Click here for a catalogue of all courses offered by the Department of Philosophy.
For current and upcoming course scheduling information, see below. For available course syllabi, please see the sidebar menu.
The following lists both ‘core’ and ‘non-core’ graduate seminars. The coursework requirements of the MA and PhD can also be satisfied, in part, by credit that has been gained in upper division undergraduate courses, whether at UBC or in previous studies (see Section 3.8 of the Graduate Regulations).Winter 2016
PHIL100 Introduction to Philosophy Sections
Basic problems and methods of Philosophy. Topics such as the existence of God, the nature and scope of human knowledge, the relationship between mind and body, personal identity, free will, issues and problems in moral philosophy. Credit will not be granted for both PHIL 100 and either or both PHIL 101 or PHIL 102.
PHIL101 Introduction to Philosophy Sections
Basic problems and methods of philosophy. Topics such as the nature and scope of human knowledge, the existence of God, and the relationship between mind and body. Credit will not be given for both PHIL 100 and 101.
PHIL102 Introduction to Philosophy II Sections
Basic problems and methods of philosophy. Topics such as morality, personal identity, free will and determinism, and the meaning of life. Credit will not be given for both PHIL 100 and 102.
PHIL120 Introduction to Critical Thinking Sections
Tools for dealing with both everyday and more technical arguments and concepts. Analysis and resolution of confusions, ambiguities, and fallacies. This course is restricted to students with fewer than 90 credits.
PHIL125 Introduction to Scientific Reasoning Sections
Historical and logical analysis of various types of scientific hypotheses and the data that support or undermine them. This course is restricted to students with fewer than 90 credits.
PHIL150 Minds and Machines Sections
Philosophical and theoretical issues that pertain to how mental phenomena fit into the material world. Examine questions such as whether a sophisticated enough computer should be deemed a conscious intelligent being. Focus on philosophical literature on consciousness, intelligence, animal minds, and the mind-body relation.
PHIL211A Greek Philosophy I - GREEK PHIL I Sections
The Presocratics; Socrates; Sophists. Recommended as preparation for CLST/PHIL 212 and PHIL 310.
PHIL212A Greek Philosophy II - GREEK PHIL II Sections
Plato; Aristotle; selections from Hellenistic Philosophy. Recommended as preparation for PHIL 310.
PHIL220A Symbolic Logic I - SYMBOLIC LOGIC I Sections
Sentential and predicate logic. Translation from natural language; truth tables and interpretations; systems of natural deduction up to relational predicate logic with identity; alternative proof methods. Some sections may use computer-based materials and tests.
PHIL230A Introduction to Moral Theory - MORAL & POLI I Sections
Theories of obligation and value; moral reasoning; normative ethics, descriptive ethics and meta-ethics. Readings in classic and contemporary texts.
PHIL235A Contemporary Moral Issues - CONTEMP MORAL IS Sections
Philosophical approaches or moral problems.
PHIL240A Knowledge and Reality I - KNOW & REALITY I Sections
Topics in metaphysics and epistemology such as truth, knowledge, justification, the nature of physical reality, and personal identity. Readings from classic and contemporary texts.
PHIL260A Science and Society in the Contemporary World - SCIE & SOCIETY Sections
An introduction to the historical development, conceptual foundations, and cultural significance of contemporary science. Themes will vary from year to year.
PHIL310A The Philosophy of Plato - PHILOSOPHY PLATO Sections
A study of Plato's dialogues and his influence on subsequent philosophy.
PHIL314A Philosophy in the 17th Century - PHIL 17TH CENT Sections
Survey of 17th-century philosophy from Bacon to Leibniz, including the writings of Hobbes, Descartes, and Spinoza. The influence of science and religion on philosophical thought.
PHIL315A Philosophy in the 18th Century - PHIL 18TH CENT Sections
Survey of 18th-century philosophy from Locke to Kant, including the writings of Berkeley, Rousseau, and Hume. The influence of science and religion on philosophy.
PHIL316 Philosophy After 1800 Sections
Survey of 19th and 20th century philosophy. May include Hegel, Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, Mill, Meinong, Brentano, the British Idealists, Russell, and Moore. Social and political currents in 19th century philosophical thought.
PHIL320A Symbolic Logic 2 - SYMBOLC LOGIC II Sections
Continuation of PHIL 220. A system of deduction for predicate logic is selected for further study. Completeness of this system and other metatheoretic results are proved. Other topics include computability, recursive function theory, incompleteness and decidability.
PHIL321A Induction and Decision - INDUCTION & DECN Sections
Formal methods relevant to the logic of decision. Decision theory, game theory, axiomatic probability theory and its interpretations, belief dynamics, simulation and modelling.
PHIL324A Philosophy of Logic - PHIL OF LOGIC Sections
Fundamental concepts and methods of logic; the logistic method, syntax and semantics; the conditional; entailment; consequence; modal logic; problems concerning extensionality and intentionality. Frege's distinction between sense and reference; Russell's theory of definite descriptions; Tarski's definition of truth.
PHIL330A Social and Political Philosophy - SOC POLI PHIL Sections
Theories of political and legal obligation and authority, legal reasoning, society and the state. Readings in classic and contemporary texts.
PHIL334 Sex, Gender and Philosophy Sections
Relationship between sex, gender, and philosophy. Topics may include ethics, epistemology, science, social relations, law, and personhood.
PHIL335A Power and Oppression - POWER & OPPRESSI Sections
Philosophical approaches to historical problems of inequality and social harm, with readings drawn from historical and contemporary sources. Topics to be studied may include slavery, colonialism, labour, and the position of women in society.
PHIL338A Philosophy of Law - PHIL OF LAW Sections
Concepts of law, constitution and sovereignty; law and morality; natural law theories and legal positivism; obligation, responsibility, and punishment.
PHIL339A Philosophy of Art - PHIL OF ART Sections
Topics include art and perception, art and reality, imagination, expression, censorship, and the role of art in human life.
PHIL340A Knowledge and Reality II - KNOW&REALITY II Sections
Topics in metaphysics and epistemology such as induction, the mind/body problem, free will, and action theory. Readings from classic and contemporary texts.
PHIL349A Philosophy of Religion - PHIL OF RELIGION Sections
A critical and analytical examination of arguments for and arguments against the existence of God, and other related topics.
PHIL360A Introduction to History and Philosophy of Science - INTR HIST PHILSC Sections
An examination of historical, conceptual and methodological conditions of scientific knowledge through detailed consideration of important episodes in the history of science.
PHIL362A History and Philosophy of Economics from Aristotle to Adam Smith - HIST/PHIL ECON Sections
The development of economic thought from Aristotle to Adam Smith, focusing primarily on the conceptual foundations of economics, particularly the problems of value, distribution, and economic growth.
PHIL363A History and Philosophy of Economics from Ricardo to Keynes - HIST/PHIL ECON2 Sections
The development of economic thought from David Ricardo up to the present, including such figures as Malthus, Mill, Jevons, and Keynes, focusing primarily on the conceptual foundations of economics, particularly the problems of value, distribution and growth.
PHIL364 Darwin, Evolution, and Modern History Sections
Darwin and the science of evolution in nineteenth and early twentieth century.
PHIL371 Foundations of Chinese Thought Sections
Chinese thought from the Han dynasty (206 BCE to 220 CE) in its historical and cultural contexts. Includes among others: Confucius; Mo Zi; the Legalists/Authoritarians; Zhuang Zi; the Lao Zi book.
PHIL375A Philosophy and Literature - PHILOSOPHY & LIT Sections
Philosophical issues in works of literature or arising from theories of literary interpretation. Topics include issues relating to relativism, the nature of morality, free will, personal identity, the nature of the emotions.
PHIL385A Existentialism - EXISTENTIALISM Sections
Meaning, identity and alienation as explored in the works for example of Kierkegaard, Dostoyevsky, Tolstoy, Sartre, and Camus.
PHIL390A Honours Tutorial - HONOURS 3RD YEAR Sections
For students in third-year Honours.
PHIL414A Topics in the History of Modern Philosophy - EARLY MOD PHIL Sections
Intensive study of a major philosopher or school such as Descartes, Hume, Empiricism, Rationalism, or the British utilitarians.
PHIL415A The Philosophy of Immanuel Kant - PHLSPHY I. KANT Sections
Study of Kant's critical philosophy.
PHIL418A Topics in Twentieth-Century Philosophy - 20TH CENT PHIL Sections
Intensive study of a major philosopher such as Wittgenstein, Russell, or Heidegger, or school, such as pragmatism or logical empiricism.
PHIL419A Philosophy of History - PHIL OF HISTORY Sections
Concepts of history and historical explanation, historical progress, purpose, necessity, law and causation. Hegel, Marx, Vico, Spengler, Pareto, Collingwood, Croce, and Toynbee, as well as contemporary figures. Students will be expected to have an adequate knowledge of ancient or modern history.
PHIL425A Philosophy of Language I - PHIL LANGUAGE 1 Sections
Philosophical discussion of language, meaning, and communication.
PHIL433A Bio-Medical Ethics - BIOMEDICAL ETHIC Sections
Moral problems arising in the health sciences, especially in medicine but also in biology, psychology, and social work. Topics include abortion, death and euthanasia, genetic engineering, behaviour modification, compulsory treatment, experimentation with human beings and animals, and the relationship between professionals and their patients, subjects or clients. No philosophical background is required.
PHIL434A Business and Professional Ethics - BUS & PROF ETHIC Sections
Moral problems in contemporary business and professional practice, general moral theory, the law, and policy formation. Corporate social and environmental responsibility, employee rights, preferential hiring and affirmative action programs, conflicts of interest, advertising, "whistle blowing" and self-regulation.
PHIL435A Environmental Ethics - ENVIROMNTL ETHIC Sections
Moral problems arising in the context of human relationships to nature and to non-human living things, considered in terms of both general moral theory and policy formation. Topics include moral standing, animal rights, obligations to future generations, pollution, hazardous materials, the depletion of natural resources and the treatment of non-human living things.
PHIL441A Philosophy of Perception - PHIL OF PERCEPT Sections
The contribution of the senses to knowledge of the external world; the nature of perception and its contribution to empirical knowledge.
PHIL449A Continental Philosophy - CONTINENTAL PHIL Sections
A study of European philosophers from amongst Husserl, Heidegger, Habermas, Foucault, Derrida, Lacan, Levinas, and others.
PHIL451A Philosophy of Mind - PHIL OF MIND Sections
The nature of the mental and physical; the relation between minds and bodies; the character of psychological explanation.
PHIL455A Topics in the Philosophy of Cognitive Science - TPC COGNITIV SCI Sections
Philosophical topics in the cognitive sciences, such as empiricism vs. nativism, consciousness, mental representation, cognitive architecture, language and thought, and situated cognition.
PHIL460A Philosophy of Science - PHIL OF SCIENCE Sections
Issues common to all sciences. Philosophical questions including the character of scientific laws, theories and revolutions, the nature of scientific confirmation, causality, explanation and prediction, and the use of logic and probability. Difficulties in the interpretation of atomic physics and questions about relationships between biology and psychology. No philosophical background is assumed.
PHIL464 Philosophy of Biology Sections
Methodological, historical, philosophical and social science questions about biology. Credit will be given for only one of PHIL 464 or BIOL 446.
PHIL485 Directed Reading Sections
Same as PHIL 486-9.
PHIL487 Directed Reading Sections
PHIL488A Directed Reading - DIRECTED READING Sections
PHIL490A Honours Tutorial - HONOURS 4TH YEAR Sections
For students in fourth-year Honours.
PHIL491A Seminar for Majors in Philosophy - SEM PHIL MAJORS Sections
Selected problems in philosophy, with attention to methods of research. Check with the department for specific topics. Primarily for fourth-year Philosophy Major students, but also open to Philosophy Honours.
PHIL510A Ancient Philosophy - ANCIENT PHILOSPH Sections
PHIL516A Modern Philosophy - MODERN PHIL Sections
PHIL516B Modern Philosophy - MODERN PHIL Sections
PHIL516C Modern Philosophy - MODERN PHIL Sections
PHIL518A Twentieth-Century Philosophy - 20TH CENT PHIL Sections
PHIL520A Logic - LOGIC Sections
PHIL530A Moral Philosophy - MORAL PHILOSOPHY Sections
PHIL539A Aesthetics - AESTHETICS Sections
PHIL540A Epistemology - EPISTEMOLOGY Sections
PHIL551A Philosophy of Mind - PHIL OF MIND Sections
PHIL560A Philosophy of Science - PHIL OF SCIENCE Sections
PHIL560B Philosophy of Science - PHIL OF SCIENCE Sections
PHIL585 Directed Reading Sections
PHIL599 MA Thesis Sections
PHIL699 Doctoral Dissertation Sections