13.23 Philosophy

In accordance with Senate's Policy Regarding Inactive Courses, the course descriptions for courses which have not been offered in the previous three academic years and which are not scheduled to be offered in the current academic year have been removed from the following listing. For information about any of these inactive courses, please contact the appropriate Dean of the School.

Philosophy courses are designated by PHIL.

PHIL 1002 Introduction to Philosophy

is a general introduction to the study of Philosophy both as a contemporary intellectual discipline and as a body of knowledge. It introduces philosophy’s forms of enquiry, the nature of its concepts, and its fields (epistemology, logic, metaphysics, aesthetics, ethics, and political philosophy) by way of the critical study of primary works by major philosophers. Authors may include Plato, Aristotle, Aquinas, Descartes, Hume, Kant, Nietzsche, de Beauvoir, Arendt.


the former PHIL 1200

PHIL 1005 Philosophy of Human Nature

is an approach to philosophical thinking by way of analysis and critique of theories of human nature, classical and modern, and the world views associated with them. This course is of particular value to students interested in the Social Sciences and Humanities.


the former PHIL 1000, the former PHIL 1600

PHIL 2020 Epistemology

introduces philosophy by way of the question of the nature of knowledge. Is knowledge a possession or an activity? Is truth an illusion, a correspondence, or a form of coherence? What does it mean to ‘hold a belief’ or ‘affirm a proposition’? Short classical texts form the basis of the works studied and may include Plato, Descartes, and Ayer.


the former PHIL 2220

PHIL 2030 Logic

aims to improve the student’s ability to formulate and evaluate arguments. At the end of the course, the student will have a thorough understanding of the essentials of argument, the rules of valid inference, and ways of proving the validity of good arguments and the invalidity of bad arguments. Open in any year to all students wishing acquaintance with basic logical skills.

the former PHIL 2210
PHIL 2050 Social and Political Philosophy

is concerned with the social and political institutions and practices by which human life is organized. Historical and/or contemporary texts will be engaged to explore some of the following issues: What is the nature of political authority? What is the nature of freedom? What material and social conditions must be met in order for societies to be just? How are existing societies unjust, and how should that injustice be addressed?

the former PHIL 3400
PHIL 2100 Health Ethics

examines concepts of health and illness and their ethical implications.


the former PHIL 2803


the former PHIL 2551

PHIL 2130 Environmental Ethics

is a philosophical approach to issues in ecology. Topics may include historical and contemporary concepts of nature, technology, the ethical status of animals and the non-human, the application of traditional ethical paradigms to environmental issues, and the future of humanity in an age of climate change, ballooning human population, disappearing wilderness, and dwindling resources.


the former PHIL 2561, the former PHIL 2809

PHIL 2201 History of Ancient Philosophy

introduces students to the origins of philosophy in the West. Topics include cosmology, metaphysics, physics, ethics, God, and the ancient ideal of philosophy as a ‘way of life.’ We will examine the texts and fragments of the most influential and foundational philosophers of the ancient world, focusing primarily on the thought of Plato and Aristotle, their engagement with the Pre- Socratic philosophers who came before them, and their influence upon philosophers since.


Classics 2701, the former Philosophy 2701

PHIL 2215 History of Modern Philosophy

is a survey of the development of Western philosophy since the 17th century until the late 18th century. Topics may include the existence of God, whether nature is determined and if there is free will, the rise of early modern science, and the debates over rationalism and empiricism.


the former PHIL 2702

PHIL 2310 Philosophy and Literature

engages philosophically with different literary forms such as poetry, drama, and fiction. Possible topics include the use of literary works to express philosophical ideas, the nature of literary expression, and different traditions of literary criticism and interpretation. Course readings will comprise both literature and philosophy.

the former PHIL 3610
PHIL 2340 Philosophy of Film

introduces some of the central philosophers, topics and themes in the philosophy of film. Topics and themes include: the nature of film image, the relationship between film and “reality”, the social/ political role and function of film and the nature and value of the documentary. The course will also consider the representation of broader philosophical ideas in film. A film or films will accompany each section.


the former PHIL 2581

PHIL 3010 Plato

examines Plato’s philosophy from selections representing the Socratic, transitional, eidetic, and stoichiological dialogues, as well as Plato’s philosophy of the concrete. Plato’s thought will be examined as a development of ideas and problems raised in Pre-Socratic philosophy, and the development of his own philosophy will be traced throughout a selection of his writings.


the former PHIL 3730


6 credit hours in Philosophy courses at the 1000 or 2000 level

PHIL 3020 Aristotle

examines Aristotle’s philosophy of nature, logical works, metaphysics, psychology, and ethics. Attention will also be given to Aristotle’s philosophy as a development of and response to Plato’s thought. Whether one is a student of Philosophy, History, English, Religion, Classics, Political Science or History of Science, a familiarity with the thought of Aristotle is indispensable. For all these disciplines, not only is his place in history foundational, but his influence often remains formidable today.


the former PHIL 3740


the former PHIL 3734


6 credit hours in Philosophy courses at the 1000 or 2000 level

PHIL 3310 German Idealism

is a study of post-Kantian classical German philosophy from 1787-1831. The generation of philosophers immediately following Kant - most notably Fichte, Schelling, and Hegel - took his ideas and developed systematic interpretations of human experience, emphasizing its embodied and social nature, and interpreting history in terms of the struggle between freedom and oppression. This course studies these "German Idealists" who have continued to shape major developments in European philosophy.


the former PHIL 3860


6 credit hours in Philosophy courses at the 1000 or 2000 level

PHIL 3400 Political Philosophy

is leading philosophical ideas concerning the origin and justification of political institutions.

PHIL 3430 Existentialism

is a philosophical tradition dedicated to thinking through the experience of human freedom and to casting doubt on conventional answers to the question of how we should live. Human beings are free to define themselves, according to existentialism, but with that freedom comes a forbidding challenge: the responsibility to define themselves, without any easy answers to the question of how. This course will address some of the central figures associated with existentialism. Authors may include Nietzsche, Kierkegaard, Sartre, de Beauvoir, and Camus.


the former PHIL 3980


the former PHIL 3940


6 credit hours in Philosophy courses at the 1000 or 2000 level

PHIL 3610 Philosophy and Literature

is a study of the interrelationship of thought and imagination in philosophical and literary forms of writing.

PHIL 4000 Seminar in Metaphysics

focuses on a primary text or texts surrounding a particular metaphysical question. Topics may include: the nature of being, causality, order, unity, essence and existence, and freedom.


the former PHIL 4250


6 credit hours in Philosophy courses at the 1000 or 2000 level

PHIL 4100-4199 Special Topics in Major Authors and Texts

will have topics to be studied announced by the Department.


the former PHIL 4700-4790, the former PHIL 4800-4890


6 credit hours in Philosophy courses at the 3000 level

AN = Additional notes.

AR = Attendance requirement as noted.

CH = Credit hours: unless otherwise noted, a course normally has a credit value of 3 credit hours.

CO = Co-requisite(s): course(s) listed must be taken concurrently with or successfully completed prior to the course being described.

CR = Credit restricted: The course being described and the course(s) listed are closely related but not equivalent.  Credit is limited to one of these courses.  Normally, these courses cannot be substituted, one for the other, to satisfy program requirements.

EQ = Equivalent: the course being described and the course(s) listed are equal for credit determination.  Credit is limited to one of these courses.  These courses can be substituted, one for the other, to satisfy program requirements.

LC = Lecture hours per week: lecture hours are 3 per week unless otherwise noted.

LH = Laboratory hours per week.

OR = Other requirements of the course such as tutorials, practical sessions, or seminars.

PR = Prerequisite(s): course(s) listed must be successfully completed prior to commencing the course being described.

UL = Usage limitation(s) as noted.

The information on this site has been extracted from the Official 2023-2024 University Calendar. While every reasonable effort has been made to duplicate the information contained in the official University Calendar, if there are differences, the official Memorial University of Newfoundland Calendar will be considered the final and accurate authority.

Copyright © 2024 Memorial University of Newfoundland.
Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada.