The Greek words from which “Philosophy” is formed mean “love of wisdom” and all great philosophers have been moved by an intense devotion to the search for wisdom. Philosophy takes no belief for granted, but examines the grounds for those beliefs which make up people’s fundamental views of the world. Philosophers think about these beliefs as thoroughly and systematically as possible, using methods of conceptual analysis, reasoning, and detailed description.
What distinguishes Philosophy from the physical and social sciences is its concern not only with the truths which are discovered by means of specialized methods of investigation, but with the implications that such discoveries have for human beings in their relations with one another and the world. Moreover, Philosophy has an abiding interest in those basic assumptions about the nature of the physical and social world, and about the nature of enquiry itself, which underlie our scientific and practical endeavours.
The Philosophy Department at the University of Toronto offers courses in most of the main periods and areas of Philosophy, which are listed here with a typical question or the name of one or two central figures: Ancient Philosophy (Plato, Aristotle); Mediaeval Philosophy (Augustine, Aquinas); Early Modern Philosophy (Descartes, Hume, Kant); Nineteenth-Century Philosophy (Hegel, Mill, Marx); Asian Philosophy (Chinese Philosophy) Continental Philosophy and Phenomenology (Husserl, Heidegger, Sartre); Analytic Philosophy (Quine, Russell, Wittgenstein); Epistemology and Metaphysics (What can be known? What is the ultimate nature of reality?); Moral Philosophy (How should we argue rationally about right and wrong?); Philosophy of Mind (What is mind? Is there free will?); Logic and Philosophy of Mathematics (What is sound reasoning? Do numbers exist?); Philosophy of Language (What is the meaning of “meaning”?); Philosophy of Natural Science (What is scientific method?); Social and Political Philosophy (What justifies the state?); Aesthetics (What is art? Must it be beautiful?). In addition, the Department offers Seminars (numbered PHL400H1 – PHL488H1), Individual Studies courses (numbered PHL495H1 – PHL499H1) and the Socrates Project (PHL489Y1).
Counselling is available in the main departmental office, 170 St. George St., 4th floor. In particular, students may wish to get advice about how best to combine philosophy programs with other majors or minors, given that various co-specialist programs with other disciplines have been discontinued. In addition, the Department publishes an annual Bulletin. It contains full and up-to-date information on programs and courses, including names of instructors and descriptions of particular course sections. The Bulletin is published in the summer (for the succeeding year) and is available on the Department’s website and at 170 St. George Street.
Prof. Imogen Dickie, 170 St. George Street, Room 404 (416-978-3314), email@example.com
Mr. Eric Correia, 170 St. George Street, Room 403 (416-978-3314), firstname.lastname@example.org