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Courses

Graduate courses 2017 - 2018

Fall 2017

PHIL 673/675: Puppies, Pigs and the Polis

Dr. Katy Fulfer

Relational theory begins with a view that the human self is relational. Our identities, our autonomy, our moral judgment is “constituted in and through relationships with others” (Llewellyn and Downie 2012, p. 4). In and through relationships, humans co-create ethical and political communities. Although most relational theory focuses on humans, nonhuman animal selves are also constituted in and through relationships. Human communities already encompass relationships with nonhuman animal others. This course examines how philosophers have taken up relationality in theorizing human-animal communities. The course also asks to what extent animal liberation, as theorized through relational theory, supports other liberatory projects, such as disability justice and decolonization.

PHIL 673/675: Philosophy of Quantum Theory

Dr. Doreen Fraser

Quantum mechanics has notoriously resisted our best efforts at interpretation. It is not obvious what quantum mechanics is telling us about the world. This course will begin by examining the classic problems posed by quantum mechanics (e.g., the measurement problem, non-locality). Most of the course will focus on contemporary approaches to interpreting quantum mechanics (e.g., approaches inspired by quantum information, re-axiomatizations, pragmatism). This course is suitable for students with a background in either philosophy, physics, or mathematics; knowledge of quantum theory will not be presupposed. Please contact Prof. Doreen Fraser (dlfraser@uwaterloo.ca) if you require permission to enroll in the course.

PHIL 673/675: Harm Reduction

Dr. Shannon Dea

The course considers the philosophical aspects of the social/health services approach known as harm reduction. Harm reduction approaches seek to reduce the attendant harms associated with such behaviours as drug use and sex work. Harm reduction approaches offer an alternative to more traditional prevalence reduction approaches that instead seek to reduce the incidence of the underlying behaviour. While philosophers have produced a robust literature theorizing harm, they have had very little to say about harm reduction. In this course, we will consider philosophical approaches to harm, social and health sciences approaches to harm reduction, and the nascent philosophical literature on harm reduction. What are the distinctive features of a harm reduction approach? Under what circumstances ought it to be applied? Is it ever morally wrong to reduce the harms associated with particular behaviours? What sorts of behaviours are susceptible of harm reduction interventions?

PHIL 680A: Engaged Philosophy

Dr. Heather Douglas

Graduate departmental seminar
What is engaged philosophy? And how can it make the discipline of philosophy better? In this seminar, we will explore the kinds of work philosophers do to engage non-philosophers (be they social and natural scientists, other humanists, or regular citizens) and examine how doing this work can make the field of philosophy better. We will read the current debates about the profession of philosophy while discussing what those debates mean for graduate students entering the field. We will also develop the skills to do traditional philosophy tasks (research and writing, peer review, grant applications, presentations), while examining how these skills translate when doing engaged philosophy.

 

COGSCI 600: Mind and Intelligence

Dr. John Turri

This seminar will be an interdisciplinary investigation of current topics in the study of mind and intelligence.

Note: COGSCI 600 counts as the equivalent of a PHIL 674/675 toward Cognitive Science graduate degree requirements.

 






 

Note: The Schedule of Classes for Graduate Students will provide further information and here is a link to past graduate courses.

Link to: Graduate Studies Office (GSO): Academic Deadlines