Carleton University, Department of Philosophy
Summer 2017 Contract Instructor Opportunities

Pursuant to Article 16 of the CUPE 4600 Unit 2 Collective Agreement, applications are invited from members of the CUPE 4600-2 bargaining unit and other interested persons to teach the following Philosophy courses during the 2017 Summer term:

PHIL 1000 [0.5 credit]: Introductory Philosophy: Fields, Figures and Problems
Scheduled early summer semester (May/June)
Mondays and Wednesdays, 6:00 – 9:00 pm

This course will introduce students to some of the main branches of philosophy, such as epistemology, metaphysics, ethics, social philosophy, and aesthetics. In each of the branches that are covered, students will learn one or more of the perennial philosophical problems in that branch (e.g. knowledge of external world, free will and determinism, the possibility of objective morality, the nature of social justice), and in addition, the answers and arguments given on these questions by eminent historical and/or contemporary philosophers. The goal of the course is to stimulate students’ thinking about the chosen questions and provoke them to form views about them. The objective is not merely for them to understand how philosophers and others have answered these questions, but to understand and evaluate their arguments, recognizing their strengths and weaknesses, possibly trying to improve upon them. Students should be encouraged to formulate their own arguments and defend them, as far as they are able.

PHIL 1200 [0.5 credit]: The Meaning of Life
Scheduled early summer semester (May/June)
Mondays and Wednesdays, 6:00 – 9:00 pm

This course is intended as an introduction to philosophical issues surrounding the enduring question of life’s meaning. Through a consideration of a number of contemporary and historical philosophical writings on the topic, students will be familiarized with various examples of all three major approaches to life’s meaning, viz. supernaturalist (including religious) approaches, naturalist approaches, and nihilist (or pessimistic) approaches.

PHIL 1301 [0.5 credit]: Mind, World & Knowledge
Scheduled late summer semester (July/August)
Tuesdays and Thursdays, 6:00 – 9:00 pm

The aim of this course is to introduce students to philosophical inquiry and argumentation applied to a number of central problems of epistemology, metaphysics, and the philosophy of mind/language/psychology. Thus, questions concerning the nature of knowledge, minds, persons, language, and the external world will be explored. Among the issues to be considered are the following: What conditions must be satisfied, for example, if a person is to know something? How can we respond to skeptics who insist that genuine knowledge is impossible? How does the mind relate to the body and the external world? Does the mind differ from the body? How can we know that others have minds and are not complex robots? Do we know ourselves in a privileged way? What makes humans so different from primates and other “advanced” species? What does thinking consist in? Can we think without language? How do we acquire language? Do we have innate ideas/concepts or do we acquire all of them through experience? Do we need to posit a designer/creator (e.g. God) to deal with these questions? Can scientific discoveries (e.g. in neurosciences) help shape the answers to these questions? Historical and contemporary readings may be combined, but this course should prepare students to succeed in 2000-level courses in contemporary analytical philosophy of mind and contemporary analytical philosophy of language, while remaining interesting and accessible to students who will not take more philosophy.

PHIL 2001 [0.5 credit]: Introduction to Logic
Scheduled late summer semester (July/August)
Mondays and Wednesdays, 6:00 – 9:00 pm

An introduction to the techniques and philosophical implications of propositional and predicate logic with emphasis on translation of expressions into symbolic form, testing for logical correctness, the formulation and application of rules of inference, and the relation between logic and language. While the course will be accessible to students with non-philosophical backgrounds, the textbook and assignments will provide students with basic knowledge of propositional and predicate logic that are assumed by higher-level courses in logic.

PHIL 2003 [0.5 credit]:  Critical Thinking
Scheduled early summer semester (May/June)
Tuesdays and Thursdays, 11:30 am – 2:30 pm

This course introduces students to basic principles of informal and formal reasoning. The main objective of the course is to enhance students’ capacity for critical thought in everyday life as well as in more specialized contexts. Topics explored in the course typically include: the nature and identification of arguments as reasons for belief; logical strength in deductive, inductive, and abductive arguments; common informal and formal argumentative fallacies; the method of counterexamples and other strategies for assessing the truth of argument premises; core insights from the probability calculus for estimating likelihoods; dealing with expert disagreement; and the special concerns of thinking critically about moral matters.

PHIL 2380 [0.5 credit]: Introduction to Environmental Ethics
Scheduled late summer semester (July/August);
Tuesdays and Thursdays, 6:00 – 9:00 pm

This course addresses a series of questions relevant to the evaluation of environmental issues from a philosophical perspective. Why is the natural environment valuable? Does it possess value only insofar as it provides us with some instrumental good or does it have inherent worth independent of that which human beings derive from it? Should we preserve and protect the natural world for its own sake or simply for our own? How might the answers we give to these questions inform our environmental activism and our public policies? In an attempt to address these questions, the course will look at various arguments philosophers have offered regarding the natural world’s value, and assess various strategies that have been proposed and pursued in the name of respecting and/or preserving our natural environment. Material for this course may be drawn from both historical and contemporary philosophy, and from both the analytic and the continental tradition. While the course will be accessible to students with non-philosophical backgrounds, its methods of evaluation will prepare students to succeed in upper level courses in ethics and social and political philosophy.

PHIL 2501 [0.5 credit]: Introduction to Philosophy of Mind
Scheduled early summer semester (May/June)
Tuesdays and Thursdays, 6:00 – 9:00 pm

An introduction to major philosophical issues in the philosophy of mind. Among other topics, this course will cover the main approaches to the mind-body problem (including, dualism, physicalism, and functionalism) as well as views about the nature of consciousness, personhood, and non-human intelligence. While the course will be accessible to students with non-philosophical backgrounds, its selection of assigned readings and methods of evaluation will prepare students to succeed in upper level courses in philosophy of mind.


Application Procedures and Deadlines:

Required Professional Qualifications:  MA Degree in the appropriate field.

Closing Date:  Monday, December 12, 2016, 1:00 pm

All applicants must apply to the Department Head in writing and in relation to each course for which they wish to be considered:

Professor David Matheson
Chair, Department of Philosophy
Carleton University
1125 Colonel by Drive, 3A35 Paterson Hall
Ottawa, ON. K1S 5B6

As per Article 15.3 of the current CUPE 4600 Unit 2 Collective Agreement, applicants are required to submit an up to date CV, including a complete listing of all courses taught within the CUPE 4600 Unit 2 bargaining unit at Carleton University.  Candidates who have already contacted the department and submitted a CV recently need only indicate their interest in particular courses.  NOTE that when applying to classes for which they have incumbency, applicants shall not be required to (re)submit documentation beyond their updated CV.

 Pre-Posting Hiring Decisions:

The following courses have been assigned to graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, or visiting scholars.  These courses are not open for applications but the department will contact the most senior incumbent to review their rights under Article 17.6 of the CUPE 4600-2 Collective Agreement:

  • None for Summer 2017


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