Contract Instructor Positions for the 2017-18 Academic Year

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 Fall 2017 and Winter 2018 terms:

FYSM 1208 [1.0 credit]: First Year Seminar: Looking at Philosophy
This is a full year course.
The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the nature and practice of philosophy by looking at some of the most important problems and issues that have occupied the attention of philosophers throughout history. Typical questions might concern the existence of God, knowledge of an external world, free will and determinism, the objectivity of morality. Students will learn some of the main positions that have been taken on these issues, along with prominent arguments that have been offered for and against these different positions. 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.

FYSM 1209 [1.0 credit]: First Year Seminar: Contemporary Moral, Social, and Religious Issues
This is a full year course.
The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the nature and practice of philosophy by looking at some important ethical and social problems and issues that are prominent in the contemporary world. Typical questions might abortion, affirmative action, racism, human rights, children’s rights, world hunger, capital punishment, euthanasia, censorship, pornography, legal paternalism, animal rights and environmental protection. Students will learn some of the main positions that have been taken on these issues, along with prominent arguments that have been offered for and against these different positions. 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. Students will also learn prominent moral theories that are relevant to those arguments and issues.

PHIL 1000 [0.5 credit]: Introductory Philosophy: Fields, Figures and Problems
Scheduled in both Fall and Winter semesters.
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 possible, 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 in both Fall and Winter semesters.
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 philosophical writings on the topic (particularly from 19th century, 20th century, and contemporary authors in the Western philosophical tradition), 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 in Fall semester.
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 make 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 1550 [0.5 credit]: Introduction to Ethics and Social Issues
Scheduled in Fall semester.
The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the nature and practice of ethics and social philosophy by looking at some important ethical and social problems and issues that are prominent in the contemporary world. Typical questions might abortion, affirmative action, racism, human rights, children’s rights, world hunger, capital punishment, euthanasia, censorship, pornography, legal paternalism, animal rights and environmental protection. Students will learn some of the main positions that have been taken on these issues, along with prominent arguments that have been offered for and against these different positions. 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. Students will also learn prominent moral theories that are relevant to those arguments and issues.

PHIL 1620 [0.5 credit]: Great Philosophical Ideas, Part 2
Scheduled in Fall semester.
Major figures and developments in philosophy after the year 1400. Descriptive and comparative approach, providing an understanding of the place of philosophers in the history of thought. Appreciation of critical reasoning is included for comprehending philosophical developments.

PHIL 2001 [0.5 credit]: Introduction to Logic
Scheduled in both Fall and Winter semesters.
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 philosophy.

PHIL 2003 [0.5 credit]: Critical Thinking
Scheduled in Fall semester.
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 2103 [0.5 credit]: Philosophy of Human Rights
Scheduled in Winter semester.
The content and teaching of this course will focus on the justifiability of human rights. Thus the distinction between having a human right, as a moral guarantee, and enjoying a human right (insofar as it is respected, protected and fulfilled) will be drawn, and prominent lines of argument (both historical and contemporary) for and against particular human rights or classes of human rights will be presented. These will include prominent philosophical approaches, e.g., utilitarian, Kantian, contractarian, libertarian, and basic rights approaches. Students will engage critically with these debates, considering objections to the arguments, and drawing their own conclusions as to which of the arguments stand up best to the objections, and thus which views on the contested human rights are supported by the strongest arguments. Relativism will be covered as well as pluralism, i.e. the prospect that human rights may be justifiable from within many different cultural traditions and moral perspectives. Historical and contemporary readings may be combined, but this course should prepare students to succeed in upper-level courses in contemporary social and political philosophy, while remaining interesting and accessible to students who will not take more philosophy.

PHIL 2380 [0.5 credit]: Introduction to Environmental Ethics
Scheduled in Fall semester.
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 in Fall semester.
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.

PHIL 2504 [0.5 credit]: Language and Communication
Scheduled in Winter semester.
This course aims to provide a general introduction to the development of some key notions pertaining to the philosophy of language and mind forming the basis of a theory of communication. It will focus on the analytic tradition initiated by Frege, Russell, and Wittgenstein and the way they have been perceived by the analytic philosophical community. We shall begin by discussing some central topics of Frege’s philosophy of language. The main topics discussed will be: Frege’s sense/reference distinction, Frege’s theory of thought, Frege’s anti-psychologism and Frege’s theory of demonstratives. We shall then discuss some central topics from Wittgenstein’s Philosophical Investigations and the way they have been perceived within the philosophical community. Among these topics we shall discuss notions such as: language games, form of life, rule following, etc. The objective is not merely to read what these philosophers and others have, but to understand and evaluate their arguments, recognizing their strengths and weaknesses.

PHIL 2540 [0.5 credit]: Personal Identity and the Self
Scheduled in Winter semester.
This course is centred on two key aspects of persons, what it is to be one person at a time and over time, and what the self is (if selves exist). The belief that you are responsible only for what you did or caused to have done earlier, and you are entitled only to what was assigned to you or you merited earlier are central to our way of life – to the legal system, property, contracts, the educational system (think of the effort devoted to preventing plagiarism), and even interpersonal relations. Here some key questions are: What makes a person the same person over time – body, mind, conscious memory, or what? Can one person transform into a different person in a single body over time? Is there a rule, one person/one body, or can several persons inhabit a single body at a time or especially ‘taking turns’ over time (several people in one body)?

As to selves, each of us thinks of his or her self as being what (or who) s/he is. But do selves even exist or is the conscious mind all there is? If selves exist, what is a self? If selves exist, do we make them in the course of coming to have a sense of who we are and who we were, or are they independent of what we do? Is having a self necessary for being a decision-maker responsible for what s/he does?

Using both philosophical and psychological writings, we will explore issues such as these in this course. The objective is not merely to read what philosophers and others have written about them, but to understand and evaluate their arguments, recognizing their strengths and weaknesses, possibly trying to improve upon them.

Some time may also be devoted to the closely related question of what is going on in the self/mind when someone has what we call a mental illness. Is what is called mental illness even an illness? A further closely related issue that may be explored is the issue of immortality, i.e., can we continue to exist as ourselves beyond the death of our body?

PHIL 2807 [0.5 credit]: Philosophy of Art
Scheduled in Fall semester.
This course is an introduction to philosophical debates and arguments concerning art, including questions such as these: ‘What makes art art?’ ‘Does art have a purpose?’ ‘What makes some art good art?’ ‘How are we to interpret art, or understand it’s meaning?’ The goal of the course is to stimulate students’ thinking about questions like these and provoke them to form views about them. The objective is not merely for them to read what philosophers and others have written about them, 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. Prominent historical as well as contemporary readings should be included.

PHIL 3005 [0.5 credit]: 19th Century Philosophy
Scheduled in Winter semester.
An examination of developments in philosophy during the 19th century, with a special focus on post-Kantian idealism and reactions to it. By examining key works by such figures as Fichte, Hegel, Schopenhauer, Kierkegaard, and Nietzsche, various metaphysical, epistemological, and value-theoretic topics will be explored. These topics may include the nature of reason, self, and freedom, the possibility of non-empirical knowledge, and the relationship between moral and other sorts of value.

PHIL 3150 [0.5 credit]: Metaphysics
Scheduled in Winter semester.
This course explores philosophical issues related to the fundamental nature of being, existence, and reality. Particular topics may include: time and temporality, space, substance, universals/particulars, identity, causation, freedom/determinism, and the nature of norms.

PHIL 3320 [0.5 credit]: Contemporary Ethical Theory
Scheduled in Fall semester.
Topics will include utilitarianism, consequentialism, virtue and deontology, and may also include libertarianism, communitarianism, egoism, neo-Kantianism, social contract ethics, feminist ethics, and moral rights, as well as various meta-ethical perspectives such as realism, relativism, expressivism and nihilism.

PHIL 3380 [0.5 credit]: Environments, Technology and Values
Scheduled in Winter semester.
Students in this course will study, in greater depth, a subset of the issues surveyed in PHIL 2380. When designing the course, the instructor must consider what students learned in PHIL 2380 on the last two occasions on which it was taught. The instructor may add one additional environmental policy issue for which the students will be well prepared, philosophically. 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 4330 [0.5 credit]: Democratic Theory (Seminar in Social and Political Philosophy)
Scheduled in Winter semester.
An exploration of concepts central to democratic theory, and a critical assessment of influential theories of democracy. Particular topics to be explored include problems and challenges for liberal, representative, participatory, and deliberative forms of democracy, pluralism and the values of democracy, and democracy and globalization.

  

Application Procedures and Deadlines:

Required Professional Qualifications: MA Degree in the appropriate field.

Closing Date: Monday, April 10, 2017, 12:00 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, 3A48 Paterson Hall
Ottawa, ON. K1S 5B6
Email applications to:  philosophy@carleton.ca

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:

  • N/A for the 2017/18 academic year

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *