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Faculty List

  • W.C. Graham, M.A., Ph.D. (Toronto), Professor Emeritus
  • B. Hellie, B.A. (Stanford), Ph.D. (Princeton), Professor
  • K. Hübner, B.A. (Williams), M.A. (Warwick), Ph.D. (Chicago), Associate Professor
  • W. Hussain, B.A. (Princeton), Ph.D. (Harvard), Assistant Professor
  • P.A. Kremer, B.Sc. (Toronto), Ph.D. (Pittsburgh), Professor
  • L.M. Lange, B.A., M.A. (Manitoba), Ph.D. (Toronto), Professor Emerita
  • J. Nefsky, B.A. (McMaster), Ph.D. (Berkeley), Assistant Professor
  • C. Pfeiffer, M.A. (Humboldt and Berlin), Ph.D. (Humboldt)
  • W.E. Seager, M.A. (Alberta), Ph.D. (Toronto), Professor
  • S. Sedivy, B.A. (Toronto), Ph.D. (Pittsburgh), Associate Professor
  • J. Wilson, B.A. (U.C. San Diego), Ph.D. (Cornell), Professor


Program Supervisor:  S. Sedivy Email:

Philosophy is the study of the ideas that shape our thought and activity. While we do discuss controversial issues in politics, morality, science, religion, art, etc., philosophy is more concerned with the ideas that underlie all such debates. We consider what the role of government should be, what reasons there could be to describe anything as good or bad, what proves that something is true, whether there could be a reality beyond the physical world, and whether the only value of art is the pleasure it gives. Such questions have been answered in a variety of theories, and any study in philosophy begins with learning what others have thought, but our purpose is not primarily to be historians of ideas, and assignments focus on developing the intellectual abilities and techniques required to think effectively for oneself at this deeper level. Therefore, philosophy emphasizes interpretation and original thought, reasoning, discussion and assessment.

PHLA10H3 and PHLA11H3 are a survey of the main topic-areas of philosophy. They are recommended both as courses of general interest and as an introduction to the Major and Specialist Programs.

B-level courses address specific topics such as theories of human nature, theories of mind, theories of knowledge, metaphysics, techniques of argumentation, ethics, politics, feminism, and art as well as specific periods in the History of Philosophy. Since they have no prerequisites they also serve as entry-points to philosophy. Foundational courses have been grouped into Areas of Focus, which serve as prerequisites to the C-level seminars (see Table 1.0).

C-level seminars in Philosophy are advanced courses for students who have completed an introductory course in the relevant Area of Focus (see Table 1.0). (Instructors will admit students whose courses have adequately prepared them for a seminar. Students must provide transcripts when requesting special permission to enrol in a seminar.)

D-level seminars in Philosophy are advanced courses for students with 3.5 credits in philosophy including 1.0 credits at the C-level. (Instructors will admit students whose courses have adequately prepared them for a seminar. Students must provide transcripts when requesting special permission to enroll in a seminar.)

D-level independent study courses are intended for qualified students who wish to engage in advanced level work on a well-defined topic of their choice. These courses are only available with the prior agreement of an instructor. 

Table 1.0: Philosophy Courses by Area of Focus

Value Theory
Mind, Metaphysics and Epistemology
History of Philosophy

PHLB02H3 Environmental Ethics
PHLB05H3 Social Issues
PHLB06H3 Business Ethics
PHLB07H3 Ethics
PHLB09H3 Biomedical Ethics
(PHLB08H3) Ethics and International Development
(PHLB36H) Nature and Ethics in the Early Modern Era

PHLB20H3 Belief, Knowledge, and Truth
PHLB55H3 Puzzles and Paradoxes
PHLB60H3 Introduction to Metaphysics
PHLB81H3 Theories of Mind
(PHLB70H3) Philosophy of Science
(PHLB72H3) Metaphysics of Science: Emergence and Reduction in the Sciences
(PHLB80H3) Philosophy of Language
(PHLB86H3) Foundations of Cognitive Science

PHLB31H3 Introduction to Ancient Philosophy
PHLB33H3 God, Self World
PHLB35H3 Introduction to Early Modern Philosophy
(PHLB16H3) Political Philosophy: Ancient Greece and the Middle Ages
(PHLB36H3) Nature and Ethics in the Early Modern Era

*Students who have completed, in a previous session, a course that is no longer being offered (i.e., appears in round brackets) may make use of that course to fulfill the prerequisite requirement.

Students who are unsure whether they meet a course prerequisite are encouraged to contact the program supervisor for further guidance:

Service Learning and Outreach
For an experiential learning opportunity that also serves others, consider the course CTLB03H3 (Introduction to Service Learning), which can be found in the "Teaching and Learning” section of the Calendar.