University of Calgary
UofC Navigation

Graduate Courses 2013-14

Submitted by rzach on Sat, 08/20/2016 - 1:07pm

Fall 2013

Graduate Proseminar (Marc Ereshefsky)

PHIL 603 L01 (74500) Tues. & Thurs. 9:30-10:45 am Room SS 1253

The aim of this seminar is to sharpen one’s philosophical research and writing skills. We will focus on how to identify research topics, write research proposals and papers, and prepare research presentations.

Hume’s Moral and Political Philosophy (Ann Levey)

PHIL 609.8 L01 (73860) Tues. & Thurs. 14:00-15:15 pm Room EDC 384

This course will examine Hume’s Moral and Political Philosophy. We will begin with a brief overview of Hume’s theory of the mind and of the passions to locate his moral and political thinking within his broader philosophical framework. With that in place we will investigate Hume’s account of morality and in particular his account of the artificial virtues that underwrite the political/legal system on his view. Finally we will use the understanding of Hume gained here to look at his views on a small number of topics which could include some of : politeness and civility; love and marriage; female chastity; national character and race; commerce.

Neuroscience and Criminal Law (Walter Glannon)

PHIL 649 L01 (73861) Mon. 18:00-20:45 pm Room SS 006

This course explores some of the philosophical implications of the increasing use of neuroimaging to influence judgments of criminal responsibility for behavior in courts of law. It also explores how neuroimaging may be used as a form of lie detection to assess the testimony of defendants and witnesses in legal cases.

Plato’s Theaetetus (Mark Migotti)

PHIL 661 L01 (75488) Wed. 15:00-17:45 pm Room SS 006

This will be an intensive study of Plato’s Theaetetus and Sophist.

Winter 2014

Topics in Metaphysics: Identity and Time (Ali Kazmi)

PHIL 623.2 L01 (15870) Thurs. 14:00-15:15 pm Room EDC 154

This course will offer a study of the logic of identity. It will address issues, also discussed in the contemporary literature, about the necessity and permanence of the relation of identity, identity and indeterminancy, and identity and material composition.

Reasons, Rationality & Morality (John Baker)

PHIL 649 L01 (13654) Mon. & Wed. 15:30-16:45 pm Room EDC 289

Despite the plausibility and sophistication of modern developments of modern “Humean” (‘reason internalist’ ‘subjectivist’) accounts of reasons for action, of rational choice, and of the kinds of things we need to say about morality and moral choice if such accounts are accepted, in recent years it has been argued that such accounts are in certain fundamental ways in need of some radical rethinking and that it is possible and necessary to look at the possibility of developing ‘reason externalist’ and ‘objectivist’ accounts of reasons and of rational choice and consequently of the nature of moral choice. The course will review the deep structure of such reason internalist theories and the problems they face and at various attempts to provide an ‘objectivist’, ‘reason externalist’ replacement theory, including Derek Parfit’s 2011 attempt especially in sections I and VI of his monumental On What Matters (available for $19.99 in the Kindle edition. NB to read the Kindle edition it is not necessary to own a Kindle: it can be read on any computer)

The Norms of Assertion (Rachel McKinnon)

PHIL 661.4 (16766) Tues. 15:30-18:15 Room SH278

In this course we’ll examine a contemporary topic spanning epistemology, philosophy of language, and metaethics (to name a few!): the norms of assertion. When we make statements to each other, do we need to know what we’re talking about? Does an assertion’s being false due to bad luck, even when based on epistemically good evidence, make it inappropriate? What’s truth’s role in what we ought to say? Do the standards for properly asserting shift with changes in conversational context? Are there some instances where lies are warranted? We’ll consider a variety of views on what it takes to properly assert. By the end of this course, students will have a solid foundation in this ongoing debate, and will be up to speed on some of the most cutting edge developments on the topic.

Topics in Philosophy of Science: Reductionism (Megan Delehanty)

PHIL 667 L01 (15871) Thurs. 15:30-18:15 pm Room ST 055

Reductionism is normally understood to involve a set of ontological, epistemological, and methodological claims about the relations between different scientific domains. The basic question of reduction is whether the properties, concepts, explanations, or methods from one domain (usually a higher level of organization) can be deduced from or explained by the properties, concepts, explanations, or methods from another domain (a lower level). Reduction is often contrasted with emergence, supervenience, and varieties of holism, though there are many different varieties of both reductionism and anti-reductionism. In this course, we will begin with some older accounts of reduction and see how the debate has changed. The focus will be on the literature in philosophy of biology.

Application of Logic in Philosophy (Richard Zach)

PHIL 679 L01 (12884) Mon. 17:30-20:15 pm Room EDC 172

Formal proofs in logic and mathematical systems play an important role in several areas of analytic philosophy, including the philosophy of logic and the philosophy of mathematics.  The study of formal proofs is the subject of proof theory.  It investigates the structure, length, and complexity of formal proofs, operations on formal proofs, relationships between formal proofs in various different proof systems such as the sequent calculus and natural deduction, and special forms formal proofs can have.  Formal proofs of theorems in mathematical systems have been used to account for the meaning and truth of these theorems. Proof theoretic results such as consistency proofs have been used for philosophical aims such as to account for the security of mathematical knowledge or to argue for or against various positions in the philosophy of mathematics such as instrumentalism or the so-called indispensability arguments.

In this course we will study some of the basic methods and results in proof theory.  This will include a study of the sequent calculus and the cut-elimination theorem, of natural deduction systems and normal form theorems, and formalizations of mathematics and consistency proofs.  The approach will be in part historical: we will study the pioneering work of Gerhard Gentzen in the 1930s and its context in the development of logic and metamathematics.

Proof theory also has important applications outside of philosophy: in mathematics, computer science, and linguistics. We will touch on some of these applications, depending on student interest.

Spring 2014

Hume on Religion (Anders Kraal)

PHIL 609 L01 (30940) Tues & Thurs. 8:30-11:15 am SS 006

The course will study various aspects of Hume's thought on religion, including his philosophical objections to natural theology and revealed religion, his thought on the relation between religion and morality, and his views on the political and social impact of major Christian institutions such as the Catholic, Anglican, and Calvinist churches and of non-Christian religions. Towards the end of the course we will survey Hume's influence on some major Western thinkers, including Kant, Darwin, and Bertrand Russell.

Connect with Us Twitter Facebook LinkedIn