[Department of Philosophy, University of Saskatchewan, 100 Years]

Graduate Programs

Graduate Courses for 2017-2018

PHIL 990 Seminar

The graduate seminar involves paper presentations on current research by graduate students, department and cognate faculty, and visiting scholars. Graduate students must register in and attend the seminar on a continuous basis, and are only eligible to graduate once they have successfully presented a seminar.

PHIL 994 Research

All Masters students taking the thesis-based option must register for this course in every term.

Maintenance of Status

All Masters students taking the course-based option must register for "Maintenance of Status" for every term in which they are not registered in a course for credit.

GSR 960 Introduction to Ethics and Integrity

All graduate students are required to register for this short online course upon commencing their programs. The purpose of this course is to discuss ethical issues that graduate students may face during their time at the university. The five modules in GSR 960 look at general issues for graduate students including integrity and scholarship, graduate student–supervisor relationships, conflict of interest, conflict resolution, and intellectual property and credit.

Term 1

PHIL 833 – Seminar in Ethics: Anger, Forgiveness, and Love
TR 2:30 - 3:50 PM, Arts 607
Emer O'Hagan

As moral beings we sometimes forgive, sometimes refuse to forgive, and sometimes wish in vain that we could forgive, or had forgiven. But what is forgiveness, and what is its role in moral life? In this course we will take up some recent scholarship on forgiveness, starting with Martha Nussbaum's Anger and Forgiveness, and then turning to Glen Pettigrove's Forgiveness and Love. Although we will sometimes consider forgiveness in the realm of political life, our primary focus will be the realm of interpersonal relations. Our main preoccupation will be attempting to answer the question "What is forgiveness?", but we will also consider important, related questions, such as: "What is the relationship between anger and forgiveness?", "What role does understanding play in forgiveness?", and "Can forgiving be an act of love?". Our critical study will develop clarity in argumentation and other conceptual skills, and provide opportunities to develop our practical moral skills.

PHIL 845 – Seminar in Metaphysics: Causality

MWF 11:30 - 12:20, Arts 607
Robert Hudson

This course is an in-depth examination of the philosophical dimensions of causality.  We will be looking at different ways of defining ‘cause’, discussing the nature of causal relata, investigating the use of causes in providing lawful explanations, assessing how one can accurately discern the presence of causes, as well as studying the relation between causes and free agency.  Emphasis will be on class discussion and the preparation of thoughtful, argumentative essays.


Term 2

PHIL 816 – Topics in Continental Philosophy: Heidegger
TR 2:30 - 3:50 PM, Arts 607
Pierre-François Noppen

In 1927, Martin Heidegger astonished the whole philosophical community with the publication of Being and Time. In this book, Heidegger attempts to work out a radically new understanding of what, in his view, remains the most decisive of philosophical questions, that is, the question of being. In this question, Heidegger claims, it is our very own being that is at issue.

This seminar is an introduction to Heidegger's philosophy through a discussion of Being and Time, his most influential work. We will examine some of the iconic concepts and views he develops in this work: such as his concepts of Dasein (literally: being-there) and being-in-the-world, his novel take on the constitution of meaning as well as his views on selfhood, finitude, death, and time. We will try to articulate the core lines of Heidegger's project through a discussion of prominent readings and criticisms of Being and Time. In particular, we will examine his appropriation of key phenomenological and hermeneutical principles and his criticism of traditional metaphysics. We will also discuss his affinities with existentialist thinkers such as Sartre and take a look at recent and influential pragmatist readings of his work (Rorty, Dreyfus).

PHIL 820 – Philosophical Texts: Richard Rorty
MWF 2:30 - 3:20, Arts 607
Susan Dieleman

Amongst philosophers, Richard Rorty is a controversial figure. He has been described "as a renegade from analytic philosophy, as a frivolous debunker of moral and intellectual standards, and as a complacent American bourgeois." One commentator remarks that he has been seen by conservatives as "a threat to civilization as we know it," by political radicals as a "complacent and uncritical" defender of American capitalism, by postmodernists as "shallow," by analytic philosophers as "a good man gone to the bad," and by liberal political theorists as someone not even worth paying attention to. His writing has been called inventive, erudite, ingenious, clever, seductive, bold, and blunt. He has been credited with creating "an intense mixture of consternation, enthusiasm, hostility, and confusion" in his readers.

In this course, undergraduate and graduate students will examine the work of this controversial, engaging, and increasingly influential figure, from his critical engagement with and rejection of the presumptions and pretensions of Philosophy, to his conversations with analytic, continental, and pragmatist philosophies, to his views on literature and irony, liberal democracy, and cultural politics.

PHIL 826 – Seminar in Philosophy of Mind: Philosophy of Emotion
TR 10:00 - 11:20, Arts 607
Dwayne Moore

This is an advanced introduction to the philosophy of emotion. The course material is informed by the psychological study of emotion and also focuses on classical philosophical texts and debates. In this class we will study a number of issues arising within the field of emotion. These issues include: the relation between basic emotions and complex emotions, whether emotion is a bodily perception, and/or whether emotion has a cognitive dimension, and/or whether emotion is essentially an affective feeling. We will also study the evolutionary and/or socio-cultural roots of emotion. We will then apply these background theories to specific emotional states, including love as an examplar. We will study the relation between rationality, irrationality and emotion, and investigate whether humans enjoy infallible self-knowledge of their own emotions, or whether humans are often deceived by their own emotions. We will discuss the relation between emotion and behaviour: how strongly does behavioural indistinguishability (whether the behaviour be by robots, animals or other minds) count as evidence for the presence of emotion? Finally we will look at the relation between emotion, value and morality: how central is emotion to value assessments and morality?

Site Map | Contact

Web Editor: William Buschert

Office Coordinator for Philosophy: (306) 966-4215

Last updated: 10-08-2017

Department of Philosophy
9 Campus Drive,
Saskatoon, SK
Canada S7N 5A5

Tel:  (306) 966-6382
Fax: (306) 966-2567

[University of Saskatchewan]