Courses

Fall Term 2018 Courses

GS/PHIL 5802 3.0M Core Practical I

GS/PHIL 5802 3.0M Core Practical I

  • Friday 10:00am-1:00pm
    Room: RS 421
  • Course Director: Professor Alice MacLachlan
    E-mail: amacla@yorku.ca
    Office: S416 Ross

This course offers an advanced survey of some central themes in contemporary practical philosophy. It is designed to ensure that students have sufficient background to pursue graduate-level research in these areas, and required of MA students.

GS/PHIL 5803 3.0M Core Practical II

GS/PHIL 5803 3.0M Core Practical II

  • Friday 2:00pm-4:00pm
    Room: RS421
  • Course Director: Professor Regina Rini
    E-mail: rarini@yorku.ca
    Office: S434 Ross

This course provides a forum for further discussion of the central themes in contemporary practical philosophy. It is designed to prepare students to write the MA comprehensive examination in practical philosophy.

GS/PHIL 6290 3.0A Philosophy of Logic

GS/PHIL 6290 3.0A Philosophy of Logic

  • Monday 12:30-3:30pm
    Room: RS 432
  • Course Director: Professor Christopher Alan Campbell
    E-mail: ccampbell@glendon.yorku.ca
    Office: York Hall C228, Glendon

In this seminar we shall consider some aspects of thought which, while plausibly considered formal rather than mere matters of content, nevertheless tend to be neglected in the context of contemporary logic and analytic philosophy of logic: temporality, and through it thought’s relation to experience; practicality, thought’s relation to action and intention; and self-consciousness, thought’s relation to the thinking subject and so to itself.  We shall take as our framework for the exploration of this nexus of topics two monographs of Sebastian Rödl’s, Categories of the temporal and Self-consciousness, but along the way we shall also consider selections of the work of the likes of Aristotle, Kant, Frege, Wittgenstein, Quine, Prior, Anscombe, Evans, McDowell, and Thompson.

GS/PHIL 6370 3.0A Philosophy of Cognitive Science

GS/PHIL 6370 3.0A Philosophy of Cognitive Science

  • Monday 3:30-6:30pm
    Room: RS 432
  • Course Director: Professor Muhammad–Ali Khalidi
    E-mail: khalidi@yorku.ca
    Office: S432 Ross

This class will focus on cognitive ontology, with special attention to cognitive constructs such as innateness, concepts, memory, and implicit bias. We will be particularly concerned with how we ought to determine whether or not such constructs correspond to natural kinds. Readings will be drawn from recent literature on the general topic of cognitive ontology, as well as from recent literature on particular case studies of cognitive constructs, in both philosophy and the cognitive sciences.

 

GS/PHIL 6470 3.0A Topics in Applied Ethics

GS/PHIL 6470 3.0A           Topics in Applied Ethics

  • Thursday 2:30-5:30
    Room: RS 432
  • Course Director: Professor Dan McArthur
  • E-mail: djmc@yorku.ca
    Office: S425 Ross

This course focuses on current discussions in applied ethics. Topics may include: professional ethics, business ethics, animal welfare ethics, environmental ethics, and ethics and technology.

GS/PHIL 6500 3.0A Major Figures In Political Philosophy

GS/PHIL 6500 3.0A Major Figures In Political Philosophy

  • Tuesday 2:30–5:30pm
    Room: RS 432
  • Course Director: Professor Idil Boran
    Email: iboran@yorku.ca
    Office: S426 Ross

The Golden Age of Social Liberalism: J.S. Mill to L.T. Hobhouse

This seminar explores in close up two major figures who gave voice to what came to be known as social liberalism. Social liberalism matured over a period spanning across the last decades of the nineteenth century and early years of the twentieth century. Born out of discontent with classical liberalism, the ideas of social liberals took shape in direct contact with transnational social movements and global transformations of the nineteenth century. Gathering pace with the later works of John Stuart Mill (1806-1873), social liberalism gained full expression through the writings of Leonard T. Hobhouse (1886-1927). These thinkers moved no small distance away from a liberalism centred on individualism toward one responsive to the interdependencies and inequities in the fabric of social life.

Both J.S. Mill and L.T. Hobhouse were ahead of their times. Both engaged frontally with the pressing issues arising from the particular social, political, and intellectual environment surrounding them. Unabashedly reformists, they did not limit themselves to scholarly writing alone. Their voices reverberated in public life. Mill held a seat as Liberal MP in Parliament. Hobhouse left his position at Oxford to accept a post as a full-time writer to the Manchester Guardian. Though he would later return to academic life, he would always stay active in public life. The ideas these thinkers were trying out were responsive to the prominent social movements of their times – particularly the labour movement, socialism, and women’s suffrage movement. Their work tuned in to the many-sided changes undergoing both in their society and on the world stage. Both thinkers were internationalists. Hobhouse, in particular, gives voice to ideals of international equality and envisions concepts not unlike a global compact. Today, their writings do not only weather the passage of time. They give expression to critical perspectives adaptable to our circumstances, as an antidote to recrudescence of populism worldwide.

The seminar is divided into three parts. In part one, the focus will be on how to read historical works by tuning in to the social, political, and intellectual milieu that shapes the writings of major figures of political philosophy. We will read texts dedicated to this purpose and develop strategies to avoid common pitfalls. The nineteenth century will be studied as a period of global transformations to provide preparatory background. Part two is devoted to the works of J.S. Mill and L.T. Hobhouse, consecutively, with attention to threads of influence that connect the two authors. From Mill, the readings include Chapters on Socialism and from Hobhouse, his Liberalism. Part three traces how these thinkers repositioned their subject matter to engage with matters not only local but also transnational.

GS/PHIL 6800 3.0A First–Year Seminar

GS/PHIL 6800 3.0A First–Year Seminar

  • Friday 11:30am–2:30pm
    Room: RS 432
  • Course Director: Professor Robert Myers
    E-mail: rmyers@yorku.caa
    Office: S438 Ross
    Course Director: Professor Claudine Verheggen
    E-mail: cverheg@yorku.ca
    Office: S436 Ross

This course is required of all first-year PhD students. It is designed to familiarize them with the Graduate Program in Philosophy and to impart the skills needed to complete the PhD.

Our topic will be Donald Davidson’s triangulation argument, to the effect that the contents of people’s thoughts and the meanings of their words are in the first instance fixed through their interactions with one another and their shared environment. We will begin by examining Davidson’s arguments for this claim and the many objections that have been raised against it. We will then explore its implications for questions in philosophy of language and mind, epistemology, philosophy of action, and metaethics.

Texts:
TBA

Course Requirements

  • Evaluation will be based entirely on short writing assignments and class participation. Students will be required to submit eight 1200-1500 word papers and will on several occasions present and defend their papers in class.

Winter Term 2019 Courses

GS/PHIL 5460 3.0M Philosophical Logic

GS/PHIL 5460 3.0M Philosophical Logic
Philosophy 5460 3.0 (Integrated with AP/PHIL 4460 3.0)</em

  • Wednesday 11:30-2:30
    Room: VH 1005
  • Course Director: Professor Judy Pelham
    E-mail: pelham@yorku.ca
    Office: S440 Ross

This course provides students with the background in logic necessary to do graduate work in many areas of analytic philosophy. This course presupposes students have successfully completed an introductory course in sentential and predicate logic.

GS/PHIL 5647 3.0M Topics in the Philosophy of Language: Truth

GS/PHIL 5647 3.0M Topics in the Philosophy of Language: Truth

  • Monday 12:00–3:00pm
    Room: TBA, Glendon
  • Course Director: Professor Christopher Alan Campbell
    E-mail: ccampbell@glendon.yorku.ca
    Office: York Hall C228

This course examines the concept of truth from several perspectives: its relation to meaning, assertion and other concepts in philosophy of language; its formal characterization; and its broader philosophical significance. The correspondence theory and minimalism, among other approaches, are discussed.

GS/PHIL 5800 3.0M Core Theoretical I

GS/PHIL 5800 3.0M Core Theoretical I

  • Friday 11:30am–2:30pm
    Room: RS 421
  • Course Director: Professor Brian Huss
    E-Mail: huss@yorku.ca
    Office: S414 Ross

This course offers an advanced survey of some central themes in contemporary theoretical philosophy. It is designed to ensure that students have sufficient background to pursue graduate-level research in theses areas, and required of MA students.

GS/PHIL 5801 3.0M Core Theoretical II

GS/PHIL 5801 3.0M Core Theoretical II

  • Friday 3:30–5:30pm
    Room: RS 421
  • Course Director: Professor Muhammad-Ali Khalidi
    E-Mail: khalidi@yorku.ca
    Office: S432 Ross

This course provides a forum for further discussion of the central themes in contemporary theoretical philosophy. It is designed to prepare students to write the MA comprehensive examination in theoretical philosophy.

GS/PHIL 6155 3.0M Recent Trends in Continental Philosophy

GS/PHIL 6155 3.0M Recent Trends in Continental Philosophy

  • Thursday 2:30–5:30pm
    Room: RS 432
  • Course Director: Professor Jim Vernon
    E-Mail: jvernon@yorku.ca
    Office: S427 Ross

Phenomenology and Alterity: This course concerns the experience of ‘otherness’.
Is our own experience of self marked by ‘otherness’? Is our experience of alterity dependent upon, equiprimordial with, or antecedent to our determinate experience of self? Is it primarily thought or felt? Does the experience of ‘otherness’ presuppose the existence of other subjects? Is our primary relationship to others epistemic or is it ethical? Does otherness confirm, or problematize my experience of the world and myself? This course provides an intensive survey of developments in the phenomenology of alterity through key texts by Edmund Husserl, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Emmanuel Levinas and Frantz Fanon. By extension, it serves as an in-depth introduction to the Continental tradition of phenomenological investigation.

GS/PHIL 6260 3.0M Philosophy of Science

GS/PHIL 6260 3.0M Philosophy of Science

  • Wednesday 2:30–5:30pm
    Room: RS 432
  • Course Director: Professor Hattiangadi
    E-Mail: jagdish@yorku.ca
    Office: S437 Ross

In these seminars and Moodle discussions we will study whether we can learn general features of the world affirmatively from experience.

GS/PHIL 6305 3.0M Major Problems in the Philosophy of Language

GS/PHIL 6305 3.0M Major Problems in the Philosophy of Language

  • Tuesday 2:30–5:30pm
    Room: RS 432
  • Course Director: Professor Claudine Verheggen
    E-mail: cverheg@yorku.ca
    Office: S436 Ross

Major Problems in the Philosophy of Language
The focus of this course will be on the objectivity of meaning. We’ll start with the following dilemma: on the one hand, meaningful expressions are governed by conditions of correct application that are objective in the sense that their being met or not is independent of language users’ thinking so; on the other hand, as many philosophers believe, it is hard to give a philosophical account of meaning without somehow connecting the meaning of expressions with their use. But if what determines expressions’ conditions of correct application is their use, how can these conditions, and hence meaning, be objective? While looking for ways to escape this dilemma we’ll examine in what way, if any, meaning is normative, the prospects for a reductionist account of meaning, as well as the relation between the metaphysics and the epistemology of meaning. We’ll end by asking what consequences an account of the objectivity of meaning has for objectivity in other domains.

Authors to be read will include Paul Boghossian, Hannah Ginsborg, Kathrin Glüer, Paul Horwich, John McDowell, Alex Miller, Barry Stroud, and Crispin Wright, among others.

Texts:
TBA

Course Requirements

  • Class participation and weekly comments: 20%
  • Paper topic and annotated bibliography: 15%
  • Class presentation: 15%
  • Term paper: 50%

GS/PHIL 6515 3.0M Issues in Contemporary Political Philosophy

GS/PHIL 6515 3.0M Issues in Contemporary Political Philosophy

  • Monday 2:30–5:30pm
    Room: RS421
  • Course Directo: Professor Louis-Philippe Hodgson
    E-mail: lhodgson@glendon.yorku.ca
    Office: York Hall C 208

Rawls and His Sources

Countless seminars have been taught about Rawls and his critics.  The exact content of these classes has evolved over time (recently, for instance, they tend to include less communitarianism and more luck egalitarianism).  But the motivating thought has remained much the same: given the enormous influence A Theory of Justice has had on contemporary political thought, it seems natural to take the book as a starting point and to focus on confronting its theses and arguments with those of political philosophers working in its wake.

This forward-looking approach has pedagogical advantages, especially when it comes to introducing undergraduates to the field.  But it also has drawbacks.  Some aspects of Rawls’s discussion have found little echo in the subsequent literature, and therefore end up largely ignored.  What is more, a narrow focus on the various reactions to Rawls fails to do justice to the kind of work that went into producing TJ.  Contemporary political philosophy too often involves insular conversations among narrow specialists, but the book that started it all engages with a remarkably far-ranging literature.  Its key sources include works by epistemologists, philosophers of language, rational choice theorists, as well as economists and psychologists of various stripes.  Rawls’s outsized influence may have contributed to creating the bubble that is contemporary political philosophy, but there is nothing confined about his own thinking.

Over the course of the seminar, we’ll read the whole of TJ—all 87 sections—and pay special attention to the different literatures and theories that feed into Rawls’s reflection.  The hope is to do justice to the extraordinary complexity of Rawls’s achievement, and also to acquire a better sense of how political philosophy can be done in dialogue with other fields (something that many find lacking in the post-Rawlsian literature).

 

Fall/Winter 2018–2019

GS/PHIL 6850 6.0A PhD Research Seminar

GS/PHIL 6850 6.0A PhD Research Seminar

  • Wednesday 2:30-5:30pm
    Room: RS 414F
  • Course Director: Professor Kristin Andrews
    E-mail: andrewsk@yorku.ca
    Office: S420 Ross
  • Course Director: Professor Alice MacLachlan
    E-mail: amacla@yorku.ca
    Office: S416 Ross

This course is required of all third-year PhD students. It is designed to help students complete the Two Paper Exam and write their dissertation proposal. Students will present paper drafts, proposal drafts, and dissertation chapter drafts to be workshopped, and will write comments on one another's work. Final grade will be determined by participation and written comments only.

This course will also cover professional development skills including:
writing papers for journals, selecting journals to submit work to, writing for a specific journal audience, selecting conferences, writing conference papers, giving conference presentations, writing and presenting critiques and commentaries on others' work, writing abstracts, creating an academic cv, and developing your AOS and AOC.

Students past the third year are welcome to join the course as well.

  • Auditing courses: students need to fill out the Course Transaction form, and bring it to the Graduate Program Assistant in the Graduate Program office in S429 Ross.

Not all courses listed below are offered every year.

Full Graduate Philosophy Course List

Philosophy 5040 3.0: Philosophical Paradoxes
Philosophy 5041 3.0: Contemporary Philosophy
Philosophy 5050 3.0: Pragmatism
Philosophy 5126 3.0: Twentieth Century Continental Philosophy
Philosophy 5150 3.0: Philosophy of Descartes
Philosophy 5200 3.0: Theoretical Ethics
Philosophy 5230 3.0: Origins & Development of Biology Theories
Philosophy 5235 3.0: Political Philosophy 11
Philosophy 5237 3.0: Moral Philosophy 11
Philosophy 5240 4.0: Topics in Argumentation
Philosophy 5250 3.0: Contemporary Issues in Applied Ethics
Philosophy 5260 3.0: Seminar in Gender and Transgender Theory
Philosophy 5270 3.0: Reasons and Desires
Philosophy 5310 3.0: Epistemology
Philosophy 5320 3.0: Philosophy of Language and Logic
Philosophy 5325 3.0: Investigating the Mind
Philosophy 5350 3.0: Topics in Philosophy of Language
Philosophy 5440 3.0: Philosophy of History
Philosophy 5440 3.0: Topics in the History of Philosophy: Rhetoric
Philosophy 5460 3.0: Philosophical Logic
Philosophy 5500 3.0: Topics in Feminist Philosophy
Philosophy 5615 3.0: Introduction to Wittgenstein
Philosophy 5626 3.0: Contemporary Political Philosophy
Philosophy 5647 3.0: Topics in the Philosophy of Language: Truth
Philosophy 5670 3.0: Legal Philosophy between State and Transnationalism
Philosophy 5800 3.0: Core Theoretical Philosophy 1
Philosophy 5801 3.0: Core Theoretical Philosophy 11
Philosophy 5802 3.0: Core Practical Philosophy 1
Philosophy 5803 3.0: Core Practical Philosophy 11
Philosophy 6010 3.0: Directed Readings
Philosophy 6010 6.0: Directed Readings
Philosophy 6010A 3.0: Directed Readings
Philosophy 6100 3.0: Ancient Philosophy
Philosophy 6120 3.0: Early Modern Philosophy
Philosophy 6130 3.0: Kant
Philosophy 6150 3.0: History of Continental Philosophy
Philosophy 6155 3.0: Recent Trends in Continental Philosophy
Philosophy 6170 3.0: History of Analytic Philosophy
Philosophy 6180 3.0: Pragmatism
Philosophy 6185 3.0: Wittgenstein
Philosophy 6190 3.0: Topics in Feminist Philosophy
Philosophy 6230 3.0: Metaphysics
Philosophy 6235 3.0: Metaphysics of Science
Philosophy 6240 3.0: Epistemology
Philosophy 6245 3.0: New Directions in the Theory of Knowledge
Philosophy 6260 3.0: Philosophy of Science
Philosophy 6265 3.0: Philosophy of Physics
Philosophy 6275 3.0: Philosophy of Biology
Philosophy 6280 3.0: Philosophy of Social Science
Philosophy 6285 3.0: Philosophical Logic
Philosophy 6290 3.0: Philosophy of Logic
Philosophy 6295 3.0: Argumentation Theory
Philosophy 6300 3.0: Major Figures in the Philosophy of Language
Philosophy 6305 3.0: Major Problems in the Philosophy of Language
Philosophy 6315 3.0: Issues in Contemporary Philosophy of Language
Philosophy 6350 3.0: Major Figures in the Philosophy of Mind
Philosophy 6355 3.0: Major Problems in the Philosophy of MInd
Philosophy 6360 3.0: Major Figures in Philosophy of Psychology
Philosophy 6365 3.0: Major Problems in the Philosophy of Psychology
Philosophy 6370 3.0: Philosophy of Cognitive Science
Philosophy 6390 3.0: Philosophy of Action
Philosophy 6400 3.0: Major Figures in Moral Philosophy
Philosophy 6410 3.0: Issues in Contemporary Ethical Theory
Philosophy 6415 3.0: Issues in Contemporary Metaethics
Philosophy 6420 3.0: Topics in Moral Psychology
Philosophy 6470 3.0: Topics in Applied Ethics
Philosophy 6490 3.0: Theory and Practice in Bioethics
Philosophy 6500 3.0: Major Figures in Political Philosophy
Philosophy 6505 3.0: Major Problems in Political Philosophy
Philosophy 6515 3.0: Issues in Contemporary Political Philosophy
Philosophy 6535 3.0: Recent Issues in Trans/Gender Theory
Philosophy 6540 3.0: Theories of International Justice and Rights
Philosophy 6550 3.0: Core Problems in Legal Philosophy
Philosophy 6560 3.0: issues in Contemporary Legal Philosophy
Philosophy 6570 3.0: Philosophy of International Law
Philosophy 6800 6.0: First-Year Seminar
Philosophy 6850 6.0: PhD Research Seminar
Philosophy 6860 6.0: PhD Research Seminar II

CROSS LISTED COURSES  FROM OTHER  PROGRAMS:

Philosophy 6135 3.0: Hegel
x-listed with (Same as) Social & Political Though 6605 3.0

Philosophy 6145 3.0: Philosophy and its Others: Recent Reflections
x-listed with (Same as) Humanities 6323 3.0

Philosophy 6340 3.0: Advanced History and Theory of Psychology
x-listed with (Same as) Psychology 6060D 3.0

Philosophy 6440 3.0: Philosophy of History
x-listed with (Same as) Social & Political Thought 6127 3.0.