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Queen's University
 

300 Level Courses              

Course Offerings for 2015-16:

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PHIL 301/3.0 Bioethics 3L/S

K. Gordon-Solmon    Fall Term  (Tues 4:00 - 5:30; Thurs 2:30 - 4:00)

PREREQUISITE: (Completed 60.0 or more units) or (Registration in a "Faculty of Medicine" plan).

This course will be built around the observations that we now have unprecedented control over how we are born, live, and die, and that we will soon have even more control.  It asks what limits there should be on the exercise of this control.  Topics will include parents designing their (future) children, the use of performance enhancing drugs (in sports and otherwise), memory tampering, abortion, and euthanasia.  We'll read a selection of articles from the contemporary philosophical literature, supplemented by a small number of articles from the popular press.  Evaluation will be based on an 8-page term paper (50%), two 4-6 page papers, and, possibly, class participation (10%).  There will be no final exam. 

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PHIL 301/3.0 Bioethics 3L/S

K. Gordon-Solmon    Winter Term  (Tues 4:00 - 5:30; Thurs 2:30 - 4:00)

PREREQUISITE: (Completed 60.0 or more units) or (Registration in a "Faculty of Medicine" plan).

This course will be built around the observations that we now have unprecedented control over how we are born, live, and die, and that we will soon have even more control.  It asks what limits there should be on the exercise of this control.  Topics will include parents designing their (future) children, the use of performance enhancing drugs (in sports and otherwise), memory tampering, abortion, and euthanasia.  We'll read a selection of articles from the contemporary philosophical literature, supplemented by a small number of articles from the popular press.  Evaluation will be based on an 8-page term paper (50%), two 4-6 page papers, and, possibly, class participation (10%).  There will be no final exam. 

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PHIL 303/3.0 Ethics and Business    3L/S

R. Kumar  Fall Term  (Mon 4:00 - 5:30; Wed 2:30 - 4:00)

PREREQUISITE: Level 2 or above.

It is sometimes said that the phrase "business ethics" is an oxymoron. In this course we will attempt to dispel this popular conception by working our way through many of the moral issues to which the practice of business gives rise. Topics include: Do corporations have social responsibilities? What social responsibilities do corporations have when operating in the global context? Are there universal ethical principles which can guide the conduct of multinational corporations? Do international sweatshops violate human rights? What are the rights of employess in the workplace? Do employess have the right to due process? Is affirmative action morally justifiable? Is business bluffing ethical? When is advertising ethically questionable? How much information about a product is a corporation morally obligated to disclose to consumers and how and to whom should this information be disclosed? Can the free market be justified? Do corporations have rights to freedom of speech? Are they entitled to exemptions from legal regulations on the grounds of freedom of relgion? The format of the course will be lecture/discussion. Assignments will consist of short papers throughout the term.

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PHIL 316/3.0 Philosophy of Art             3L

D. Knight Winter Term (Mon 4:00 - 5:30; Wed 2:30 - 4:00)

PREREQUISITE: Level 2 or above 

This year, PHIL 316 will survey a wide range of art forms, from “high” to “low,” from fine to mass to popular to performance. 

We start by considering general questions that arise in the philosophy of art and in aesthetics.  For instance, what is art?  What is art for?  What all is implied by the distinction between “high” and “low” arts, anyway?  What is the value of beauty?  If beauty is a value, what do we make of the plain, the messy, the gross, and the ugly? 

We then pursue these more general questions as they apply to particular examples selected from painting, photography, film, architecture, literature, music, the performance arts, and various popular arts.  We will also raise the question of whether there is such a thing as the aesthetics of the everyday.

You will be encouraged to develop good critical skills by thinking about and writing about the course readings.  You will also develop your interpretative skills with respect to works of art.  There will be a lot of examples to consider.

You can expect some combination of longer (around 5-6 pages) and shorter (around 2-3 pages) written assignments, an in-class test, and a final two-hour exam.

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PHIL 318/3.0 The Philosophy of Law:  Justice, Rights and Freedom     3L

C. Sypnowich Fall Term  (Tues 11:30 - 1:00; Fri 1:00 - 2:30)

This course introduces students to some of the central concepts in the philosophy of law, or what lawyers call jurisprudence, a subject that straddles the disciplines of law and philosophy, both the principles of legal institutions and the ideals of legal order.  At the heart of the philosophy of law is the question of how the rules of the coercive state might justly intervene in individual freedom.  We will consider writings from classic jurisprudence as well as contemporary debates, taken from the UK, the US and Canada.  Possible topics include the relation between law and morality, the idea of the rule of law, human rights, the proper role of judges, and hate speech, pornography and freedom of expression.  These topics will be pursued in order to acquire a grasp of the central ideas and arguments of legal philosophy as well as the skills to assess and critique them.

Text:

David Dyzenhaus, Sophia Reibetanz Moreau, Arthur Ripstein (eds.) Law and Morality

Structure:

Lectures with some opportunity for discussion in class. 

Assessment

A mixture of in class exams and written assignments.

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PHIL 335/3.0 Introduction to Kant 3L

D.L.C. Maclachlan Fall Term  (Mon 11:30 - 1:00; Thurs 1:00 - 2:30)

PREREQUISITES: PHIL 250/6.0 or permission from the Department.

The Critique of Pure Reason is widely recognized as the most central book in modern philosophy, with enormous influence on both AngloSaxon and Continental philosophy. It is a difficult book, but not because Kant is an obscure writer: he writes with extraordinary clarity about straightforward matters. The trouble is that the topics he is discussing are intrinsically difficult and to get a grip on Kant's innovative approach to the problem of our cognitive life requires a radical shift in our normal habits of thought which is not easy to carry out.

The Critique of Pure Reason is a long book as well as a difficult book and we shall not attempt to study the whole thing. I shall concentrate on selected topics to be specified in an outline which will be made available when the class begins. The passages selected will be studied with great thoroughness, often reading a paragraph aloud in class before attempting to explain it and answer questions about it.

The work for this course is designed to make sure that students have a good understanding of Kant's Transcendental Idealism. It will consist of two parts. There will be two short essays (1500 words) each worth 25% of the final mark. There will be a final examination held during the regular December examination period worth 50% of the final mark. The examination paper will contain four questions of which students must attempt three. The four questions on the paper will be drawn from a master list of eight questions will be made available in advance.

Textbook: Immanuel Kant Critique of Pure Reason translated by Norman Kemp Smith.

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PHIL 343/3.0 Social and Political Philosophy 3L

K. Gordon-Solmon Winter Term (Wed 6:30 - 9:30)

PREREQUISITE: PHIL 257/6.0 or permission of the Department.

This course will provide an upper-level introduction to contemporary discussions of distributive justice.  The central text will be John Rawls' pioneering book, A Theory of Justice.  We will also look at selections from the critical literature surrounding A Theory of Justice, as well as certain alternative theories that have developed in its wake.  Here, readings will include pieces by Robert Nozick, Ronald Dworkin, and G.A. Cohen. 

Evaluation will be based on 2 papers, an in-class presentation, and class participation

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PHIL 347/3.0 Contemporary Moral Philosophy 3L

R. Kumar  Fall Term  (Tues 1:00 - 2:30; Thurs 11:30 - 1:00)

PREREQUISITE: PHIL257/6.0 or permission of the Department.

Much of the most important work in moral philosophy over the past fifty years has focused on moral psychology, the examination of how morality shapes and is constrained by deep features of human agency and practical reasoning.  In this course we will examine in detail some of the path-breaking work that has shaped the field, focusing, in particular, on the seminal work of Thomas Nagel, Bernard Williams, and Harry Frankfurt.     

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PHIL 351/3.0 Philosophy of Mind        3L

A. Fisher   Winter Term  (1 x 3 hrs)  (Wed 8:30 - 11:30)

TBA


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PHIL 359/3.0 Philosophy of Language          3L

H. Laycock Winter term  (Tues 11:30 - 1:00; Fri 1:00 - 2:30)

PREREQUISITE:  PHIL250/6.0 or permission of the department

The philosophy of language, as we study it today, is a relatively new and dynamic area of philosophical enquiry.  Its foundations are laid in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, primarily by two individuals working in logical theory and the foundations of mathematics – Gottlob Frege and Bertrand Russell.  We will study the work of both these writers, and subsequent major developments within the past 100 years.  Other influential work in the field has been done more recently by W. V. Quine, P. F. Strawson, and Paul Grice.

We’ll consider the differences between logic, syntax, semantics, and pragmatics, and the relation of these to ontological issues, questions of what exists.  Here, a central question concerns the relationship between semantic categories in language and ‘objective’ categories in metaphysics and ontology. We’ll also consider the nature of meaning, its relationship to the idea of truth, and the nature of reference – how it is that language can connect with the world, with reality.  There’s also the issue of unreality – how it’s possible to talk about objects that do not exist.  The course will involve both lectures and seminars.

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PHIL 361/3.0 Introduction to Logic 3L

TBA  Fall Term  (Mon 1:00 - 2:30; Wed 11:30 - 1:00)

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

One-way exclusion:  may not be taken with or after CISC 204/3.0.  

TBA

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PHIL 362/3.0 Further Studies in Logic 3L

A. Mercier  Winter Term  (Tues 8:30 - 10:00; Fri 10:00 - 11:30)

PREREQUISITE:  PHIL361/3.0.

TBA

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PHIL 373/3.0 Continental Philosophy, 1900-1960        3L

P. Fairfield Fall Term  (Mon 8:30 - 10:00; Thurs 10:00 - 11:30)

This lecture course provides an analysis of key figures and texts in continental European philosophy between 1900 and 1960. We shall study key works by Martin Heidegger, Karl Jaspers, and Jean-Paul Sartre. Major topics will include existentialism and hermeneutics. The format will be lecture with discussion.

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PHIL 374/3.0 Continental Philosophy, 1960 - The Present            3L

P. Fairfield Winter Term  (Mon 11:30 - 1:00; Thurs 1:00 - 2:30)

This lecture course provides an analysis of key figures and texts in continental European philosophy between 1960 and today. We shall study key works by Hans-Georg Gadamer, Michel Foucault, and Calvin Schrag. Major topics will include hermeneutics and poststructuralism, among others. The format will be lecture with discussion.

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Kingston, Ontario, Canada. K7L 3N6. 613.533.2000