It is often said that philosophy teaches you not what to think, but how to think. You will study questions such as: What is truth? How we come to know the truth? What is it to be a person? Is morality relative or are there absolute moral truths? Why do we punish criminals by putting them in prison? Is democracy the best system of government? Through studying these questions, you will develop a better understanding of different points of view, and will become a better thinker, debater, and writer.
The critical thinking skills acquired in studying Philosophy include developing a critical mind, analyzing key concepts, organizing ideas, and communicating effectively.
Why Philosophy at Glendon?
Glendon defines itself as a bilingual liberal arts faculty and the Philosophy Department is committed to both aspects of this dual mission. For the non-
specialist, our goal is to provide some of the essential components of a liberal arts education. Thus we have lower-level courses which focus on the great philosophical classics, and on the enduring problems of Philosophy; these courses are designed to encourage discussions of values, religion, meaning, and our relation to nature and the state. As well, all our courses emphasize critical thinking skills: analyzing and evaluating reasoning is an essential component of the philosophical enterprise.
The Philosophy Department takes advantage of the small size of most Philosophy classes to encourage students to participate actively in class, to ask questions, and to argue for or against the theories and ideas that have been presented. This results in a much deeper understanding of the philosophical problems studied and why they resist solution. It also maximizes the acquisition of critical skills, and enables the professor and student to get to know each other well.
The department has created, and now houses, a general certificate program in Law and Social Thought. We recognize that university students tend to be pre-occupied with concerns about life after university, and, in particular, with preparation for a career. The Law and Social Thought certificate is designed to forge connections between a liberal arts education and the world of work.
At Glendon you will study with professors who are experts in the field:
- Louis-Phillippe Hodgson completed a 2 year fellowship at UCLA and published an article in the journal Ethics. He received his Philosophy doctorate from Harvard and specializes in Social and Political Thought.
Careers and Alumni
The critical thinking skills you will acquire in the study of philosophy are transferable to many other areas. It isn’t surprising, then, that philosophy majors as a group consistently outperform most other majors on the LSAT (law school), MCAT (medical school), GMAT (business school) and GRE (graduate school) exams. The skills cultivated by the study of philosophy have wide application. As a result, Philosophy majors can be found in many careers, including law, business, computer science, government, medicine, journalism, teaching and school administration.
Glendon philosophy graduates include Katherine Hewson, Director of the Citizenship Development Bureau of the Government of Ontario and Alex Limion, an investment analyst with Sprucegrove Investment Management.
After returning from an exchange year in France, Kelly has settled back into her International Studies and Philosophy classes at Glendon. Rarely seen without her camera, Kelly is a well-known photographer on campus.
Sonia chose to pursue a double major in Philosophy and International Studies. She is complementing her degree with a certificate in Law and Social Thought and is looking forward to law school after graduation.
PHILOSOPHY OFFERS THE FOLLOWING DEGREE TYPES AND CERTIFICATES:
- Specialized Honours BA/iBA
- Honours BA/iBA
- Honours Double Major BA/iBA
- Honours Major/Minor BA/iBA
- Honours Minor BA
- Bachelor of Arts
- Certificate in Law and Social Thought
STUDENTS MUST FOLLOW THE UNDERGRADUATE CALENDAR REQUIREMENTS FOR THE YEAR THEY ENTERED OR SWITCHED INTO THEIR PROGRAM.
Access detailed program requirements for previous years below:
Philosophy BA and iBA Degree requirements 2017-2018
Philosophy BA and iBA Degree requirements 2016-2017
Philosophy BA and iBA Degree requirements 2015-2016
Philosophy BA and iBA Degree requirements 2014-2015
Philosophy BA and iBA Degree requirements 2013-2014
Philosophy BA and iBA Degree requirements 2012-2013
Philosophy BA and iBA Degree requirements 2011-2012
Philosophy BA and iBA Degree requirements 2010-2011
1611 3.00 Introduction to Philosophy I
What is consciousness? Am I the same person through time? Do I have free will? What can be known? These questions and others will be addressed in this course through the works of significant thinkers in the history of philosophy. Course credit exclusions: AP/PHIL 1000 6.00, GL/PHIL 1410 3.00 (prior to Winter 2014).
1612 3.00 Introduction to Philosophy II
This course begins with the question whether morality is all relative. Do absolute moral standards require the existence of a supreme being as their source? This query prompts an examination and assessment of the traditional arguments for the existence of God. Course credit exclusions: AP/PHIL 1000 6.00, GL/PHIL 1420 3.00 (prior to Winter 2014).
1690 6.00 Introduction à la philosophie : les grands penseurs
Vue d’ensemble de l’histoire de la pensée européenne de l’Antiquité grecque à nos jours, dont le but est de mettre en évidence les rapports entre la philosophie d’une part, et les sciences, la politique, la religion et l’art d’autre part. Cours incompatible : AP/PHIL 1000 6.00.
2605 6.00 Truth, Mind and Reality
This course is an introduction to three core areas of Philosophy. It deals with epistemology (the nature and scope of human knowledge); metaphysics (categories of being; freedom and fatalism); and philosophy of mind (personal identity, knowledge of other minds).
2615 3.00 Moral Questions and Social Policies
Issues to be discussed: The use of race as a criterion in social policy; justice and gender; assessing women’s quality of life; individual liberty and mental illness; the right to use coercion to treat mentally ill individuals against their will.
2617 3.00 The Quest for Meaning
Questions and topics to be discussed in this course: Can life have meaning? Whose criteria count in assessing the meaningfulness of a human life? Is human life absurd? Self-realization, satisfaction and happiness, the inevitability of death and the significance of suffering.
2620 6.00 Reason and Feeling in Modern Philosophy
Is there a conflict between reason and feeling? What role does each play in belief and knowledge? Is morality based on an appeal to reason or on subjective feeling? This course will examine such questions in the context of modern philosophy. Course credit exclusions: GL/HUMA 2620 6.00, GL/PHIL 2650 6.00 (prior to Fall 2010), GL/HUMA 2650 6.00, AP/PHIL 2020 3.00, AP/PHIL 2025 3.00.
2640 6.00 Logic
This course is an introduction to the basic concepts and techniques of modern logic. No previous course in logic or philosophy is required. Course credit exclusion: AP/PHIL 2100 3.00.
2645 6.00 Ancient Philosophy and Political Theory
We consider some of the world’s most influential ancient political texts. These works have shaped not only the ancient world but the perennial questions and dilemmas of political theorizing through to the present day. We will take Plato’s Republic as our guide into the ancient world. We will be reading a translation of the original, as well as a contemporary European and medieval Islamic commentary meant to contextualize this text by revealing its far-reaching impact. From The Republic we will tease out some of the most significant questions for ancient political theorizing. These include questions like: What is justice? How would the ideal state be organized? How should resources and opportunities be distributed? Who should lead a state? We will explore how those questions have been posed and answered in across the ancient world. To do this we will look at classics from ancient Chinese and Indian philosophy comparing and contrasting with the ancient Greeks. Course credit exclusion: AP/PHIL 2015 3.00 and GL/PHIL 2630 6.00.
2690 3.00 Logique symbolique
Ce cours vise à munir l’étudiant des moyens puissants d’analyse et de critique du raisonnement que met à sa disposition la logique moderne dite “symbolique”. Le cours portera sur la déduction “naturelle”, les quantificateurs, ainsi que les relations. Cours incompatible : AP/PHIL 2100 3.00.
2923 3.00 Introduction au droit et à la pensée sociale
Ce cours porte sur les rapports entre le droit et les institutions juridiques d’un côté, et la société, la famille et l’individu de l’autre. On y examinera quelques questions propres au droit et à la société canadiens, et relatives au processus judiciaire et pénal, aux droits civils et politiques, ainsi qu’aux rapports entre culture politique et culture juridique. Cours incompatible : AP/PHIL 2060 3.00.
2923 3.00 Introduction to Law and Social Thought
This course will focus on the role of law and legal institutions in their relation to society, family and the individual. It will examine specific issues within Canadian society and law involving the judicial and criminal processes, civil and political rights, and the relationship between legal and political culture. Course credit exclusion: AP/PHIL 2060 3.00.
2925 3.00 Law, justice and equality
This course explores questions concerning the nature of a just legal and political system, and the connection between justice and equality. What makes laws just or unjust? Should we aim for equality as a matter of justice? If so, what kind of equality? Course credit exclusion: AP/PHIL 2050 6.00.
2925 3.00 Droit, justice et égalité
Ce cours explore des enjeux concernant la nature d’un système légal et politique juste, et le lien entre la justice et l’égalité. Qu’est-ce qui rend une loi juste ou injuste ? Est-ce que l’égalité est une exigence de la justice ? Si oui, quel type d’égalité ? AP/PHIL 2050 6.00.
3237 3.00 Moral Philosophy I
This course analyzes central questions in ethical theory. Topics are drawn from: consequentialism, Kantian ethics, contractualism, partiality and impartiality, choice and responsibility, and practical reasoning. Course credit exclusion: GL/PHIL 3643 3.00.
3450 3.00 Philosophy of Time
This course treats from an analytic perspective, a range of philosophical problems arising from reflection on the nature of time. Possible topics include time’s reality, identity through time, the direction of time, knowledge of the future, and time travel.
3606 6.00 Self and Identity: Contemporary Feminist and Anti-Racist Perspectives
Examines conceptions of the self, and analyzes the consequences of oppression and various types of discrimination on self-determination, identity and the possibility of freedom from a feminist and anti-racist perspective. Previously offered as: AP/WMST 3506 6.00, GL/WMST 3506 6.00.
3633 3.00 Responsibility, Crime and Punishment
This course considers how questions of moral responsibility feature in the justification of criminal punishment. Is the idea of moral responsibility coherent? Does the justification of criminal punishment depend on such an idea? What are the limits of criminal responsibility? Course credit exclusion: AP/PHIL 3195 3.00.
3634 3.00 International Justice
This course examines some of the most important philosophical work on questions of international justice within the liberal tradition. Authors studied will include among others Walzer, Rawls, Beitz, Pogge, Kant and Habermas.
3638 3.00 Sex, Love, and the Family: Issues in Ethics, Law and Social Thought
This course explores key normative issues concerning the sphere of human intimacy and close relationships. Social norms, laws, and policies regulating sex, romance, friendship, and familial relationships will be critically examined from a philosophical perspective.
3642 3.00 Business Ethics
This course examines some contemporary issues in business ethics such as the ethical justification of the free market, corporate responsibility, deceptive advertising, business and the environment, preferential hiring practices and whistleblowing. Course credit exclusion: AP/PHIL 3050 3.00.
3654 3.00 The Morals Limits of the Criminal Law
This course considers what types of conduct the state may legitimately criminalize, and what justification it must have for doing so. Are paternalistic or moralistic laws ever justifiable? What is the place of the criminal law in a free society?
3654 3.00 Les limites morales du droit criminel
Ce cours considère quels types de conduite l’État peut criminaliser, et le type de justification requis pour ce faire. Le paternalisme ou le moralisme légal sont-ils justifiables ? Quelle est la place du droit criminel dans une société libre ?
3667 3.00 War, Power, and Sovereignty: Early Modern Political Theory I
This course examines concepts such as war, power, and sovereignty through the works of thinkers such as Machiavelli, Hobbes, and Locke not as abstract ideas but as responses to, comments on, defences, or critiques of historical events and social realities. Prerequisites: none required, but students can acquire recommended background by taking GL/HIST 2905 6.00, GL/HIST 3225 3.00, GL/HIST 3436 3.00, GL/PHIL 1690 6.00, GL/PHIL 2620 6.00, GL/PHIL 2645 6.00, GL/POLS 2485 6.00 or GL/POLS 2920 6.00. Course credit exclusion: GL/POLS 3660 6.00.
3668 3.00 Community, Liberty, and Institutions: Early Modern Political Theory II
This course examines concepts such as community, liberty, and institutions through the works of thinkers such as Rousseau, Madison, Mill, and Marx not as abstract ideas but as responses to, comments on, defences, or critiques of historical events and social realities. Prerequisites: none required, but students can acquire recommended background by taking GL/HIST 2905 6.00, GL/HIST 3225 3.00, GL/HIST 3436 3.00, GL/PHIL 1690 6.00, GL/PHIL 2620 6.00, GL/PHIL 2645 6.00, GL/POLS 2485 6.00 or GL/POLS 2920 6.00. Course credit exclusion: GL/POLS 3660 6.00.
3910 3.00 Philosophy of Language
This course introduces students to such topics as the nature of reference, the role of intention and convention in determining meaning, the distinctions between syntax, semantics and pragmatics, the theory of speech acts and the nature of metaphor and other figurative language. Prerequisite: six credits in PHIL or in MODR (the 17xx series), or permission of the Department. Course credit exclusion: AP/PHIL 3200 3.00.
4215 3.00 Topics in the History of Philosophy: Rhetoric
This course will study Plato’s Gorgias and the Apology. These texts provide the Platonic teaching about Rhetoric: the Gorgias states the principles; the Apology is a case study. Their teaching is at the foundation of Rhetoric as a liberal art. Prerequisite: 12 credits in Philosophy or permission of the Department.
4217 3.00 The Possibility of Knowledge
Examines some of the central issues in contemporary theory of knowledge: the possibility of knowledge, how it might be acquired, and whether it can be extended by deductive reasoning. Prerequisite: six credits in PHIL Course credit exclusion: AP/PHIL 4230 3.00.
4235 3.00 Political Philosophy II
This course proposes an advanced study of some central questions in political philosophy. Topics are drawn from: political liberalism, coercion and its justification, international justice, liberty, equality, democracy, and rights. Prerequisite: 6 credits in Philosophy. Course credit exclusions: GL/PHIL 4626 3.00, AP/PHIL 4180 3.00.
4647 3.00 Topics in the Philosophy of Language: Truth
This course examines the concept of truth from several perspectives: its relation to meaning, assertion and other concepts in philosophy of language; its formal characterization; and its broader philosophical significance. The correspondence theory and minimalism, among other approaches, are discussed. Prerequisite: 12 credits in PHIL and/or LIN.
Office: York Hall C228
Telephone: 416-736-2100 ext. 88181
Certificate on Law and Social Thought
Office: York Hall C230
Telephone: 416-7362100 ext 88304
Office: York Hall C217
Telephone: 416-736-2100 ext 88175
Office: York Hall C220
Telephone: 416-7362100 ext 88160
Baker, Judith Professor
Judith Baker passed away on May 21, 2014. Her death is a tremendous loss to her friends, to her students, and to Glendon College.
Course Directors (2019-2020)