Philosophy (PHIL)

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Philosophy (PHIL)

Location

Location

  • Leacock Building, Room 908
  • 855 Sherbrooke Street West
  • Montreal, Quebec H3A 2T7

About Philosophy

About Philosophy

Broadly speaking, the principal aim of philosophy is to increase our understanding of ourselves, the world, and our place in it. Philosophy differs from the empirical and social sciences in important respects. One way to characterize philosophy is by the sorts of questions it seeks to answer, and the ways in which it seeks to answer them. Different areas of philosophy are characterized by the questions they address. For example, Epistemology inquires into the nature of knowledge, Metaphysics is concerned with the fundamental nature of the world and of the types of things that it contains, Ethics investigates the nature of moral judgment and moral reasoning, while Political Philosophy examines such matters as justice, freedom, rights, democracy, and power, and Logic is broadly the analysis of the structure of correct reasoning. In addition, there are the various “Philosophies of...”, e.g., Philosophy of Science, Philosophy of Language, Philosophy of Mind, Philosophy of Religion.

Some of the courses in the Department are explicitly devoted to these specific areas of philosophy, each exploring one or several ways of construing and answering the questions it poses. Other courses explore some period or individual figure in the history of philosophy, approaching philosophical questions through the work of past thinkers, and often exploring connections between the different areas of philosophy.

The discipline of Philosophy, as a particular way of thinking, emphasizes clarity in expression, both written and oral, and rigour in argument. Philosophical questions are intriguing and hard, and so philosophical method stresses thoroughness and intellectual generosity – the willingness and ability to grasp another's arguments and respond to them. The Department requires of all (and only) Honours and Joint Honours students that they take a special 3-credit course (PHIL 301), the principal aim of which is to equip students with the distinctively philosophical skills required for advanced work in the field.

The B.A. in Philosophy is not a professional qualification. It prepares students for graduate work in philosophy and for study in other disciplines, e.g., Law. As the interdisciplinary discipline par excellence, philosophy also maintains and encourages ties with other fields, so many students will find that certain classes in philosophy are directly relevant to their major area of study. The department has a strong commitment to providing an intensive yet broad-based philosophical education. The research interests of members of the Department are wide-ranging.

See also the separate listing for History and Philosophy of Science (HPSC).

Note: Philosophy students may use either PHIL 200 or PHIL 201 towards their program requirements, but not both. Students may, however, take both for credit (using the second as an elective), as the content in PHIL 201 does not overlap with PHIL 200.

Philosophy (PHIL) Faculty

Philosophy (PHIL) Faculty

Chair
Natalie Stoljar
Emeritus Professors
Mario A. Bunge; Ph.D.(LaPlata), F.R.S.C. (John Frothingham Emeritus Professor of Logic and Metaphysics)
Alastair McKinnon; M.A.(Tor.), Ph.D.(Edin.), B.D.(McG.), F.R.S.C., R.D., D.H.L.(St. Olaf) (William C. Macdonald Emeritus Professor of Moral Philosophy)
David Norton; M.A.(Claremont), Ph.D.(Calif.), F.R.S.C (William C. Macdonald Emeritus Professor of Moral Philosophy)
Charles Taylor; M.A., D.Phil.(Oxf.), F.R.S.C.
Professors
George Di Giovanni; B.A., M.A., S.T.B., Ph.D.(Tor.)
Storrs McCall; B.A.(McG.), B.Phil., D.Phil.(Oxf.)
Calvin Normore; B.A.(McG.), M.A., Ph.D.(Tor.)
Associate Professors
Alia Al-Saji; M.A.(Louvain), Ph.D.(Emory)
R. Philip Buckley; Ph.D.(Louvain)
Emily Carson; M.A.(McG.), Ph.D.(Harv.)
David Davies; B.A.(Oxf.), M.A.(Manit.), Ph.D.(W. Ont.)
Marguerite Deslauriers; B.A.(McG.), M.A., Ph.D.(Tor.)
Gaëlle Fiasse; B.A., M.A., Ph.D.(Louvain) (joint appoint. with Faculty of Religious Studies)
Carlos Fraenkel; B.A., M.A., Ph.D.(Free Univ., Berlin) (joint appoint. with Jewish Studies)
Ian Gold; B.A., M.A.(McG.), Ph.D.(Prin.) (joint appoint. with Psychiatry)
Michael Hallett; B.Sc., Ph.D.(Lond.)
Alison Laywine; B.A.(Ott.), M.A.(Montr.), Ph.D.(Chic.)
Eric Lewis; B.A.(C'nell), Ph.D.(Ill.-Chic.)
James McGilvray; B.A.(Carleton College), Ph.D.(Yale)
Stephen Menn; M.A., Ph.D.(Chic.), M.A., Ph.D.(Johns H.)
Gregory Mikkelson; M.S., Ph.D.(Chic.) (joint appoint. with McGill School of Environment)
Natalie Stoljar; B.A, LL.B.(Syd.), Ph.D.(Prin.) (joint appoint. with Social Studies of Medicine)
Sarah Stroud; A.B.(Harv.), Ph.D.(Prin.)
Assistant Professors
Michael Blome-Tillmann; B.Phil., D.Phil.(Oxf.)
Iwao Hirose; B.A., M.A.(Waseda), Ph.D.(St. And.) (joint appoint. with McGill School of Environment)
Andrew Reisner; B.A.(Middlebury), M.A.(Brist.), D.Phil.(Oxf.)
Dirk Schlimm; M.Sc.(TU Darmstadt), M.Sc., Ph.D.(Carn. Mell)
Hasana Sharp; A.B.(Occidental), M.A.(Binghampton), Ph.D.(Penn.)
Faculty Lecturer
William Roberts; Ph.D.(Penn. St.) (joint appoint. with Political Science)
Adjunct Professors
Steven Davis; (Car.)
Susan-Judith Hoffmann; (Dawson)
Iain Macdonald; (Montr.)
Auxiliary Professor
Konstantinos Arvanitakis; B.Sc., M.A., M.D.,C.M.(McG.), D.Psy., C.I.P.C., C.C.M.Q., F.R.C.P., R.S.M.A.(U.K.) (Can. Institute of Psychoanalysis)
Associate Members
Arash Abizadeh (Political Science)
Brendan Gillon (Linguistics)
Lawrence Kaplan (Jewish Studies)
Jacob T. Levy (Political Science)
Robert Wisnovsky (Islamic Studies)
Faculty: 
Faculty of Arts—2010-2011 (last updated Apr. 22, 2010) (disclaimer)

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) - Minor Concentration Philosophy (18 credits)

Complementary Courses (18 credits)

18 credits, of which no more than 9 credits may be at the 200-level and at least 3 credits must be at the 400- or 500-level, distributed as follows:

15 credits from Groups A, B, C, D, and E with one course from at least four of the five groups.

3 additional credits from Groups A, B, C, D, and E or from other Philosophy (PHIL) courses.

Group A

PHIL 230 (3) Introduction to Moral Philosophy 1
PHIL 237 (3) Contemporary Moral Issues
PHIL 242 (3) Introduction to Feminist Theory
PHIL 334 (3) Ethical Theory
PHIL 343 (3) Biomedical Ethics
PHIL 348 (3) Philosophy of Law 1
PHIL 434 (3) Ethics 2
PHIL 442 (3) Topics in Feminist Theory

Group B

PHIL 210 (3) Introduction to Deductive Logic 1
PHIL 220 (3) Introduction to History and Philosophy of Science 1
PHIL 221 (3) Introduction to History and Philosophy of Science 2
PHIL 304 (3) Chomsky
PHIL 306 (3) Philosophy of Mind
PHIL 310 (3) Intermediate Logic
PHIL 341 (3) Philosophy of Science 1
PHIL 370 (3) Problems in Analytic Philosophy
PHIL 410 (3) Advanced Topics in Logic 1
PHIL 411 (3) Topics in Philosophy of Logic and Mathematics
PHIL 415 (3) Philosophy of Language
PHIL 419 (3) Epistemology
PHIL 421 (3) Metaphysics
PHIL 441 (3) Philosophy of Science 2
PHIL 470 (3) Topics in Contemporary Analytic Philosophy

Group C

PHIL 375 (3) Existentialism
PHIL 474 (3) Phenomenology
PHIL 475 (3) Topics in Contemporary European Philosophy

Group D

PHIL 344 (3) Medieval and Renaissance Political Theory
PHIL 345 (3) Greek Political Theory
PHIL 350 (3) History and Philosophy of Ancient Science
PHIL 353 (3) The Presocratic Philosophers
PHIL 354 (3) Plato
PHIL 355 (3) Aristotle
PHIL 356 (3) Early Medieval Philosophy
PHIL 357 (3) Late Medieval and Renaissance Philosophy
PHIL 452 (3) Later Greek Philosophy
PHIL 453 (3) Ancient Metaphysics and Natural Philosophy
PHIL 454 (3) Ancient Moral Theory

Group E

PHIL 360 (3) 17th Century Philosophy
PHIL 361 (3) 18th Century Philosophy
PHIL 366 (3) 18th and Early 19th Century German Philosophy
PHIL 367 (3) 19th Century Philosophy
PHIL 444 (3) Early Modern Political Theory
PHIL 445 (3) 19th Century Political Theory
Faculty: 
Faculty of Arts—2010-2011 (last updated Apr. 22, 2010) (disclaimer)

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) - Major Concentration Philosophy (36 credits)

Required Course (3 credits)

PHIL 210 (3) Introduction to Deductive Logic 1

Complementary Courses (33 credits)

33 credits, of which no more than 9 may be at the 200-level and at least 9 must be at the 400- or 500-level, distributed as follows:

18 credits from Groups A, B, C, D, E, and F:

3 credits from Group A

3 credits from Group B

6 credits, two courses from either Group C or Group D

3 credits from Group E

3 credits from Group F

15 additional credits from Groups A, B, C, D, E or F or from other Philosophy (PHIL) courses. Only one of PHIL 200 or PHIL 201 may be included in the program.

Group A

3 credits from:

PHIL 304 (3) Chomsky
PHIL 306 (3) Philosophy of Mind
PHIL 310 (3) Intermediate Logic
PHIL 341 (3) Philosophy of Science 1
PHIL 370 (3) Problems in Analytic Philosophy
PHIL 410 (3) Advanced Topics in Logic 1
PHIL 411 (3) Topics in Philosophy of Logic and Mathematics
PHIL 415 (3) Philosophy of Language
PHIL 419 (3) Epistemology
PHIL 421 (3) Metaphysics
PHIL 441 (3) Philosophy of Science 2
PHIL 470 (3) Topics in Contemporary Analytic Philosophy

Group B

3 credits from:

PHIL 375 (3) Existentialism
PHIL 474 (3) Phenomenology
PHIL 475 (3) Topics in Contemporary European Philosophy

Group C

6 credits (two courses) from Group C OR Group D:

PHIL 344 (3) Medieval and Renaissance Political Theory
PHIL 345 (3) Greek Political Theory
PHIL 350 (3) History and Philosophy of Ancient Science
PHIL 353 (3) The Presocratic Philosophers
PHIL 354 (3) Plato
PHIL 355 (3) Aristotle
PHIL 356 (3) Early Medieval Philosophy
PHIL 357 (3) Late Medieval and Renaissance Philosophy
PHIL 452 (3) Later Greek Philosophy
PHIL 453 (3) Ancient Metaphysics and Natural Philosophy
PHIL 454 (3) Ancient Moral Theory

Group D

6 credits (two courses) from Group C OR Group D:

PHIL 360 (3) 17th Century Philosophy
PHIL 361 (3) 18th Century Philosophy
PHIL 366 (3) 18th and Early 19th Century German Philosophy
PHIL 367 (3) 19th Century Philosophy
PHIL 444 (3) Early Modern Political Theory
PHIL 445 (3) 19th Century Political Theory

Group E

3 credits from:

PHIL 230 (3) Introduction to Moral Philosophy 1
PHIL 237 (3) Contemporary Moral Issues
PHIL 242 (3) Introduction to Feminist Theory

Group F

3 credits from:

PHIL 334 (3) Ethical Theory
PHIL 343 (3) Biomedical Ethics
PHIL 348 (3) Philosophy of Law 1
PHIL 434 (3) Ethics 2
PHIL 442 (3) Topics in Feminist Theory
Faculty: 
Faculty of Arts—2010-2011 (last updated Apr. 22, 2010) (disclaimer)

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) - Honours Philosophy (60 credits)

According to Faculty regulations, Honours students must maintain a minimum CGPA of 3.00 and maintain a minimum program GPA of 3.00.

Admission to Honours: Students must attain a 3.00 CGPA and have a 3.00 GPA in Philosophy courses.

Required Courses (15 credits)

PHIL 210 (3) Introduction to Deductive Logic 1
PHIL 301 (3) Philosophical Fundamentals
PHIL 334 (3) Ethical Theory
PHIL 499 (6) Tutorial 06

Complementary Courses (45 credits)

45 credits distributed as follows:

3 credits from:

PHIL 306 (3) Philosophy of Mind
PHIL 310 (3) Intermediate Logic
PHIL 370 (3) Problems in Analytic Philosophy
PHIL 410 (3) Advanced Topics in Logic 1
PHIL 411 (3) Topics in Philosophy of Logic and Mathematics
PHIL 415 (3) Philosophy of Language
PHIL 419 (3) Epistemology
PHIL 421 (3) Metaphysics
PHIL 470 (3) Topics in Contemporary Analytic Philosophy

3 credits from:

PHIL 230 (3) Introduction to Moral Philosophy 1
PHIL 237 (3) Contemporary Moral Issues
PHIL 240 (3) Political Philosophy 1
PHIL 241 (3) Political Philosophy 2
PHIL 242 (3) Introduction to Feminist Theory

6 credits from:

PHIL 345 (3) Greek Political Theory
PHIL 350 (3) History and Philosophy of Ancient Science
PHIL 353 (3) The Presocratic Philosophers
PHIL 354 (3) Plato
PHIL 355 (3) Aristotle
PHIL 452 (3) Later Greek Philosophy
PHIL 453 (3) Ancient Metaphysics and Natural Philosophy
PHIL 454 (3) Ancient Moral Theory

6 credits from:

PHIL 360 (3) 17th Century Philosophy
PHIL 361 (3) 18th Century Philosophy
PHIL 366 (3) 18th and Early 19th Century German Philosophy
PHIL 367 (3) 19th Century Philosophy
PHIL 444 (3) Early Modern Political Theory
PHIL 445 (3) 19th Century Political Theory

3 credits from:

PHIL 375 (3) Existentialism
PHIL 474 (3) Phenomenology
PHIL 475 (3) Topics in Contemporary European Philosophy

24 additional credits in Philosophy (PHIL) with 12 credits at the 400- and 500-levels (not including the Honours tutorial PHIL 499) at least 3 credits of which must be at the 500-level.

A maximum of 15 credits from 200-level courses may be used toward the Honours program. Only one of PHIL 200 or PHIL 201 may be counted toward the program.

Faculty: 
Faculty of Arts—2010-2011 (last updated Apr. 22, 2010) (disclaimer)

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) - Joint Honours Component Philosophy (36 credits)

Students who wish to study at the Honours level in two Arts disciplines may apply to combine Joint Honours Program components from two Arts disciplines. For a list of available Joint Honours programs, see "Overview of Programs Offered" and "Joint Honours Programs."

Prior to registering for each Joint Honours Component, students should consult an adviser in each department for approval of their course selection and their interdisciplinary research project (if applicable).

According to Faculty regulations, Joint Honours students must maintain a minimum CGPA of 3.00 and maintain a minimum program GPA of 3.00.

Admission to Joint Honours: Students must attain a 3.00 CGPA and have a 3.00 GPA in Philosophy courses.

Required Courses (9 credits)

PHIL 210 (3) Introduction to Deductive Logic 1
PHIL 301 (3) Philosophical Fundamentals
PHIL 334 (3) Ethical Theory

Complementary Courses (27 credits)

27 credits distributed as follows:

3 credits from:

PHIL 306 (3) Philosophy of Mind
PHIL 310 (3) Intermediate Logic
PHIL 370 (3) Problems in Analytic Philosophy
PHIL 410 (3) Advanced Topics in Logic 1
PHIL 411 (3) Topics in Philosophy of Logic and Mathematics
PHIL 415 (3) Philosophy of Language
PHIL 419 (3) Epistemology
PHIL 421 (3) Metaphysics
PHIL 470 (3) Topics in Contemporary Analytic Philosophy

3 credits from:

PHIL 230 (3) Introduction to Moral Philosophy 1
PHIL 237 (3) Contemporary Moral Issues
PHIL 240 (3) Political Philosophy 1
PHIL 241 (3) Political Philosophy 2
PHIL 242 (3) Introduction to Feminist Theory

Group A

6 credits from Group A or Group B.

PHIL 345 (3) Greek Political Theory
PHIL 350 (3) History and Philosophy of Ancient Science
PHIL 353 (3) The Presocratic Philosophers
PHIL 354 (3) Plato
PHIL 355 (3) Aristotle
PHIL 452 (3) Later Greek Philosophy
PHIL 453 (3) Ancient Metaphysics and Natural Philosophy
PHIL 454 (3) Ancient Moral Theory

Group B

6 credits from Group A or Group B.

PHIL 360 (3) 17th Century Philosophy
PHIL 361 (3) 18th Century Philosophy
PHIL 366 (3) 18th and Early 19th Century German Philosophy
PHIL 367 (3) 19th Century Philosophy
PHIL 444 (3) Early Modern Political Theory
PHIL 445 (3) 19th Century Political Theory

3 credits from:

PHIL 375 (3) Existentialism
PHIL 474 (3) Phenomenology
PHIL 475 (3) Topics in Contemporary European Philosophy

9 credits of Philosophy (PHIL) at the 400- and 500-level (not including the Joint Honours tutorial), at least 3 credits of which must be at the 500-level.

Joint Honours Tutorial with Thesis

3 credits of Joint Honours tutorial with thesis, which can take either of two forms: a 6-credit interdisciplinary thesis, or a 3-credit thesis in Philosophy, i.e., PHIL 498 below.

PHIL 498 (3) Tutorial 05
Faculty: 
Faculty of Arts—2010-2011 (last updated Apr. 22, 2010) (disclaimer)

Philosophy (PHIL) Related Programs

Philosophy (PHIL) Related Programs

Minor in Cognitive Science

Minor in Cognitive Science

Students following Major or Honours programs in Philosophy with an interest in cognition may consider the Minor in Cognitive Science. For more information, see Faculty of Science > Cognitive Science.

Faculty: 
Faculty of Arts—2010-2011 (last updated Apr. 22, 2010) (disclaimer)
Faculty: 
Faculty of Arts—2010-2011 (last updated Apr. 22, 2010) (disclaimer)