Department of Philosophy

Philosophy is critical and creative thinking about fundamental questions, such as what is meant by a worthwhile life, what sense there is to the universe and what makes a just society. The STM Department of Philosophy also places a special emphasis on promoting a dialogue between reason and faith, reflecting the special role played by philosophy in the history of Catholic thought. These two themes come together in the department’s expertise in Ancient and Medieval Philosophy as well as in its contributions to interdisciplinary minors at the College (Catholic Studies, and Social Justice and the Common Good) and to the Classical, Medieval and Renaissance Studies program (CMRS).

Faculty Members

Jenkins, Ria

ria

Liptay, John

john

Regnier, Daniel

(Department Head)

daniel

Still, Carl (Dean)

carl

Students pursuing a major in philosophy at the University of Saskatchewan may complete either the St. Thomas More College philopshy curriculum or the Arts & Science philosophy curriculum. Both programs result in a B.A. in philosophy granted by the Universty of Saskatchewan.

Thinking About Declaring a Philosophy Major?

Philosophy Fact Sheet

What Can I Do With A Major In Philosophy?

Philosophy Degree Requirements

College of Arts & Science Department of Philosophy

Philosophy Courses Taught by St. Thomas More College

PHIL 110.6 — 1&2(3L)

Introduction to Philosophy

An introduction to the perennial issues in Western philosophy which arise out of the search for truth and meaning in life: good and evil, appearance and reality, the rational grounds for belief in God, scepticism and knowledge, social justice. Emphasizes critical thinking and the development of understanding through reasoned argument.
Note: No previous training in philosophy is required or presupposed. Students with credit for PHIL 120 or 133 may not take this course for credit. Students with credit for PHIL 120 or PHIL 133 should take the one they are missing for equivalency to PHIL 110.

PHIL 120.3 — 1/2(3L)

Knowledge Mind and Existence as Introductory Topics in Philosophical Problems

Introduces students to philosophy by exploring fundamental problems about reality, the limits of human knowledge, and the nature of the mind. Topics include whether we have free will, whether there are grounds for doubt about the basic beliefs about other people or the world, and the nature and role of cognition in the composition of a human being. Essay writing is an integral part of this course. In their essays students are expected to demonstrate an understanding or major philosophical questions, define key terms, mount arguments for and respond to arguments against, positions on philosophical issues, develop research and argumentation skills, and improve their command of written English. Students are encouraged to make use of the Philosophy Department’s Essay Clinic.
Note: Students with credit for PHIL 110 may not take this course for credit.

PHIL 133.3 — 1/2(3L)

Introduction to Ethics and Values

Introduces students to value theory by exploring fundamental problems about morality, justice, beauty, and the problems posed by the purported relativity of value to personal taste and cultural context. Will include topics such as what makes a society just, whether we have any moral obligations, and whether humour is objective. Essay writing is an integral part of this course. In their essays students are expected to demonstrate an understanding of major philosophical questions, define key terms, mount arguments for and respond to arguments against, positions on philosophical issues, develop research and argumentation skills, and improve their command of written English. Students are encouraged to make use of the Philosophy Department’s Essay Clinic.
Note: Students with credit for PHIL 110 may not take this course for credit.

PHIL 140.3 — 1/2(3L)

Critical Thinking

An introduction to essential principles of reasoning and critical thinking, designed to introduce the students to the analysis of concepts, to enhance their ability to evaluate various forms of reasoning and to examine critically beliefs, conventions and theories, and to develop sound arguments. Topics include fundamentals of logic and analysis, definition, logical fallacies, and conceptual analysis.
Note: Students with credit for PHIL 240, 241, 243 or CMPT 260 may not take this course for credit. To receive credit for PHIL 140, 240, 243, or CMPT 260, students must take PHIL 140 prior to the above mentioned courses.

PHIL 202.3 — 1/2(3L)

Philosophy of Religion Introduction

The concept of religion; different theories explaining the origin of religion; the philosophical conception of religion in contrast to mythology, ideology, magic, superstition and theology; God: mystery or problem; different ways to approach the mystery of God, the meaning of religious terms and language, varieties of atheism and unbelief; the problem of evil.
Prerequisite(s): 6 credit units in philosophy or completion of 24 credit units at the university.

PHIL 204.3 — 1/2(3L)

Philosophy of Religion Christian Tradition

An introduction to major constructive thinkers of the Christian tradition. Clarifies the differences between Christian philosophy, theology and philosophy of religion by explaining how distinctively philosophical questions arise out of the context of Christian belief and practice. Thinkers to be studied will range from the patristic period to the 20th century.
Prerequisite(s): 6 credit units in philosophy or completion of 24 credit units at the university.

PHIL 208.3 — 1/2(3L)

Ancient Philosophy Presocratics to Plato

A study of the origins of philosophical reasoning in ancient Greece to its most extensive development in the philosophy of Plato. Classical views of the ultimate nature of reality, the scope and limits of human knowledge, and the grounds for aesthetic and moral evaluations will be examined.
Prerequisite(s): 6 credit units in philosophy or completion of 24 credit units at the university.

PHIL 209.3 — 1/2(3L)

Ancient Philosophy Aristotle to Plotinus

The development of philosophy in ancient Greece and Rome from the time of Aristotle to the emergence of Christianity. In addition to a survey of several of the most important aspects of Aristotle’s philosophy, this course will examine such schools of thought as Stoicism, Epicureanism, and Neoplatonism.
Prerequisite(s): 6 credit units in philosophy or completion of 24 credits at the university.

PHIL 210.3 — 1(3L)

Medieval Philosophy I

The study of major thinkers of the early middle ages, including Augustine, Boethius, Eriugena, Anselm, and Abelard. Background will be provided to Neoplatonic themes that shape this period. Topics include free will, happiness, the existence of God, theories of truth, and the problem of universals.
Prerequisite(s): 6 credit units in philosophy.

PHIL 211.3 — 2(3L)

Medieval Philosophy II

The study of major Jewish, Muslim, and Christian thinkers of the high middle ages, including Moses Maimonides, Avicenna, Averroes, Bonaventure, Thomas Aquinas, Duns Scotus, and William of Ockham. Background to Aristotle and his tradition will be provided. Topics include the relation of faith and reason, existence and nature of God, human nature, voluntarism, and the critique of metaphysics.
Prerequisite(s): 6 credit units in philosophy.

PHIL 212.3 - 1/2(3L)

Medieval Intellectuals: Thought and Learning in the Middle Ages

An interdisciplinary examination of major intellectual figures in their historical and philosophical contexts from late antiquity to the end of the middle ages. Themes include the liberal arts tradition, the relation of faith and reason, the emergence of medieval science, the rise of Scholasticism, the mystical tradition, and the classical revival.
Prerequisite(s): 6 credit units of 100-level history or philosophy.

PHIL 215.3 — 1/2(3L)

19th Century European Philosophy

A survey of authors or themes central in the development of modern philosophy in Continental Europe and Britain in the 19th Century, including Hegel and Marx, and topics such as the theory of the state, the nature of human will, moral theory, and the origins of sociological thought.
Prerequisite(s): 6 credit units in philosophy or PHIL 120.

PHIL 218.3 — 1/2(3L)

Existentialism

An introduction to 19th and 20th Century existentialist thought from Kierkegaard and Nietzsche to Sartre.  Issues to be exlored concern the human quest for meaning in existence and include the nature of the human self, truth, freedom, mortality, the significance of God, and the possibility of interpersonal relations.
Prerequisite(s): 6 credit units in philosophy or completion of 24 credit units at the university.

PHIL 219.3 — 1/2(3L)

Phenomenology

A survey of phenomenological thought, primarily of the early 20th C. This course will include authors such as Husserl, Heidegger, and Merleau-Ponty.
Prerequisite(s): 6 credit units in philosophy.

PHIL 224.3 — 1/2(3L)

Philosophy of Sexuality

A philosophical examination of the fundamental assumptions about the nature of sexuality. Philosophical theories about “natural” or “proper” male and female roles, mental and physical sexual distinctions and the sexual aspects of rationality and emotion will be examined along with their implications for such topics as work, marriage, love, friendship, communication, and politics.
Prerequisite(s): 6 credit units in philosophy or completion of 24 credit units at the university.

PHIL 226.3 — 1/2(3L)

Environmental Philosophy

A philosophical study of moral, social and political issues concerning the environment, whether natural or constructed. Topics may include: the nature of Nature, nonanthropocentric ethics, animal rights, political and cultural roots of environmental abuse, evolutionary perspectives, the Gaian hypothesis, ecotopias, environmental aesthetics, the place of environment in the Good Life.
Prerequisite(s): 6 credit units in philosophy or completion of 24 credit units at the university.

PHIL 231.3 — 1/2(3L)

Ethical Problems

Contemporary ethical problems such as the morality of human sexuality, abortion, euthanasia, manipulation of human beings, war and revolution, environmental ethics, prejudice and discrimination.
Prerequisite(s): 6 credit units in philosophy or completion of 24 credit units at the university.

PHIL 233.3 — 1/2(3L)

Ethical Theory

An introduction to the meta-ethical issues important to an understanding of historically important ethical theories, together with an examination of those theories. Philosophers studied may include Socrates, Aristotle, Aquinas, Hobbes, Kant, and Mill, among others.
Prerequisite(s): 6 credit units in philosophy or PHIL 133.

PHIL 234.3 — 1/2(3L)

Biomedical Ethics

An examination of contemporary biomedical ethical issues such as the definition of a person, determination of life and death, euthanasia, abortion, prenatal diagnosis and intervention, problems in the physician-patient relationship, reproductive technologies, genetic engineering and accessibility to health care.
Prerequisite(s): 6 credit units in philosophy or completion of 24 credit units at the university.

PHIL 235.3 — 1/2(3L)

Ethical Issues in Business and Professions

Introduces ethical issues that are related to business enterprises and professional practices such as the questions of striking and advertising; preferential hiring; responsibility to society; the organization and the profession. It will also consider theoretical questions about free enterprise, socialist politics, and government controls and regulations.
Prerequisite(s): 6 credit units in philosophy or completion of 24 credit units at the university.

PHIL 238.3 — 1/2(2L-1T)

Ethical Issues in Scientific Research

Introduction to ethical issues related to scientific research requiring institutional ethics review and approval. Theoretical approaches in ethics and their relationship to national and institutional guidelines governing research protocol compliance are considered. Topics include Aristotelian, Kantian and Utilitarian ethics, ethical standards in designing research protocols, and protection of research subjects.
Prerequisite(s): 6 credit units in philosophy or completion of 24 credit units at the university.

PHIL 240.3 — 1(3L)

Aristotelian Logic

The meaning of concept, term, judgement and proposition, categorical and hypothetical reasoning and induction; mathematical logic (Venn diagrams, truth trees, elementary deductions, syllogism). Frequent exercises will be assigned.
Prerequisite(s): 6 credit units in philosophy or completion of 24 credit units at the university.

PHIL 262.3 — 1/2(3L)

Social and Political Philosophy

An examination of philosophical theories of political organization. Such issues as justice and power, rights, freedom and the public good will be discussed.
Prerequisite(s): 6 credit units in philosophy, history or a social science.

PHIL 271.3 — 1/2(3L)

Aesthetics

An introduction to philosophical problems related to the arts; such as the nature of art, meaning, expression, and the nature of critical and evaluative judgments.
Prerequisite(s): 6 credit units in philosophy, fine arts or literature.

PHIL 294.3 — 2(3L)

Philosophy of Human Nature

A philosophical examination of whether there is a human nature, through both historical and contemporary discussions. Will include topics such as the importance of narrative, biology and evolution, selfishness, gender, race, freedom, and personhood.
Prerequisite(s): 6 credit units in philosophy or completion of 24 credit units at the university.

PHIL 296.3 — 1/2(3L)

Nature of Material Reality

A study of the philosophy of nature which examines ancient and modern views on the material constitution of bodies, organisms, and persons. Major topics include the nature of substance, the distinction between properties and substances, artifacts and natural things, and the mind-body problems.
Prerequisite(s): 6 credit units in philosophy or 12 credit units in natural science.

PHIL 302.3 — 1/2(3L)

Contemporary Philosophy of Religion

A study of major topics in recent analytic and/or continental philosophy of religion. Topics include the rationality of religious belief, the nature of God, religious language, the problem of evil, critiques of religion, and the interface of major world religions.
Prerequisite(s): 12 credit units philosophy.

PHIL 312.3 — 1/2(3S)

Great Philosophers I Historical Figures

Detailed reading in the work of a major philosopher such as Aristotle, Hume or Russell.
Prerequisite(s): 12 credit units philosophy.

PHIL 313.3 — 1/2(3S)

Great Philosophers II Contemporary Figures

Consists of detailed reading in the work of some major philosophers.
Prerequisite(s): 12 credit units philosophy.

PHIL 315.3 — 1/2(3S)

Hegel

A study of Hegel’s approach and contributions to philosophy through a detailed reading of some of his major works.
Prerequisite(s): 12 credit units philosophy.

PHIL 319.3 — 1/2(3S)

Topics in Recent Continental Philosophy

Examines specific issues or authors in current continental philosophy. Areas of discussion might include critical theory, aesthetics, or hermeneutics, and authors such as Foucault, Habermas, Derrida, or Gadamer.
Prerequisite(s): 12 credit units philosophy.

PHIL 337.3 — 1/2(3S)

Philosophy of Law

A critical examination of attempts to provide theories of the nature of law. This course will examine the debate between legal positivists and natural law theorists, as well as the reaction to this debate (e.g. Dworkin, legal realists, critical legal theorists, and feminists).
Prerequisite(s): 12 credit units philosophy.

PHIL 362.3 — 1/2(3S)

Topics in Political Philosophy

The topic, political philosopher, movement or theories studied will vary from year to year.
Prerequisite(s): 12 credit units in philosophy or PHIL 262 or POLS 235.

PHIL 396.6 — 1&2(3L)

Metaphysics

Study of philosophical attempts to achieve knowledge of reality beyond the empirical; approached historically in terms of ancient, medieval, modern and contemporary theory; and problematically-in terms of present day concerns, such as space, time, motion, nature, existence, essence, God, soul, mind, idea, freedom, person, death, anxiety and art.
Prerequisite(s): 12 credit units philosophy.

PHIL 398.3 — 1/2(3S)

Special Topics

Offered occasionally by visiting faculty and in other special situations to cover, in depth, topics that are not thoroughly covered in regularly offered courses.

PHIL 399.6 — 1&2(3S)

Special Topics

Offered occasionally by visiting faculty and in other special situations to cover, in depth, topics that are not thoroughly covered in regularly offered courses.

PHIL 404.3 — 1(3L)

Advanced Problems in Philosophy and Theology

Philosophical aspects of contemporary psychological and theological problems treated at an advanced level. Selected readings in Freud, Jung, Ryle, Merleau-Ponty, Marcel, Ricoeur and others.
Prerequisite(s): 12 credit units philosophy.

PHIL 412.3 — 1/2(3S)

Philosophy of Thomas Aquinas I

The philosophy of Aquinas considered in the areas of philosophical theology, metaphysics, and philosophy of nature.
Prerequisite(s): 18 credit units in philosophy.

PHIL 413.3 — 1/2(3S)

Philosophy of Thomas Aquinas II

The philosophy of Aquinas considered in the areas of human nature, epistemology, and ethics.
Prerequisite(s): 18 credit units in philosophy.

PHIL 498.3 — 1/2(3S)

Special Topics

Offered occasionally by visiting faculty and in other special situations to cover, in depth, topics that are not thoroughly covered in regularly offered courses.

PHIL 499.6 — 1&2(3S)

Special Topics

Offered occasionally by visiting faculty and in other special situations to cover, in depth, topics that are not thoroughly covered in regularly offered courses.