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Queen's University
 

200 Level Courses

Course Offerings for 2014-15:

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PHIL 201/3.0 Philosophy and Medicine    3L/S

J. Duffin  Winter Term

PREREQUISITE: Completed 30.0 or more units.

TBA

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PHIL 203/3.0 Science and Society 3L/S

S. Sismondo Fall Term

PREREQUISITE: 6.0 units in Philosophy.

TBA

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PHIL 203S/3.0  (Online Course) Science and Society

M. Smith Winter Term

This course is offered through Continuing and Distance Studies.  For more information on the content of this course, please go to the following website:   http://www.queensu.ca/cds/courses/phil.html

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PHIL 204/3.0 Life, Death, and Meaning 3L

TBA Fall Term

PREREQUISITE: 6.0 units in PHIL.

TBA

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PHIL 204/3.0 Life, Death, and Meaning 3L

TBA Winter Term

PREREQUISITE: 6.0 units in PHIL.

TBA

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PHIL233/3.0  Greek Philosophy 3L

J. Miller Fall Term

PREREQUISITE:  A GPA of 2.60 in 6.0 units in PHIL or CLST.

EXCLUSIONS:  no more than 1 course from PHIL232; PHIL233.

PHIL 233 has two objectives.  The first and more obvious is the introduction of some key ideas and arguments of the ancient philosophers.  The second and less obvious might be described as metaphilosophical:  it is the inculcation of an appreciation of the "philosophical turn" taken by ancient Greek society and the actual dialectic of ancient Greek philosophy.  Readings, lectures and assignments all reflect and support these objectives.  By the end of the term, students will have some sense of the amazing achievement of ancient Greece as well as some of the main philosophical innovations of the major Greek philosophers.

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PHIL 240S/3.0  (Online Course) Philosophy of Education

P. Fairfield Winter Term

This course is offered through Continuing and Distance Studies.  For more information on the content of this course, please go to the following website:   http://www.queensu.ca/cds/courses/phil.html

This course introduces students to the philosophy of education through an examination of a few major twentieth-century texts as well as several recent essays.  We shall examine such issues as the nature and aims of the learning process, the debate between educational progressives and conservatives, the relation of education to experience, educational technology and dialogue, Bildung and the politics of education. 

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PHIL 250/6.0 Epistemology and Metaphysics 3L/S

H. Laycock (Fall)/J. Mozersky (Winter)

PREREQUISITE: (A GPA of 2.0 in 6.0 units in PHIL) or (A grade of B- in 3.0 units in PHIL and level 2 or above in a COGS plan). 

TBA

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PHIL 256/3.0 Existentialism 3L

A. Mercier, Winter Term

PREREQUISITE: 6.0 units in PHIL.

TBA

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PHIL 257/6.0 Ethics 3L/S

S. Leighton/ R. Kumar Fall-Winter Term

PREREQUISITE: A GPA of 2.0 in 6.0 units in PHIL. 

Term one will be centered on moral philosophy as it arises in Ancient Greece.  The writings of Plato and Aristotle will be central, but the views and works of others (including Stoics, Moral Skeptics, Hobbes and Butler) will also be considered. 

The central concern will be attempts to understand what it is to be a good person, and to lead a good life.  Themes to be considered include the nature and importance of ultimate ends, virtue, good and bad fortune, the place and significance of egoistic concerns, the place and power of the good, desire, reason, and emotion.

The format of the course will be lecture-discussion, and perhaps seminars.  The aim is to promote reflection on relevant matters, and will include trying to come to grips with diverse and often difficult texts, the philosophical visions offered, the particular claims made, the arguments meant to support them, and (as far as we can tell) the truth about these matters, and the reasons why. 

The basis for evaluation will be a mixture of in class exams, and written assignments. 

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Term two will focus on questions concerning morally right action and the nature of value as they arise in early modern and modern philosophy. Questions to be considered include what makes an action morally right, what is the relationship between morally obligatory acts and morally good acts,  whether we can make sense of the idea that there are moral truths that can motivate an individual to act, and whether, in general, there are any truths about what is valuable, or good.

Readings will be drawn from the writings of Hume, Kant, Mill, Moore, Ayer, Stevenson, and Foot.

Evaluation will be by two short papers and a final exam.

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PHIL 259/3.0 (Online Course) Critical Thinking

N. Salay Fall Term

In this class you will learn how to think critically; you will learn how to evaluate arguments, claims, beliefs, and so on as well as how to make solid arguments of your own.  You will learn how to think clearly, a powerful skill indeed.  Since the complement to thinking clearly is writing clearly, this critical thinking course also includes a writing component.  Many of the assignments require short essay or paragraph-style answers.  These will be marked on content, grammar, and style.  Please make sure you proofread your assignments before handing them in.

This course is offered through Continuing and Distance Studies.  For more information on the content of this course, please go to the following website:   http://www.queensu.ca/cds/courses/phil.html

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PHIL 261/3.0 Philosophy of Mathematics 3L/S

S. Sismondo Winter Term

PREREQUISITE: Completed 30.0 or more units.

TBA

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PHIL 263/3.0 Philosophy of Religion 3L

J. Davies Fall Term

PREREQUISITE: Completed 30.0 or more units.

Religion is counted among the forces that cause wars, encourage or legitimate discrimination and oppression, propagate superstition and insist on willful blindness to any facts and arguments that may challenge its fundamental dogmas.  Religion is also credited with providing conceptual frameworks, practices, and community to encourage and enable resistance to violence and injustice as well as to support people in their efforts to come to terms with loss, death, and questions about the purpose and meaning of our lives.  Religion is something about which most of us have strong opinions and strong feelings.  For that reason it presents us with a golden opportunity to interrogate our own prejudices and thereby to sharpen our capacities for philosophical inquiry.   We will consider ancient as well as contemporary approaches to questions about piety and the afterlife as well as religiously committed and religiously atheist responses to sex, death and suffering.  Course texts include Plato’s Euthyphro and his Phaedo, Beverley Clack’s Sex and Death and Terry Eagleton’s Reason, Faith and Revolution.  These works will be supplemented with recommendations to read selected online articles.

Regular classroom participation is expected.   Evaluation is based on a midterm and a final exam, and an optional essay.

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PHIL 270/3.0 Minds and Machines L/S

N. Salay Fall Term 

PREREQUISITE:  6.0 units in PHIL

EXCLUSIONS:  PHIL170*

In this course we will survey the contribution of philosophy to the cognitive sciences.  Our focus will be on providing an holistic understanding of the various perspectives brought by each of the disciplines, in particular, cognitive psychology, computer science, neurophysics, and linguistics, through an investigation of how the various approaches ultimately frame and answer our questions about the mind.  The course will begin with a brief overview of the traditional themes in the philosophy of mind but the bulk of the term will be spent investigating contemporary themes in cognitive science from a philosophical perspective.  The topics we will cover throughout the term include, but are not limited to, the following: formal systems; physical symbol systems; neural networks, A-life; emergent systems; dynamical systems; cognitive linguistics; embodied cognition.

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PHIL 273/3.0 19th Century Continental Philosophy 3L

P. Fairfield Fall Term

PREREQUISITE: 6.0 units in PHIL.

TBA

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PHIL 276/3.0 Critical Perspectives on Social Diversity  3L

S. Babbitt Winter Term

PREREQUISITE: 6.0 units in PHIL at the 100-level or permission of the Department.

TBA

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PHIL 296/3.0 Animals and Society 3L

Z. Weisberg Winter Term

PREREQUISITE: Completed 30.0 or more units.

This course provides students with an introduction to historical and contemporary debates regarding attitudes towards and treatment of nonhuman animals within Western societies, and explores our ethical and political responsibilities toward them. Some key guiding questions of the course include: What criteria or characteristics make nonhuman animals worthy of moral consideration? The capacity to suffer, self-awareness, possessing emotions or reason? If animals are worthy of moral consideration, are they also capable of being agents or participants in the shaping of human-animal relations? Are there ways in which we can structure social and political life to make them more responsive to the preferences and goals of animals themselves? To help answer these questions, this course examines a wide range of human-animal relations, including the use of domesticated animals as food, pets, working animals, or research subjects, as well as our relations with wild animals (including both animals in the wilderness and the urban wildlife that lives amongst us). In all of these contexts, Western societies have historically operated on the assumption that humans have the right to use, and if necessary to harm or kill, animals for our benefit. Yet the traditional religious or scientific justifications for this claim have increasingly been challenged as we learn more about the mental and emotional capacities of animals. Indeed, an increasing number of animal rights theorists and practitioners argue that there is no valid justification for the right to use animals for our benefit. We will explore these debates over the status of animals, and consider what society would look like if we fundamentally rethought our relations to animals. Existing laws typically define animals as the property of their human owners – a framework that many critics argue is unable to afford any true protection to the rights and interests of animals. Various models have been proposed to supplement, or entirely replace, this property framework, including proposals to accord legal standing or legal personhood to animals, to recognize companion animals as members of the family, to accord farm animals and service animals the rights of workers, to accord wilderness animals rights to territory, and more generally to recognize animals as members of our political community, with rights to representation or citizenship. In exploring these debates, we will consider their complex links to other forms of social differentiation which have defined some people as less than fully human (e.g., in relation to gender, race and class). How would ‘animal liberation’ impact on the struggles of women, racial minorities, indigenous peoples and others?

Structure: Lectures with opportunity for discussion in class.

Assessment: a mixture of in-class exams and written assignments.

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Kingston, Ontario, Canada. K7L 3N6. 613.533.2000