Instructor Info:
Office Telephone: (604) 822-4769
Taught Sections:
Status Section Activity Term Interval Days Start Time End Time Section Comments
 PHIL 102 003Lecture2 Mon Wed10:0011:00

This course has mandatory discussion sections. Students must also register in one of the following sections: L01, L02, L03, L04, or L06. Please note: PHIL 101 and PHIL 102 are independent introductory courses and need not be taken in sequential order.

 PHIL 230 001Lecture1 Mon Wed Fri12:0013:00

Course Description: This course surveys some of the main roots and thinkers of the Western ethical tradition, starting from its basis in ancient Greek and Judeo-Christian thought, and then synthesized and secularized in the modern era. Main texts include Aristotle's "Nicomachean Ethics," excerpts from the Bible and Christian scholars, Hobbes' "Leviathan," Hume's "Treatise of Human Understanding," Kant's "Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals," and Mill's "Utilitarianism." Some more contemporary readings will also be covered to illustrate more recent developments in this philosophical tradition. Main topics include the places of reason, emotion, culture, and happiness in ethics; the role of self-interest vs. duty to others; and whether ethics is objective or subjective.

BlockedPHIL 390 001Seminar1 Wed14:0017:00

Topic: Ethics and the future

Course Description: Ethics is in some sense intrinsically concerned with the future, insofar as it is, in many respects, devoted to choosing among actions based on the future results they will bring about. However, the future seems to be both hard to predict, and to be changing more quickly than ethics does. So the relevance of traditional ethical approaches to the kinds of ethical questions we face today is open to question and further investigation. In this seminar, we will consider how mainstream normative ethical theories can or can't be used to address some of the looming issues that humanity faces today, such as global warming, technological dystopias, globalization, population pressure, and transhumanism. Topics to be covered include a review of standard normative theories, practi and ~

cal reasoning, decisions under uncertainty, obligations to future persons, commensurability of values, and individual and collective responsibility.

FullPHIL 431 001Seminar2 Mon14:0017:00

Topic: Exploitation and Solidarity

Course Description: This seminar will be focused on two different (though possibly related) topics: exploitation and solidarity. Exploitation has been a central concept in political philosophy since at least Marx, though it has recently been explored from other perspectives. This concept plays a role in thinking about justice and economic thinking, though has applications in ethics and feminist philosophy, among other places. While many of us accept that exploitation is a bad thing, what exactly is wrong with it? Might it be better to be exploited than ignored, economically speaking? And how does exploitation relate to fundamental ethical values, such as fairness, respect, and dignity? Solidarity is a less central concept, but one that deserves serious scrutiny, and perhaps plays an eq and ~

ually important role as a defense against being divided and conquered. Groups of people sharing a common set of interests and an identity are fundamental to political theorizing. But what makes a people into a group, and when should a group split over basic differences in values, principles, or self-conceptions, or remain united in solidarity despite such differences? Is solidarity more than a merely instrumental value? And how does solidarity relate to tolerance, democratic theory, and cultural identity? This course will address a range of issues raised by these concepts and their roles in political theory.

 PHIL 531A 002Seminar2 Wed14:0017:00

This section will be held in BUCH D324.

Topic: Coercion and power in political philosophy

This seminar will consider two of the foundational issues in social and political philosophy: how to understand coercion and (social) power, both between the state institutions and citizens, and between different powerful actors in society. We will look at several contrasting approaches to coercion, and how they fit into larger theories of political philosophy, and then at various ways of conceptualizing power as a factor in political theory as well. We will also connect these concerns to theories of state justification, democracy, moral psychology, and ethics. Key framing questions include how does coercion relate to power and what role should power play in a theory of justice or state legitimacy.