2019-20 Course Highlights

Biomedical Ethics


PHLB09H3: Biomedical Ethics

Instructor: Joshua Brandt
This course is an examination of moral and legal problems in medical practice, in biomedical research, and in the development of health policy. Topics may include: concepts of health and disease, patients’ rights, informed consent, allocation of scarce resources, euthanasia, risks and benefits in research and others.


PHLC07H3: Death and Dying

Instructor: Joshua Brandt
An intermediate-level study of the ethical and legal issues raised by death and dying. Topics may vary each year, but could include the definition of death and the legal criteria for determining death, the puzzle of how death can be harmful, the ethics of euthanasia and assisted suicide, the relationship between death and having a meaningful life, and the possibility of surviving death.


PHLD09H3: Advanced Seminar in Biomedical Ethics

Instructor: Joshua Brandt
This year, the course will focus on philosophy as a way of life.
What is philosophy? To many, it’s a genre of study or book. At certain points throughout the history of philosophy, however, and especially for the ancient Greeks, philosophy was considered to be a way of life—indeed, the best way of life. It is confusing, however, what this means. What counts as living the philosophical life? It cannot be merely thinking throughout one’s life, for many people do that without living in any sort of recognizably philosophical way. It cannot even be thinking about philosophy throughout one’s life, for philosophy professors do that, but some would be uncomfortable with the notion of philosophy as a distinct lifestyle. In this course, we will ask what constitutes the philosophical life, and whether such a life is still viable and attractive today. Our readings will cover thinkers from some or all of the following traditions: Confucianism, Buddhism, Platonism, Aristotelianism, Stoicism, Epicureanism, Skepticism, Existentialism, and Kantianism. Class largely will be discussion-based, and it will be conducted in a seminar style, i.e., we will be working together to try to solve problems. Students may be asked to give detailed presentations that will count as a significant part of their final grades.


Philosophy of Mind


PHLC89H3: Topics in Analytic Philosophy

Instructor: Mark Fortney
What is a mental disorder? What justifies beliefs about particular cases of mental disorder? In this course we’ll look at recent work that applies the methods of analytic philosophy to questions like those two, which concern the metaphysics and epistemology of mental disorder. Most of our readings will come from the book Understanding Mental Disorder by Daniel Lafleur, Christopher Mole, and Holly Onclin (although we’ll also look at some shorter pieces that offer alternative perspectives on the issues of the course). 


PHLC95H3: Topics in the Philosophy of Mind

Instructor: Elliot Carter
Advanced topics in the Philosophy of mind, such as an exploration of philosophical problems and theories of consciousness. Topics to be examined may include: the nature of consciousness and ‘qualitative experience’, the existence and nature of animal consciousness, the relation between consciousness and intentionality, as well as various philosophical theories of consciousness.


PHLD87H3: Advanced Seminar in Philosophy of Mind

Instructor: Benj Hellie
This course offers in-depth examination of selected contemporary theories and issues in philosophy of mind, such as theories of perception or of consciousness, and contemporary research examining whether minds must be embodied or embedded in a larger environment.