying (C), (D), (E), and (F) above.
  • A requirement of Philosophy 490 will be a written thesis (7000-9000 words) and an oral defence. The defence committee consists of at least three faculty members, including the student’s supervisor. The committee decides final grades, not the supervisor.
  • A student must complete the above requirements while maintaining a minimum average of 75% in all philosophy courses.

 

Major

Students must complete a minimum of 42 semester hours in Philosophy with at least six courses (18 hours) at the 300 or 400 level.
NOTE: All courses are 3 hours.

The Department strongly recommends that the following courses should be completed by philosophy majors intending to pursue graduate studies in Philosophy: PHIL 221 (Social Philosophy); PHIL 251 (Formal Logic); PHIL 262 (Plato and Aristotle); PHIL 303 (History of Ethical Theory in 1900); PHIL 373 (Philosophy of Language); PHIL 384 (Rationalists and Empiricists); PHIL 385 (The Philosophy of Kant).

Minor

  1. A minor in Philosophy consists of twenty-one semester hours in Philosophy.
  2. At least three courses (9 semester hours) should be at the 300 or 400 level. The Department strongly recommends that Philosophy minors complete the following courses to ensure development of basic philosophical knowledge: Philosophy 101 (Introduction to Philosophy) and Philosophy 111 (Critical Thinking).

Faculty

  • Verner Smitheram, Professor Emeritus
  • Pamela Courtenay-Hall, Chair and Associate Professor
  • Malcolm Murray, Professor
  • Tony Couture, Associate Professor
  • Neb Kujundzic, Associate Professor
  • David Bulger, Adjunct Professor
Want more information about Philosophy? Leave your email address and we'll get in touch!
First Name:
Last Name:
E-mail:
Careers: 
Activist
Book Critic
Essayist
Foreign Service Officer
Lawyer
Professor
Course Level: 
100 Level
Courses: 

101 INTRODUCTION TO PHILOSOPHY
This course introduces philosophical inquiry and explores questions such as: What are the principles of rational inquiry? Are there different types of knowledge? How is it possible to know something, and what can one know? How do religious beliefs differ from other types of beliefs? What are some of the traditional arguments regarding the existence of God?
Lectures: Three hours a week

102 INTRODUCTION TO ETHICS AND SOCIAL PHILOSOPHY
This general course introduces values in personal situations and community conflicts, and emphasizes great books such as Plato’s Republic, Thoreau’s Walden or J.S. Mill’s On Liberty. Possible questions include: Which  way of life would make living most worthwhile for each of us? What is the good life? What is a just society? How does one evaluate different life- styles and values?
Lectures: Three hours a week

105 TECHNOLOGY, VALUES, AND SCIENCE
This course explores the connections among technology, human values, and science that are manifested in society, economic systems, and relationships between humans and the natural world. The study of the connections reveal the vast impact that science and technology have on our understanding of the world and our views on the future as well as on personal identity and the human body. It exposes students to critical examination of objectivity in scientific research, progress in technology and science, scientific risk assessment, and genetic engineering. No particular background in science is assumed in this course.
Lectures: Three hours a week

111 CRITICAL THINKING
This course helps students identify and evaluate various types of arguments couched in ordinary language. Different types of errors of reasoning are critically evaluated, such as argument from authority, begging the question, faulty causal correlation, appeal to emotions, inadequate sample, and deceptive use of statistics. The course aids the student in recognizing occurrences of these fallacies, and the conditions for logical error and weak argumentation in general. Emphasis is placed on the identification of weak arguments and the construction of strong arguments. Examples for critique and counter argument are derived mainly from the popular media.
Lectures, discussion and group presentation.
Three hours a week
 

Course Level: 
200 Level
Courses: 

202 CONTEMPORARY MORAL ISSUES
Specific moral issues of contemporary concern such as abortion, euthanasia, welfare, and capital punishment form the basic content of the course. Although some basic ethical theory is discussed, the course’s primary concern is with applied ethics (as opposed to ethical theory as taught in Philosophy 303). Students learn to distinguish justifiable ethical arguments from those more problematic.
Lectures: Three hours a week

203 ENVIRONMENTAL PHILOSOPHY
This course explores the contours of contemporary environmental thought and the diversity of approaches to environmental ethics. Emphasis is on critically understanding historical, cultural and ideological diversity while exploring the moral contours of human-nature interactions, both locally and globally. Topics may include the question of values in nature; environmental movements; aboriginal and postcolonial perspectives; social justice as related to the environment; spirituality; sustainability and consumption; the privatization of environmental morality; inhabiting vs. residing; place, art and environmental education.
Lectures: Three hours a week

204 BIO-MEDICAL ETHICS
This course explores questions in health care that require philosophical clarification and appraisal in addition to medical knowledge. Topics such as reproductive decision-making, contract motherhood, allocation of scarce resources, conditions for the withdrawal of treatment, rights to health care, euthanasia, AIDS, eugenics and consent are discussed. The emphasis is on evaluating competing arguments.
Lectures: Three hours a week

205 BUSINESS ETHICS
Students explore ethical issues specific to business, industry, and professional conduct. Topics range from corporate responsibilities, product and worker safety, ethnicity sensitivity, sexual harassment, advertisement, insider trades, and environmental stedwardship. Students become familiar with the ethical issues regarding business, and are equipped with the conceptual tools necessary to respond to moral conflicts sensitively and responsibly.
Cross-listed with Business (Business 213)
Semester hours of credit:  3

206 ANIMAL ETHICS
This course introduces the recent paradigm shift from anthropocentric ethics to biocentric ethics. The main objectives of the course are 1) to develop understanding of the main arguments concerning the moral status of nonhuman animals; 2) to cover the full range of different ethical positions regarding animals and discuss their advantages and disadvantages; and 3) to identify ideologies associated with thinking about animals and develop a critique which liberates us from one-dimensional thinking about animals. Topics addressed include whether animals have minds, whether animals have rights analogous in some way to human rights, and how to balance the interests of animals with other environmental goods. Other topics include animals as food, animal research ethics, animals in entertainment, cloning, biotechnology, companion animals, and legal and moral issues associated with animal activism.

207 PHILOSOPHIES OF WAR AND PEACE
This course investigates the complex issue of war and violence, peace and justice, and the future of war. Is war a necessary part of the human condition? What are the ethics of war? The course examines the opposing positions of political realism, just war theory, and pacifism. The course will focus on the meaning of war for philosophers in particular, and study World War II veterans who became philosophers  such as Stuart Hampshire, R.M. Hare, J. Glenn Gray, John Rawls and others. Michael Walzer’s classic account, Just and Unjust Wars, and additional historical writings by Tolstoy, Arendt, Hobbes, Marx, Gandhi, and Martin Luther King may be studied to understand the debate over the meaning of the problem of war for philosophers and how they attempt to cope with it.

209 SPECIAL TOPICS
Creation of a course code for special topics offered by Philosophy at the 200 level.

211 ORIGINS OF WESTERN PHILOSOPHY
This course traces the development of philosophical thought from the Pre-Socratics to the Neo-Platonists and Christian thinkers of late antiquity. The great questions posed by these early philosophers concerning the origins of the universe, the ultimate nature of reality, the frequent conflict between human nature and moral/social obligation, together with their bold answers, are examined thoroughly.
Lectures: Three hours a week

213 EXISTENTIALISM
Themes studied in this course may include consciousness, subjectivity, authenticity, fact versus interpretation, the role of faith and emotions in a meaningful life, intersubjectivity and community, freedom, alienation, noncognitivism, anti-theory, and moral responsibility. Writers such as Nietzsche, Kierkegaard, Sartre, de Beauvoir, and Camus are the primary focus of discussion.
Lectures: Three hours a week

214 PHILOSOPHY OF HUMOUR
This course emphasizes the overlapping aspects of philosophy and humour, as well as the role of humour in culture and valuing life. What is comedy? What is humour? What is laughter? What is the difference between laughing at people and laughing with them? Students explore the three traditional theories of humour (Superiority theory, Incongruity theory and Relief theory) as found in thinkers such as Plato, Hobbes, Kant, Schopenhauer, Spencer, and Freud. Students discuss Lenny Bruce’s autobiography as a case study in problematic humour and free speech controversies.
Lectures: Three hours a week

221 SOCIAL PHILOSOPHY
This course explores a series of basic questions about the nature of social existence. It emphasizes the concept of a “social contract,” and analyzes historical development in Western philosophers such as Hobbes, Locke, Hume and Rousseau. It discusses twentieth century development, such as the philosophy of John Rawls.
Lectures: Three hours a week

222 POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY
This investigation of the philosophical problems of life in communities focuses primarily on the concept of rights. What is a right? Are there any inalienable rights? How are rights justified? When is discourse in terms of rights appropriate and inappropriate? Students consider the history of human rights and international differences regarding rights, with special attention to the development of women’s rights.
Lectures: Three hours a week

235 SKEPTICISM, AGNOSTICISM, ATHEISM, BELIEF
(See Religious Studies 235)

242 PHILOSOPHIES OF LOVE AND SEXUALITY 
This course explores philosophical issues related to love and sexuality as constructed and experienced in particular cultural and historical contexts in Anglo-American culture. Topics may include analysis of love and sexuality as portrayed in music, literature, film and art; kinds of love; conceptions of self and community underlying different accounts of love; sexual activity as expressive, communicative, sacred, profane, athletic, goal-oriented; the commodification of sex; competing conceptions of sexual health and sexual liberation; conservative, liberal, radical and feminist perspectives; ethical issues in intimate relation- ships, families, sex-trade work and pornography.
Cross-listed with Family Science and Diversity and Social Justice Studies (cf. Family Science 244 & DSJS 242)
PREREQUISITE:  When taken as Family Science 244, Family Science 114 is required
Lecture: Three hours a week

251 FORMAL LOGIC
This course is an introduction to the theory and techniques of classical and modern logic. Students are exposed to the basic concepts of classical propositional and quantificational logic and methods of testing inference. As well, students are exposed to several logical systems that purport to extend classical logic.
Lectures: Three hours a week

262 PLATO AND ARISTOTLE
This course examines theories of knowledge and beliefs about the fundamental structure of the cosmos in relation to aspects of the human condition found in the works of the two most influential ancient philosophers, Plato and Aristotle. Students study selected primary texts such as the Meno, the Symposium, the Republic and the Timaeus of Plato and the Physics and the Metaphysics of Aristotle.
Cross-listed with Classics (cf. Classics 262)
Lectures: Three hours a week

264 CHINESE RELIGION AND PHILOSOPHY
(See Religious Studies 261)

284 INTRODUCTION TO MEDIEVAL THEOLOGY AND PHILOSOPHY
(See Religious Studies 284)

Course Level: 
300 Level
Courses: 

301 PHILOSOPHY OF SCIENCE
Science involves a set of attitudes, a system of beliefs, and a group of activities oriented to explaining the natural world. This course examines both the classical positivist accounts of scientific theory and practice and the more recent accounts of development and change in the global scientific culture.
PREREQUISITE: One course in Philosophy or permission of the instructor
Lectures: Three hours a week

303 HISTORY OF ETHICAL THEORY
This course offers an historical and critical examination of influential ethical theories proposed by philosophers ranging from Aristotle to Nietzsche. The focus is on the philosophical justification for morality, and not on applied issues.
PREREQUISITE: At least two completed courses in Philosophy or permission of the instructor
Lectures: Three hours a week

309 SPECIAL TOPICS
Creation of a course code for special topics offered by Philosophy at the 300 level.

322 RELIGIOUS ETHICS EAST AND WEST
(See Religious Studies 322)

351 PHILOSOPHY OF LAW
This course is designed to acquaint students with important philosophical concepts underlying the notion of legality and justice. These include the concepts of equality and inequality, legal obligation, punishment, and rights. Various traditional theories of law will be examined from that proposed by Plato in the Republic and Aristotle’s Politics through Aquinas to John Locke, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill. Contemporary theories of H.L.A. Hart, Gregory Vlastos and John Rawls may be examined as well.
PREREQUISITE: One course in Philosophy or permission of the instructor
Lectures: Three hours a week

353 PHILOSOPHIES OF COMMUNICATION
This course explores the history of thinking about communication, including technologies such as printing, relevant disciplines such as journalism, human rights, and the role of media as agents of social change. Topics include the history of free expression, censorship, the emergence of the public sphere, techniques for influencing public opinion, communication and war, propaganda and truth. Thinkers such as Condorcet, Godwin, J.S. Mill, Ellul, McLuhan, Habermas, Chomsky, Mattelart, and contemporary theorists may be discussed.
Lecture: Three hours a week

354 PHILOSOPHY OF MIND
This course examines basic problems in philosophical psychology, such as the mind/body problem, intentionality, artificial intelligence, functionalism, the nature of consciousness, and virtual realities. Thinkers such as J. Searle, D. Dennett, J.J.C. Smart, J. Fodor, P. Churchland, F. Dretske, and K. Sterelny may be discussed.
PREREQUISITE: One course in Philosophy or permission of the instructor
Lectures: Three hours per week

361 PHILOSOPHY AND LITERATURE
An examination of the ways in which similar basic human concerns are expressed and developed in philosophy and literature. The course focuses on the use of literature in learning philosophy, with particular attention to the novel as a vehicle for bringing philosophy to the masses and the connections be- tween literature and social change. It also explores the history of theories of literature and popular culture, including work by Habermas, McLuhan, Camus, Sartre, Rorty and Kundera.
Cross-listed with English (cf. English 313)
Lectures: Three hours a week

362 PHILOSOPHY OF RELIGION
An examination of the nature of religion and the logic of religious belief. Some of the traditional and recent arguments for and against belief in God will be critically evaluated. The differences between rational and non-rational approaches to religion will be considered, especially as these illustrate the differences between Western and Eastern philosophies and religions. Special emphasis will be given to concepts of “God” and the problems posed by religious language.
Cross-listed with Religious Studies (cf. Religious Studies 362)
PREREQUISITE: One course in Philosophy or Religious Studies
Lectures: Three hours a week

363 PHILOSOPHY OF BIOLOGY
Students explore how biology informs our philosophical conceptions of nature and our place in it. Topics include evolutionary theory, human nature, adaptation, development, units of selection, function, species, altruism, the human genome project, conceptions of progress, and creationism.
Lecture: Three hours a week

371 COMMUNITY-BASED ETHICAL INQUIRY I
This course will engage students in work placements and dialogue in ethical inquiry with community leaders in one of the following areas (set by the instructor at the start of the year): Agriculture and globalization; Poverty and illiteracy in PEI; World hunger and international aid; Environmental problems and issues of sustainability on PEI. Students will explore the nature of moral experience and ethical inquiry while gaining on the ground work experience, so that class discussions will be informed by first-hand understanding of the issues, as well as by recent and classic ethical texts. This course will be led by a faculty member in collaboration with recognized community leaders in the field.
Cross-listed with Diversity and Social Justice Studies (c.f. DSJS 371)
PREREQUISITE: Successful completion of a first or second year course in philosophy, or permission of the instructor.  For Diversity and Social Justice Studies, DSJS 109 and one other DSJS course at the 200 level or higher.
Seminar/field work: Averaged across the semester, 1.5 hours per week unpaid field placement in a relevant setting, supervised by a mentor.
Three semester hours of credit

373 PHILOSOPHY OF LANGUAGE
This course introduces philosophical problems concerning language and provides a grounding in analytic philosophy. Students discuss truth and meaning, reference, speech acts, interpretation and translation, and metaphor. Questions such as the following are examined: What are the relationships among language, mind, and the world? How does language colour our thoughts about reality? Does each language bring with it a distinct conceptual system?
PREREQUISITE: One course in Philosophy or permission of the instructor
Lectures: Three hours a week

383 RADICAL PHILOSOPHY
This course explores attempts by philosophers, in the 19th and 20th centuries, to create alternative social movements that are highly critical of existing social organizations and the state form of life. It provides an historical introduction to Marxism, anarchism and feminist social theory. Texts are selected from Godwin, Marx, Engels, Proudhon, Kropotkin, Emma Goldman and Simone de Beauvoir.
Lectures: Three hours a week

384 RATIONALIST AND EMPIRICISTS
This course is an introduction to early modern philosophy through the study of the most important works of the rationalists (Descartes, Spinoza, and Leibniz) and the empiricists (Locke, Berkeley, and Hume).
Lectures: Three hours a week

385 THE PHILOSOPHY OF KANT
This course examines the philosophy of Immanuel Kant (1724–1804), with a particular focus on his influence on the discipline of epistemology and his major work, A Critique of Pure Reason. If time permits, students may also consider Kant’s approach to philosophy, as well as his main critics.
Lectures: Three hours a week

Course Level: 
400 Level
Courses: 

403 METAETHICS
This course extends the history and discussion of ethics begun in Philosophy 303.  This course explores the meaning of moral concepts. Is morality real or not? Are our moral utterances cognitive or non-cognitive? If morality is natural, in what sense? Is morality relativistic, universal, objective, subjective, instrumental, intrinsic, or a fiction?
PREREQUISITE: Philosophy 303 or permission of the instructor
Lectures: Three hours a week

409 SPECIAL TOPICS
Creation of a course code for special topics offered by Philosophy at the 400 level.

422 20th CENTURY BRITISH AND AMERICAN PHILOSOPHY
This course is a critical examination of the development of analytical philosophy in Britain and America in the 20th Century with a focus on the relations between logic, science, language, and conceptualization. Logical Positivism, the linguistic turn, and pragmatism are examined through readings from such authors as G.E. Moore, B. Russell, Wittgenstein, A.J. Ayer, W. James, Quine, and Rorty.
PREREQUISITE: Philosophy 373, and one other Philosophy course, or permission of the instructor.
Lectures: Three hours a week

427 THEORIES OF JUSTICE
This course explores the basic ethical concepts of the right and the good by focussing on  three recent classics in political philosophy: John Rawls’ A Theory of Justice, Robert Nozick’s Anarchy, State and Utopia and Michael Walzer’s Spheres of Justice.” The contrasts between libertarian and socialist ideas of society, individual rights and communitarian thinking, the nature of the state, equality, cultural relativism, and liberal pluralism are considered. Contemporary secondary literature about Nozick and Walzer may also be studied.
PREREQUISITE: One course in Philosophy or permission of the instructor
Lectures: Three hours a week

428 20th CENTURY FRENCH AND GERMAN PHILOSOPHY
This course introduces German philosophers such as the Frankfurt School and Jurgen Habermas and French philosophers such as Michel Foucault. Students consider the idea of a critical theory, the public sphere, rationality and ideology, and the disciplinary society.
PREREQUISITE: One course in Philosophy or permission of the instructor
Lectures: Three hours a week

431 DIRECTED STUDIES
Student and teacher will jointly investigate problems or authors chosen by the student in consultation with the chair and approved by the Dean. Without prejudice to other choices, the Department is prepared to offer Directed Studies in the following areas beyond the regular course offerings: (See Academic Regulation 9 for Regulations Governing Directed Studies)

480 HONOURS SEMINAR
This is an intensive literature review course in the area of the student’s honours thesis. The reading material will be developed by the student and supervisor. As part of this course, the student will be required to produce a substantive proposal for his or her honours thesis (Philosophy 490). Other requirements may include an annotated bibliography, preliminary draft work, reading journals, and critical reviews.

490 HONOURS THESIS
In consultation with a supervisor, each student will be required to write a 7,000–9,000 word thesis, and defend it orally in front of a committee. The three-member committee will be comprised of the supervisor, a second reader from the Philosophy Department, and a third reader from either the Philosophy Department or another department at the University. Students must complete Philosophy 480 before beginning Philosophy 490.
 

Calendar Courses

101 INTRODUCTION TO PHILOSOPHY
This course introduces philosophical inquiry and explores questions such as: What are the principles of rational inquiry? Are there different types of knowledge? How is it possible to know something, and what can one know? How do religious beliefs differ from other types of beliefs? What are some of the traditional arguments regarding the existence of God?
Lectures: Three hours a week

102 INTRODUCTION TO ETHICS AND SOCIAL PHILOSOPHY
This general course introduces values in personal situations and community conflicts, and emphasizes great books such as Plato’s Republic, Thoreau’s Walden or J.S. Mill’s On Liberty. Possible questions include: Which  way of life would make living most worthwhile for each of us? What is the good life? What is a just society? How does one evaluate different life- styles and values?
Lectures: Three hours a week

105 TECHNOLOGY, VALUES, AND SCIENCE
This course explores the connections among technology, human values, and science that are manifested in society, economic systems, and relationships between humans and the natural world. The study of the connections reveal the vast impact that science and technology have on our understanding of the world and our views on the future as well as on personal identity and the human body. It exposes students to critical examination of objectivity in scientific research, progress in technology and science, scientific risk assessment, and genetic engineering. No particular background in science is assumed in this course.
Lectures: Three hours a week

111 CRITICAL THINKING
This course helps students identify and evaluate various types of arguments couched in ordinary language. Different types of errors of reasoning are critically evaluated, such as argument from authority, begging the question, faulty causal correlation, appeal to emotions, inadequate sample, and deceptive use of statistics. The course aids the student in recognizing occurrences of these fallacies, and the conditions for logical error and weak argumentation in general. Emphasis is placed on the identification of weak arguments and the construction of strong arguments. Examples for critique and counter argument are derived mainly from the popular media.
Lectures, discussion and group presentation.
Three hours a week
 

202 CONTEMPORARY MORAL ISSUES
Specific moral issues of contemporary concern such as abortion, euthanasia, welfare, and capital punishment form the basic content of the course. Although some basic ethical theory is discussed, the course’s primary concern is with applied ethics (as opposed to ethical theory as taught in Philosophy 303). Students learn to distinguish justifiable ethical arguments from those more problematic.
Lectures: Three hours a week

203 ENVIRONMENTAL PHILOSOPHY
This course explores the contours of contemporary environmental thought and the diversity of approaches to environmental ethics. Emphasis is on critically understanding historical, cultural and ideological diversity while exploring the moral contours of human-nature interactions, both locally and globally. Topics may include the question of values in nature; environmental movements; aboriginal and postcolonial perspectives; social justice as related to the environment; spirituality; sustainability and consumption; the privatization of environmental morality; inhabiting vs. residing; place, art and environmental education.
Lectures: Three hours a week

204 BIO-MEDICAL ETHICS
This course explores questions in health care that require philosophical clarification and appraisal in addition to medical knowledge. Topics such as reproductive decision-making, contract motherhood, allocation of scarce resources, conditions for the withdrawal of treatment, rights to health care, euthanasia, AIDS, eugenics and consent are discussed. The emphasis is on evaluating competing arguments.
Lectures: Three hours a week

205 BUSINESS ETHICS
Students explore ethical issues specific to business, industry, and professional conduct. Topics range from corporate responsibilities, product and worker safety, ethnicity sensitivity, sexual harassment, advertisement, insider trades, and environmental stedwardship. Students become familiar with the ethical issues regarding business, and are equipped with the conceptual tools necessary to respond to moral conflicts sensitively and responsibly.
Cross-listed with Business (Business 213)
Semester hours of credit:  3

206 ANIMAL ETHICS
This course introduces the recent paradigm shift from anthropocentric ethics to biocentric ethics. The main objectives of the course are 1) to develop understanding of the main arguments concerning the moral status of nonhuman animals; 2) to cover the full range of different ethical positions regarding animals and discuss their advantages and disadvantages; and 3) to identify ideologies associated with thinking about animals and develop a critique which liberates us from one-dimensional thinking about animals. Topics addressed include whether animals have minds, whether animals have rights analogous in some way to human rights, and how to balance the interests of animals with other environmental goods. Other topics include animals as food, animal research ethics, animals in entertainment, cloning, biotechnology, companion animals, and legal and moral issues associated with animal activism.

207 PHILOSOPHIES OF WAR AND PEACE
This course investigates the complex issue of war and violence, peace and justice, and the future of war. Is war a necessary part of the human condition? What are the ethics of war? The course examines the opposing positions of political realism, just war theory, and pacifism. The course will focus on the meaning of war for philosophers in particular, and study World War II veterans who became philosophers  such as Stuart Hampshire, R.M. Hare, J. Glenn Gray, John Rawls and others. Michael Walzer’s classic account, Just and Unjust Wars, and additional historical writings by Tolstoy, Arendt, Hobbes, Marx, Gandhi, and Martin Luther King may be studied to understand the debate over the meaning of the problem of war for philosophers and how they attempt to cope with it.

209 SPECIAL TOPICS
Creation of a course code for special topics offered by Philosophy at the 200 level.

211 ORIGINS OF WESTERN PHILOSOPHY
This course traces the development of philosophical thought from the Pre-Socratics to the Neo-Platonists and Christian thinkers of late antiquity. The great questions posed by these early philosophers concerning the origins of the universe, the ultimate nature of reality, the frequent conflict between human nature and moral/social obligation, together with their bold answers, are examined thoroughly.
Lectures: Three hours a week

213 EXISTENTIALISM
Themes studied in this course may include consciousness, subjectivity, authenticity, fact versus interpretation, the role of faith and emotions in a meaningful life, intersubjectivity and community, freedom, alienation, noncognitivism, anti-theory, and moral responsibility. Writers such as Nietzsche, Kierkegaard, Sartre, de Beauvoir, and Camus are the primary focus of discussion.
Lectures: Three hours a week

214 PHILOSOPHY OF HUMOUR
This course emphasizes the overlapping aspects of philosophy and humour, as well as the role of humour in culture and valuing life. What is comedy? What is humour? What is laughter? What is the difference between laughing at people and laughing with them? Students explore the three traditional theories of humour (Superiority theory, Incongruity theory and Relief theory) as found in thinkers such as Plato, Hobbes, Kant, Schopenhauer, Spencer, and Freud. Students discuss Lenny Bruce’s autobiography as a case study in problematic humour and free speech controversies.
Lectures: Three hours a week

221 SOCIAL PHILOSOPHY
This course explores a series of basic questions about the nature of social existence. It emphasizes the concept of a “social contract,” and analyzes historical development in Western philosophers such as Hobbes, Locke, Hume and Rousseau. It discusses twentieth century development, such as the philosophy of John Rawls.
Lectures: Three hours a week

222 POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY
This investigation of the philosophical problems of life in communities focuses primarily on the concept of rights. What is a right? Are there any inalienable rights? How are rights justified? When is discourse in terms of rights appropriate and inappropriate? Students consider the history of human rights and international differences regarding rights, with special attention to the development of women’s rights.
Lectures: Three hours a week

235 SKEPTICISM, AGNOSTICISM, ATHEISM, BELIEF
(See Religious Studies 235)

242 PHILOSOPHIES OF LOVE AND SEXUALITY 
This course explores philosophical issues related to love and sexuality as constructed and experienced in particular cultural and historical contexts in Anglo-American culture. Topics may include analysis of love and sexuality as portrayed in music, literature, film and art; kinds of love; conceptions of self and community underlying different accounts of love; sexual activity as expressive, communicative, sacred, profane, athletic, goal-oriented; the commodification of sex; competing conceptions of sexual health and sexual liberation; conservative, liberal, radical and feminist perspectives; ethical issues in intimate relation- ships, families, sex-trade work and pornography.
Cross-listed with Family Science and Diversity and Social Justice Studies (cf. Family Science 244 & DSJS 242)
PREREQUISITE:  When taken as Family Science 244, Family Science 114 is required
Lecture: Three hours a week

251 FORMAL LOGIC
This course is an introduction to the theory and techniques of classical and modern logic. Students are exposed to the basic concepts of classical propositional and quantificational logic and methods of testing inference. As well, students are exposed to several logical systems that purport to extend classical logic.
Lectures: Three hours a week

262 PLATO AND ARISTOTLE
This course examines theories of knowledge and beliefs about the fundamental structure of the cosmos in relation to aspects of the human condition found in the works of the two most influential ancient philosophers, Plato and Aristotle. Students study selected primary texts such as the Meno, the Symposium, the Republic and the Timaeus of Plato and the Physics and the Metaphysics of Aristotle.
Cross-listed with Classics (cf. Classics 262)
Lectures: Three hours a week

264 CHINESE RELIGION AND PHILOSOPHY
(See Religious Studies 261)

284 INTRODUCTION TO MEDIEVAL THEOLOGY AND PHILOSOPHY
(See Religious Studies 284)

301 PHILOSOPHY OF SCIENCE
Science involves a set of attitudes, a system of beliefs, and a group of activities oriented to explaining the natural world. This course examines both the classical positivist accounts of scientific theory and practice and the more recent accounts of development and change in the global scientific culture.
PREREQUISITE: One course in Philosophy or permission of the instructor
Lectures: Three hours a week

303 HISTORY OF ETHICAL THEORY
This course offers an historical and critical examination of influential ethical theories proposed by philosophers ranging from Aristotle to Nietzsche. The focus is on the philosophical justification for morality, and not on applied issues.
PREREQUISITE: At least two completed courses in Philosophy or permission of the instructor
Lectures: Three hours a week

309 SPECIAL TOPICS
Creation of a course code for special topics offered by Philosophy at the 300 level.

322 RELIGIOUS ETHICS EAST AND WEST
(See Religious Studies 322)

351 PHILOSOPHY OF LAW
This course is designed to acquaint students with important philosophical concepts underlying the notion of legality and justice. These include the concepts of equality and inequality, legal obligation, punishment, and rights. Various traditional theories of law will be examined from that proposed by Plato in the Republic and Aristotle’s Politics through Aquinas to John Locke, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill. Contemporary theories of H.L.A. Hart, Gregory Vlastos and John Rawls may be examined as well.
PREREQUISITE: One course in Philosophy or permission of the instructor
Lectures: Three hours a week

353 PHILOSOPHIES OF COMMUNICATION
This course explores the history of thinking about communication, including technologies such as printing, relevant disciplines such as journalism, human rights, and the role of media as agents of social change. Topics include the history of free expression, censorship, the emergence of the public sphere, techniques for influencing public opinion, communication and war, propaganda and truth. Thinkers such as Condorcet, Godwin, J.S. Mill, Ellul, McLuhan, Habermas, Chomsky, Mattelart, and contemporary theorists may be discussed.
Lecture: Three hours a week

354 PHILOSOPHY OF MIND
This course examines basic problems in philosophical psychology, such as the mind/body problem, intentionality, artificial intelligence, functionalism, the nature of consciousness, and virtual realities. Thinkers such as J. Searle, D. Dennett, J.J.C. Smart, J. Fodor, P. Churchland, F. Dretske, and K. Sterelny may be discussed.
PREREQUISITE: One course in Philosophy or permission of the instructor
Lectures: Three hours per week

361 PHILOSOPHY AND LITERATURE
An examination of the ways in which similar basic human concerns are expressed and developed in philosophy and literature. The course focuses on the use of literature in learning philosophy, with particular attention to the novel as a vehicle for bringing philosophy to the masses and the connections be- tween literature and social change. It also explores the history of theories of literature and popular culture, including work by Habermas, McLuhan, Camus, Sartre, Rorty and Kundera.
Cross-listed with English (cf. English 313)
Lectures: Three hours a week

362 PHILOSOPHY OF RELIGION
An examination of the nature of religion and the logic of religious belief. Some of the traditional and recent arguments for and against belief in God will be critically evaluated. The differences between rational and non-rational approaches to religion will be considered, especially as these illustrate the differences between Western and Eastern philosophies and religions. Special emphasis will be given to concepts of “God” and the problems posed by religious language.
Cross-listed with Religious Studies (cf. Religious Studies 362)
PREREQUISITE: One course in Philosophy or Religious Studies
Lectures: Three hours a week

363 PHILOSOPHY OF BIOLOGY
Students explore how biology informs our philosophical conceptions of nature and our place in it. Topics include evolutionary theory, human nature, adaptation, development, units of selection, function, species, altruism, the human genome project, conceptions of progress, and creationism.
Lecture: Three hours a week

371 COMMUNITY-BASED ETHICAL INQUIRY I
This course will engage students in work placements and dialogue in ethical inquiry with community leaders in one of the following areas (set by the instructor at the start of the year): Agriculture and globalization; Poverty and illiteracy in PEI; World hunger and international aid; Environmental problems and issues of sustainability on PEI. Students will explore the nature of moral experience and ethical inquiry while gaining on the ground work experience, so that class discussions will be informed by first-hand understanding of the issues, as well as by recent and classic ethical texts. This course will be led by a faculty member in collaboration with recognized community leaders in the field.
Cross-listed with Diversity and Social Justice Studies (c.f. DSJS 371)
PREREQUISITE: Successful completion of a first or second year course in philosophy, or permission of the instructor.  For Diversity and Social Justice Studies, DSJS 109 and one other DSJS course at the 200 level or higher.
Seminar/field work: Averaged across the semester, 1.5 hours per week unpaid field placement in a relevant setting, supervised by a mentor.
Three semester hours of credit

373 PHILOSOPHY OF LANGUAGE
This course introduces philosophical problems concerning language and provides a grounding in analytic philosophy. Students discuss truth and meaning, reference, speech acts, interpretation and translation, and metaphor. Questions such as the following are examined: What are the relationships among language, mind, and the world? How does language colour our thoughts about reality? Does each language bring with it a distinct conceptual system?
PREREQUISITE: One course in Philosophy or permission of the instructor
Lectures: Three hours a week

383 RADICAL PHILOSOPHY
This course explores attempts by philosophers, in the 19th and 20th centuries, to create alternative social movements that are highly critical of existing social organizations and the state form of life. It provides an historical introduction to Marxism, anarchism and feminist social theory. Texts are selected from Godwin, Marx, Engels, Proudhon, Kropotkin, Emma Goldman and Simone de Beauvoir.
Lectures: Three hours a week

384 RATIONALIST AND EMPIRICISTS
This course is an introduction to early modern philosophy through the study of the most important works of the rationalists (Descartes, Spinoza, and Leibniz) and the empiricists (Locke, Berkeley, and Hume).
Lectures: Three hours a week

385 THE PHILOSOPHY OF KANT
This course examines the philosophy of Immanuel Kant (1724–1804), with a particular focus on his influence on the discipline of epistemology and his major work, A Critique of Pure Reason. If time permits, students may also consider Kant’s approach to philosophy, as well as his main critics.
Lectures: Three hours a week

403 METAETHICS
This course extends the history and discussion of ethics begun in Philosophy 303.  This course explores the meaning of moral concepts. Is morality real or not? Are our moral utterances cognitive or non-cognitive? If morality is natural, in what sense? Is morality relativistic, universal, objective, subjective, instrumental, intrinsic, or a fiction?
PREREQUISITE: Philosophy 303 or permission of the instructor
Lectures: Three hours a week

409 SPECIAL TOPICS
Creation of a course code for special topics offered by Philosophy at the 400 level.

422 20th CENTURY BRITISH AND AMERICAN PHILOSOPHY
This course is a critical examination of the development of analytical philosophy in Britain and America in the 20th Century with a focus on the relations between logic, science, language, and conceptualization. Logical Positivism, the linguistic turn, and pragmatism are examined through readings from such authors as G.E. Moore, B. Russell, Wittgenstein, A.J. Ayer, W. James, Quine, and Rorty.
PREREQUISITE: Philosophy 373, and one other Philosophy course, or permission of the instructor.
Lectures: Three hours a week

427 THEORIES OF JUSTICE
This course explores the basic ethical concepts of the right and the good by focussing on  three recent classics in political philosophy: John Rawls’ A Theory of Justice, Robert Nozick’s Anarchy, State and Utopia and Michael Walzer’s Spheres of Justice.” The contrasts between libertarian and socialist ideas of society, individual rights and communitarian thinking, the nature of the state, equality, cultural relativism, and liberal pluralism are considered. Contemporary secondary literature about Nozick and Walzer may also be studied.
PREREQUISITE: One course in Philosophy or permission of the instructor
Lectures: Three hours a week

428 20th CENTURY FRENCH AND GERMAN PHILOSOPHY
This course introduces German philosophers such as the Frankfurt School and Jurgen Habermas and French philosophers such as Michel Foucault. Students consider the idea of a critical theory, the public sphere, rationality and ideology, and the disciplinary society.
PREREQUISITE: One course in Philosophy or permission of the instructor
Lectures: Three hours a week

431 DIRECTED STUDIES
Student and teacher will jointly investigate problems or authors chosen by the student in consultation with the chair and approved by the Dean. Without prejudice to other choices, the Department is prepared to offer Directed Studies in the following areas beyond the regular course offerings: (See Academic Regulation 9 for Regulations Governing Directed Studies)

480 HONOURS SEMINAR
This is an intensive literature review course in the area of the student’s honours thesis. The reading material will be developed by the student and supervisor. As part of this course, the student will be required to produce a substantive proposal for his or her honours thesis (Philosophy 490). Other requirements may include an annotated bibliography, preliminary draft work, reading journals, and critical reviews.

490 HONOURS THESIS
In consultation with a supervisor, each student will be required to write a 7,000–9,000 word thesis, and defend it orally in front of a committee. The three-member committee will be comprised of the supervisor, a second reader from the Philosophy Department, and a third reader from either the Philosophy Department or another department at the University. Students must complete Philosophy 480 before beginning Philosophy 490.
 

Calendar Courses

100 Level

101 INTRODUCTION TO PHILOSOPHY
This course introduces philosophical inquiry and explores questions such as: What are the principles of rational inquiry? Are there different types of knowledge? How is it possible to know something, and what can one know? How do religious beliefs differ from other types of beliefs? What are some of the traditional arguments regarding the existence of God?
Lectures: Three hours a week

102 INTRODUCTION TO ETHICS AND SOCIAL PHILOSOPHY
This general course introduces values in personal situations and community conflicts, and emphasizes great books such as Plato’s Republic, Thoreau’s Walden or J.S. Mill’s On Liberty. Possible questions include: Which  way of life would make living most worthwhile for each of us? What is the good life? What is a just society? How does one evaluate different life- styles and values?
Lectures: Three hours a week

105 TECHNOLOGY, VALUES, AND SCIENCE
This course explores the connections among technology, human values, and science that are manifested in society, economic systems, and relationships between humans and the natural world. The study of the connections reveal the vast impact that science and technology have on our understanding of the world and our views on the future as well as on personal identity and the human body. It exposes students to critical examination of objectivity in scientific research, progress in technology and science, scientific risk assessment, and genetic engineering. No particular background in science is assumed in this course.
Lectures: Three hours a week

111 CRITICAL THINKING
This course helps students identify and evaluate various types of arguments couched in ordinary language. Different types of errors of reasoning are critically evaluated, such as argument from authority, begging the question, faulty causal correlation, appeal to emotions, inadequate sample, and deceptive use of statistics. The course aids the student in recognizing occurrences of these fallacies, and the conditions for logical error and weak argumentation in general. Emphasis is placed on the identification of weak arguments and the construction of strong arguments. Examples for critique and counter argument are derived mainly from the popular media.
Lectures, discussion and group presentation.
Three hours a week
 

200 Level

202 CONTEMPORARY MORAL ISSUES
Specific moral issues of contemporary concern such as abortion, euthanasia, welfare, and capital punishment form the basic content of the course. Although some basic ethical theory is discussed, the course’s primary concern is with applied ethics (as opposed to ethical theory as taught in Philosophy 303). Students learn to distinguish justifiable ethical arguments from those more problematic.
Lectures: Three hours a week

203 ENVIRONMENTAL PHILOSOPHY
This course explores the contours of contemporary environmental thought and the diversity of approaches to environmental ethics. Emphasis is on critically understanding historical, cultural and ideological diversity while exploring the moral contours of human-nature interactions, both locally and globally. Topics may include the question of values in nature; environmental movements; aboriginal and postcolonial perspectives; social justice as related to the environment; spirituality; sustainability and consumption; the privatization of environmental morality; inhabiting vs. residing; place, art and environmental education.
Lectures: Three hours a week

204 BIO-MEDICAL ETHICS
This course explores questions in health care that require philosophical clarification and appraisal in addition to medical knowledge. Topics such as reproductive decision-making, contract motherhood, allocation of scarce resources, conditions for the withdrawal of treatment, rights to health care, euthanasia, AIDS, eugenics and consent are discussed. The emphasis is on evaluating competing arguments.
Lectures: Three hours a week

205 BUSINESS ETHICS
Students explore ethical issues specific to business, industry, and professional conduct. Topics range from corporate responsibilities, product and worker safety, ethnicity sensitivity, sexual harassment, advertisement, insider trades, and environmental stedwardship. Students become familiar with the ethical issues regarding business, and are equipped with the conceptual tools necessary to respond to moral conflicts sensitively and responsibly.
Cross-listed with Business (Business 213)
Semester hours of credit:  3

206 ANIMAL ETHICS
This course introduces the recent paradigm shift from anthropocentric ethics to biocentric ethics. The main objectives of the course are 1) to develop understanding of the main arguments concerning the moral status of nonhuman animals; 2) to cover the full range of different ethical positions regarding animals and discuss their advantages and disadvantages; and 3) to identify ideologies associated with thinking about animals and develop a critique which liberates us from one-dimensional thinking about animals. Topics addressed include whether animals have minds, whether animals have rights analogous in some way to human rights, and how to balance the interests of animals with other environmental goods. Other topics include animals as food, animal research ethics, animals in entertainment, cloning, biotechnology, companion animals, and legal and moral issues associated with animal activism.

207 PHILOSOPHIES OF WAR AND PEACE
This course investigates the complex issue of war and violence, peace and justice, and the future of war. Is war a necessary part of the human condition? What are the ethics of war? The course examines the opposing positions of political realism, just war theory, and pacifism. The course will focus on the meaning of war for philosophers in particular, and study World War II veterans who became philosophers  such as Stuart Hampshire, R.M. Hare, J. Glenn Gray, John Rawls and others. Michael Walzer’s classic account, Just and Unjust Wars, and additional historical writings by Tolstoy, Arendt, Hobbes, Marx, Gandhi, and Martin Luther King may be studied to understand the debate over the meaning of the problem of war for philosophers and how they attempt to cope with it.

209 SPECIAL TOPICS
Creation of a course code for special topics offered by Philosophy at the 200 level.

211 ORIGINS OF WESTERN PHILOSOPHY
This course traces the development of philosophical thought from the Pre-Socratics to the Neo-Platonists and Christian thinkers of late antiquity. The great questions posed by these early philosophers concerning the origins of the universe, the ultimate nature of reality, the frequent conflict between human nature and moral/social obligation, together with their bold answers, are examined thoroughly.
Lectures: Three hours a week

213 EXISTENTIALISM
Themes studied in this course may include consciousness, subjectivity, authenticity, fact versus interpretation, the role of faith and emotions in a meaningful life, intersubjectivity and community, freedom, alienation, noncognitivism, anti-theory, and moral responsibility. Writers such as Nietzsche, Kierkegaard, Sartre, de Beauvoir, and Camus are the primary focus of discussion.
Lectures: Three hours a week

214 PHILOSOPHY OF HUMOUR
This course emphasizes the overlapping aspects of philosophy and humour, as well as the role of humour in culture and valuing life. What is comedy? What is humour? What is laughter? What is the difference between laughing at people and laughing with them? Students explore the three traditional theories of humour (Superiority theory, Incongruity theory and Relief theory) as found in thinkers such as Plato, Hobbes, Kant, Schopenhauer, Spencer, and Freud. Students discuss Lenny Bruce’s autobiography as a case study in problematic humour and free speech controversies.
Lectures: Three hours a week

221 SOCIAL PHILOSOPHY
This course explores a series of basic questions about the nature of social existence. It emphasizes the concept of a “social contract,” and analyzes historical development in Western philosophers such as Hobbes, Locke, Hume and Rousseau. It discusses twentieth century development, such as the philosophy of John Rawls.
Lectures: Three hours a week

222 POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY
This investigation of the philosophical problems of life in communities focuses primarily on the concept of rights. What is a right? Are there any inalienable rights? How are rights justified? When is discourse in terms of rights appropriate and inappropriate? Students consider the history of human rights and international differences regarding rights, with special attention to the development of women’s rights.
Lectures: Three hours a week

235 SKEPTICISM, AGNOSTICISM, ATHEISM, BELIEF
(See Religious Studies 235)

242 PHILOSOPHIES OF LOVE AND SEXUALITY 
This course explores philosophical issues related to love and sexuality as constructed and experienced in particular cultural and historical contexts in Anglo-American culture. Topics may include analysis of love and sexuality as portrayed in music, literature, film and art; kinds of love; conceptions of self and community underlying different accounts of love; sexual activity as expressive, communicative, sacred, profane, athletic, goal-oriented; the commodification of sex; competing conceptions of sexual health and sexual liberation; conservative, liberal, radical and feminist perspectives; ethical issues in intimate relation- ships, families, sex-trade work and pornography.
Cross-listed with Family Science and Diversity and Social Justice Studies (cf. Family Science 244 & DSJS 242)
PREREQUISITE:  When taken as Family Science 244, Family Science 114 is required
Lecture: Three hours a week

251 FORMAL LOGIC
This course is an introduction to the theory and techniques of classical and modern logic. Students are exposed to the basic concepts of classical propositional and quantificational logic and methods of testing inference. As well, students are exposed to several logical systems that purport to extend classical logic.
Lectures: Three hours a week

262 PLATO AND ARISTOTLE
This course examines theories of knowledge and beliefs about the fundamental structure of the cosmos in relation to aspects of the human condition found in the works of the two most influential ancient philosophers, Plato and Aristotle. Students study selected primary texts such as the Meno, the Symposium, the Republic and the Timaeus of Plato and the Physics and the Metaphysics of Aristotle.
Cross-listed with Classics (cf. Classics 262)
Lectures: Three hours a week

264 CHINESE RELIGION AND PHILOSOPHY
(See Religious Studies 261)

284 INTRODUCTION TO MEDIEVAL THEOLOGY AND PHILOSOPHY
(See Religious Studies 284)

300 Level

301 PHILOSOPHY OF SCIENCE
Science involves a set of attitudes, a system of beliefs, and a group of activities oriented to explaining the natural world. This course examines both the classical positivist accounts of scientific theory and practice and the more recent accounts of development and change in the global scientific culture.
PREREQUISITE: One course in Philosophy or permission of the instructor
Lectures: Three hours a week

303 HISTORY OF ETHICAL THEORY
This course offers an historical and critical examination of influential ethical theories proposed by philosophers ranging from Aristotle to Nietzsche. The focus is on the philosophical justification for morality, and not on applied issues.
PREREQUISITE: At least two completed courses in Philosophy or permission of the instructor
Lectures: Three hours a week

309 SPECIAL TOPICS
Creation of a course code for special topics offered by Philosophy at the 300 level.

322 RELIGIOUS ETHICS EAST AND WEST
(See Religious Studies 322)

351 PHILOSOPHY OF LAW
This course is designed to acquaint students with important philosophical concepts underlying the notion of legality and justice. These include the concepts of equality and inequality, legal obligation, punishment, and rights. Various traditional theories of law will be examined from that proposed by Plato in the Republic and Aristotle’s Politics through Aquinas to John Locke, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill. Contemporary theories of H.L.A. Hart, Gregory Vlastos and John Rawls may be examined as well.
PREREQUISITE: One course in Philosophy or permission of the instructor
Lectures: Three hours a week

353 PHILOSOPHIES OF COMMUNICATION
This course explores the history of thinking about communication, including technologies such as printing, relevant disciplines such as journalism, human rights, and the role of media as agents of social change. Topics include the history of free expression, censorship, the emergence of the public sphere, techniques for influencing public opinion, communication and war, propaganda and truth. Thinkers such as Condorcet, Godwin, J.S. Mill, Ellul, McLuhan, Habermas, Chomsky, Mattelart, and contemporary theorists may be discussed.
Lecture: Three hours a week

354 PHILOSOPHY OF MIND
This course examines basic problems in philosophical psychology, such as the mind/body problem, intentionality, artificial intelligence, functionalism, the nature of consciousness, and virtual realities. Thinkers such as J. Searle, D. Dennett, J.J.C. Smart, J. Fodor, P. Churchland, F. Dretske, and K. Sterelny may be discussed.
PREREQUISITE: One course in Philosophy or permission of the instructor
Lectures: Three hours per week

361 PHILOSOPHY AND LITERATURE
An examination of the ways in which similar basic human concerns are expressed and developed in philosophy and literature. The course focuses on the use of literature in learning philosophy, with particular attention to the novel as a vehicle for bringing philosophy to the masses and the connections be- tween literature and social change. It also explores the history of theories of literature and popular culture, including work by Habermas, McLuhan, Camus, Sartre, Rorty and Kundera.
Cross-listed with English (cf. English 313)
Lectures: Three hours a week

362 PHILOSOPHY OF RELIGION
An examination of the nature of religion and the logic of religious belief. Some of the traditional and recent arguments for and against belief in God will be critically evaluated. The differences between rational and non-rational approaches to religion will be considered, especially as these illustrate the differences between Western and Eastern philosophies and religions. Special emphasis will be given to concepts of “God” and the problems posed by religious language.
Cross-listed with Religious Studies (cf. Religious Studies 362)
PREREQUISITE: One course in Philosophy or Religious Studies
Lectures: Three hours a week

363 PHILOSOPHY OF BIOLOGY
Students explore how biology informs our philosophical conceptions of nature and our place in it. Topics include evolutionary theory, human nature, adaptation, development, units of selection, function, species, altruism, the human genome project, conceptions of progress, and creationism.
Lecture: Three hours a week

371 COMMUNITY-BASED ETHICAL INQUIRY I
This course will engage students in work placements and dialogue in ethical inquiry with community leaders in one of the following areas (set by the instructor at the start of the year): Agriculture and globalization; Poverty and illiteracy in PEI; World hunger and international aid; Environmental problems and issues of sustainability on PEI. Students will explore the nature of moral experience and ethical inquiry while gaining on the ground work experience, so that class discussions will be informed by first-hand understanding of the issues, as well as by recent and classic ethical texts. This course will be led by a faculty member in collaboration with recognized community leaders in the field.
Cross-listed with Diversity and Social Justice Studies (c.f. DSJS 371)
PREREQUISITE: Successful completion of a first or second year course in philosophy, or permission of the instructor.  For Diversity and Social Justice Studies, DSJS 109 and one other DSJS course at the 200 level or higher.
Seminar/field work: Averaged across the semester, 1.5 hours per week unpaid field placement in a relevant setting, supervised by a mentor.
Three semester hours of credit

373 PHILOSOPHY OF LANGUAGE
This course introduces philosophical problems concerning language and provides a grounding in analytic philosophy. Students discuss truth and meaning, reference, speech acts, interpretation and translation, and metaphor. Questions such as the following are examined: What are the relationships among language, mind, and the world? How does language colour our thoughts about reality? Does each language bring with it a distinct conceptual system?
PREREQUISITE: One course in Philosophy or permission of the instructor
Lectures: Three hours a week

383 RADICAL PHILOSOPHY
This course explores attempts by philosophers, in the 19th and 20th centuries, to create alternative social movements that are highly critical of existing social organizations and the state form of life. It provides an historical introduction to Marxism, anarchism and feminist social theory. Texts are selected from Godwin, Marx, Engels, Proudhon, Kropotkin, Emma Goldman and Simone de Beauvoir.
Lectures: Three hours a week

384 RATIONALIST AND EMPIRICISTS
This course is an introduction to early modern philosophy through the study of the most important works of the rationalists (Descartes, Spinoza, and Leibniz) and the empiricists (Locke, Berkeley, and Hume).
Lectures: Three hours a week

385 THE PHILOSOPHY OF KANT
This course examines the philosophy of Immanuel Kant (1724–1804), with a particular focus on his influence on the discipline of epistemology and his major work, A Critique of Pure Reason. If time permits, students may also consider Kant’s approach to philosophy, as well as his main critics.
Lectures: Three hours a week

400 Level

403 METAETHICS
This course extends the history and discussion of ethics begun in Philosophy 303.  This course explores the meaning of moral concepts. Is morality real or not? Are our moral utterances cognitive or non-cognitive? If morality is natural, in what sense? Is morality relativistic, universal, objective, subjective, instrumental, intrinsic, or a fiction?
PREREQUISITE: Philosophy 303 or permission of the instructor
Lectures: Three hours a week

409 SPECIAL TOPICS
Creation of a course code for special topics offered by Philosophy at the 400 level.

422 20th CENTURY BRITISH AND AMERICAN PHILOSOPHY
This course is a critical examination of the development of analytical philosophy in Britain and America in the 20th Century with a focus on the relations between logic, science, language, and conceptualization. Logical Positivism, the linguistic turn, and pragmatism are examined through readings from such authors as G.E. Moore, B. Russell, Wittgenstein, A.J. Ayer, W. James, Quine, and Rorty.
PREREQUISITE: Philosophy 373, and one other Philosophy course, or permission of the instructor.
Lectures: Three hours a week

427 THEORIES OF JUSTICE
This course explores the basic ethical concepts of the right and the good by focussing on  three recent classics in political philosophy: John Rawls’ A Theory of Justice, Robert Nozick’s Anarchy, State and Utopia and Michael Walzer’s Spheres of Justice.” The contrasts between libertarian and socialist ideas of society, individual rights and communitarian thinking, the nature of the state, equality, cultural relativism, and liberal pluralism are considered. Contemporary secondary literature about Nozick and Walzer may also be studied.
PREREQUISITE: One course in Philosophy or permission of the instructor
Lectures: Three hours a week

428 20th CENTURY FRENCH AND GERMAN PHILOSOPHY
This course introduces German philosophers such as the Frankfurt School and Jurgen Habermas and French philosophers such as Michel Foucault. Students consider the idea of a critical theory, the public sphere, rationality and ideology, and the disciplinary society.
PREREQUISITE: One course in Philosophy or permission of the instructor
Lectures: Three hours a week

431 DIRECTED STUDIES
Student and teacher will jointly investigate problems or authors chosen by the student in consultation with the chair and approved by the Dean. Without prejudice to other choices, the Department is prepared to offer Directed Studies in the following areas beyond the regular course offerings: (See Academic Regulation 9 for Regulations Governing Directed Studies)

480 HONOURS SEMINAR
This is an intensive literature review course in the area of the student’s honours thesis. The reading material will be developed by the student and supervisor. As part of this course, the student will be required to produce a substantive proposal for his or her honours thesis (Philosophy 490). Other requirements may include an annotated bibliography, preliminary draft work, reading journals, and critical reviews.

490 HONOURS THESIS
In consultation with a supervisor, each student will be required to write a 7,000–9,000 word thesis, and defend it orally in front of a committee. The three-member committee will be comprised of the supervisor, a second reader from the Philosophy Department, and a third reader from either the Philosophy Department or another department at the University. Students must complete Philosophy 480 before beginning Philosophy 490.