100-Level subjects

PHIL 107 – INTRODUCTION TO PHILOSOPHY

This subject provides an introduction to philosophy, examining what philosophy is, how to do it and why it matters. We will examine problems such as the impact of new technology on people and their environments, the concept of truth, the metaphysics of free will, the nature of perception and problems of illusion, and the ethics of responsibility. By studying philosophy, you will learn how to analyse complex debates, critically evaluate arguments and construct well-reasoned responses to practical philosophical problems.

PHIL 151 – LOGIC: THE ART OF REASONING

What are the differences between good arguments and bad ones? What rules and principles should we use in our own reasoning, and how can we identify flaws in other people’s arguments? In this subject, we will study a variety of techniques for evaluating arguments, distinguishing good arguments from bad ones, recognising common flaws in reasoning, and assessing evidence.

200-Level subjects

PHIL 218 – ETHICS: GOOD, BAD AND EVIL

This subject provides a basic grounding in ethics. You will be introduced to a range of influential ethical theories, and you will consider whether there are moral facts or whether morality is subjective. You will examine some issues in moral psychology, such as the structure of autonomy, the relationship between reason and desire, the role of intuition, the nature of happiness and of evil.

PHIL 219 – KNOWLEDGE, SCIENCE, AND UNDERSTANDING

What is the difference between knowledge and opinion? Does knowledge require a special kind of evidence, or a special degree of certainty? What do we do we do when we try to explain something? Is there a difference between explanation and understanding? These are some of the questions you will examine in this subject on theories of knowledge and philosophy of science.

PHIL 226 – GLOBAL ETHICS

Many of the most important ethical and political issues today have global dimensions. Examples include poverty and development; multiculturalism; intellectual property; climate change and other environmental problems; and human rights. Global Ethics consists of an examination of issues like these.

PHIL 227 – THE MEANING OF LIFE

What is the meaning of life? Does this question even make sense, and what kind of answers could we possibly give? In this subject we will explore accounts of the meaning of life from existentialist philosophers and other thinkers. We will consider closely related themes concerning freedom, authenticity and death, and we will also discuss how gender, race, and sexuality shape our answers to these questions.

PHIL 234 – PHILOSOPHY OF MIND: MIND, BODY, AND WORLD

Are minds and brains the same thing? Is your mind like a computer? Does neuroscience show that we lack free will? What role do our bodies play in shaping our experience of the world? In this subject, we examine the relationship between mind, body and world by examining questions like these in relation to contemporary work in psychology and cognitive science.

PHIL 256 – ENVIRONMENTAL PHILOSOPHY

How should people relate to other animals, nature, and the environment more broadly? This subject consists of an introductory survey of ethical and other philosophical issues related to animals, nature, and the environment. We will examine a range of practical problems such as overpopulation, climate change, the threat of mass extinctions, and the problems arising from ever-growing levels of consumption, along with a variety of theoretical approaches to these issues.

 300-Level subjects

PHIL 319 – POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY

This subject examines core themes of political philosophy, such as justice, power, pluralism, inequality and tolerance, and covers essential theories such as Marxism, liberalism, communitarianism and cosmopolitanism.

PHIL 320 – PHILOSOPHY OF MEDICINE

What does it mean to be healthy, or to have a disease? Does being healthy involve being normal? Do diseases have to be harmful? Is ageing a disease? How does health relate to happiness and other forms of human flourishing? This subject will introduce you to these and other central questions in Philosophy of Medicine. You will examine these problems across a range of cases, including cases of mental illness. You will learn how theoretical debates concerning the concepts of health and disease can impact medical practice, and how different views of the nature of health and disease can affect medical treatment and disease classification.

PHIL 326 – BIOETHICS

Bioethics is concerned with ethical issues arising in medical practice and research and in the application of biotechnologies. This subject examines topics such as informed consent, clinical trials, euthanasia, surrogacy, assisted reproduction, human enhancement, eugenics, human and animal experimentation and the allocation of healthcare resources.

PHIL 328 – PHILOSOPHY AT WORK

This capstone subject in philosophy focuses on the role that philosophers can play in work outside of university teaching and research. We work with innovative new companies to explore ways in which philosophy can contribute to managing the complex problems concerning the environment, health and medicine, social justice, education, and the development and use of new technology. This experience will highlight the skills you have developed through studying philosophy and allow you to begin to plan a successful career as a university graduate.