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Core and Major-PE Course Descriptions

Core and Major Prescribed Electives | General Education Requirement (GER)
 
HY1001 Introduction to Philosophy
Pre-requisites: Nil
AU: 3
Remarks: Students who have taken HY1001 should not take HY8001
 

This course is an introduction to philosophy through the examination of fundamental philosophical issues. No prior experience with philosophy is assumed. The course is designed to provide you with a foundation for further philosophical inquiry.


HY1002 Symbolic Logic
(Previous title - Logic and Paradoxes)
Pre-requisites: Nil
AU: 3
Remarks: Students who have taken HY1002 should not take HY8002
 

What's proper reasoning and how do you tell whether an argument is good or bad? This class introduces you to formal logic, a set of powerful tools that allow us to give precise answers to the preceding questions. Along the way we will also discuss a few paradoxes - for example, how should we understand and evaluate claims about objects that don't exist, such as the claim that Santa Clause lives on the North Pole?


HY2002 Moral Philosophy
Pre-requisites: Nil
AU: 3
 
This course is an introduction to philosophical ethics. No prior familiarity with the topic is assumed. You will explore major theories and concepts in ethics, and apply these theories to puzzling ethical problems.  


HY2003 / HY2903​ Chinese Philosophy ​
Pre-requisites: Nil
AU: 3
 

This is an introductory course to the key figures in Chinese philosophy and their intellectual traditions, including Confucianism, Daoism, Mohism, Legalism, Buddhism, Neo-Confucianism, and Contemporary Chinese Philosophy. The course is organised around thinkers, rather than topics or traditions. The objective of this course is to give you a better idea of the historical development of ideas in each of the traditions and the influences these thinkers have on one another. More emphasis will be put on the pre-Qin, since it is a period of time when major ideas and concepts in Chinese Philosophy originated. Throughout the course, we will explore some of the fundamental philosophical issues raised by early Chinese thinkers (e.g. reality, knowledge, moral cultivation, and the good life) from the perspective of thinkers as well as from our perspective that is informed by contemporary concerns.


HY2004 / HY2904​ Indian Philosophy ​
Pre-requisites: Nil
AU: 3
 

This course introduces the various systems in Classical Indian thought. The course challenges students to think about epistemological, metaphysical and ethical questions through these historical schools. Particular emphasis will be placed on analysing arguments from the original text, constructing and evaluating strengths of relevant objections. Students will develop high level critical thinking and writing skills by examining these historical texts. Students will also be challenged to think about the richness of philosophical issues that were developed thousands of years ago and how these issues still apply to our everyday experience today.


HY2005 Political Philosophy
(Previous title - Justice, Society, and the State​)
Pre-requisites: Nil
AU: 3
 
This course is an introduction to contemporary political philosophy. States claim to have a monopoly on the justified use of coercive force. This is a stunning, and perhaps alarming, claim. It's all the more stunning once we recognize that this power is wielded, not merely over non-human animals or children, but over competent adults. Accordingly, the fundamental question of contemporary political philosophy is this: How is authority - i.e., the power to create moral obligations in others by means of commands - possible among free and equal moral persons? Anarchists think this question does not admit of a plausible answer. In this class, we'll see if they're right.  

HY2008 Environmental Ethics
Pre-requisites: Nil
AU: 3
Remarks: This course is mutually exclusive with HY0301. Students who have taken taking​ this course should not take HY0301 and vice versa​
 

This course aims to introduce you to ethical issues raised by ecological problems and environmental-related concerns in today's world, with a focus on rethinking the relationship between human beings and nature. You will learn various concepts and theories on the subject and develop an ability to carry out philosophical inquiry and to independently think through a variety of ethical issues related to the environment.


HY2010 Ancient Philosophy
(Previous title - Ancient Philosophy: The Examined Life)
Pre-requisites: Nil
AU: 3
 

This course is intended to introduce you to major ancient Greek and Roman schools of philosophical thought. In addition to being an important topic of scholarship on its own, ancient Greek and Roman philosophy provides a historical foundation for other philosophical courses/topics you will encounter as you progess in your studies, as the ancient Greeks and Romans explored issues that continue to occupy philosophers to this day.


HY2012 Early Modern Philosophy
(Previous title - Modern Philosophy: Reason and Experience)
Pre-requisites: Nil
AU: 3
 

This course introduces you to fundamental philosophical issues that emerge in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. You will familiarize with early modern views of the nature of cognition, the human mind, God, freedom, experience, and the origin of moral qualities, and will evaluate the merits of competing Rationalist and Empiricist approaches to these and other topics.


HY2014 Love
Pre-requisites: Nil
AU: 3​
 

Love is one of the most important components of the good life. This course introduces students to a variety of philosophical themes on the subject of love by reading texts from ancient to contemporary. The readings, class lectures, and class discussions will provide a foundation for understanding love in various perspectives. Students are encouraged to develop their own philosophy of love,which will be presented, written about, and debated in class.


HY2015 Happiness
(New title - Philosophy of Well-Being, take effect from AY2019-20 Sem 2 onwards)
Pre-requisites: Nil
AU: 3
 

What makes a life go well for the person living it? Theories of well-being attempt to answer this question. In this course, we will examine the most promising of such theories, evaluating each for their strengths and weaknesses. This course is suitable for those who want to investigate the nature of welfare in a philosophically rigorous manner. It is not suitable for people who just want to share their feelings about happiness.


HY2016 Friendship
Pre-requisites: Nil
AU: 3​
 

“Friendship” introduces the nature of friendship through different historical thinkers as well as contemporary theories. The course challenges students to think about the necessary components of a friendship and the importance of friendship in becoming an ethical person. Particular emphasis will be placed on analysing arguments from the original text, constructing and evaluating strengths of relevant objections. Students will develop high level critical thinking and writing skills by examining historical text and contemporary writing. Students will be challenged to think about “friendship” as a philosophical issue but draw practical significance from studying it.


HY2017 Philosophy of Film
Pre-requisites: Nil
AU: 3​ 
 

Philosophy and Film explores major issues in philosophy through the use of film. The course will challenge students to think about films in a different way: not as passive entertainment, but rather as useful thought experiments for conveying important ideas. By combining readings with select films, students will engage with traditional topics in philosophy, such as God and religious belief, our knowledge of the external world, personal identity, the mind-body problem, free will, and morality. Students will develop the ability to extract philosophically interesting arguments and ideas from films, and think critically about their implications.


HY2026 Business Ethics
Pre-requisites: Nil
AU: 3​ 
 

This course is designed to introduce students in philosophy, business, and other majors to a range of issues at the intersection of business and ethics. We will cover a variety of "traditional" business ethics topics, such as standards for employee / product safety, hiring and promotion, and wages. Additionally, we will examine broader questions about the place and influence of business in society, many of which come down to the debate over the extent to which societal goods and their distribution should be determined by market forces. Through study of both general philosophical theories and specific cases, this course will prepare students to deal with ethical decisions they will face in their careers and as members of society.


HY3001 Existentialism
(Previous title - Existentialism: Freedom, Being, Death​)
Pre-requisites: Nil
AU: 3​ 
 

This course charts the genesis and evolution of key concepts, claims, and arguments in the existentialist tradition. After taking this course, you will be able to critically engage existentialist interpretations human experience, meaning, faith, value, responsibility, freedom, finitude, etc., and evaluate their relevance for our lives.


HY3003 World Religions
Pre-requisites: Nil
AU: 3​ 
 

This course aims towards philosophical reflection on various religious traditions in the world. This includes religious employments of philosophical ideas, philosophical criticisms of religious tenets, and philosophical questions based on religious inquiries. The development of world religions such as Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, Daoism, Confucianism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, has been intertwined with philosophical explorations across different geographical and cultural environments. This course covers the basics of theses traditions from ancient times up to the present day and explores cross-cultural dialogues between them in depth.


HY3004 Faith and Reason
Pre-requisites: Nil
AU: 3​ ​
 

This course gives students a unique opportunity to explore profound questions of religion and faith in a philosophical framework. Students will be asked to take a reasoned stance on whether religious faith can be, or even should be, rationally justified by evidence.They will be challenged to assess arguments in favor of theism and atheism. They will consider whether science and religion are compatible, or whether one discredits the other. And they will contemplate whether religious assertions about the occurrence of miracles and the existence of an afterlife survive critical scrutiny. Finally, we examine whether religions can be worthy of our adherence, even if some of their fundamental tenets are false. The course will conclude with some reflection on the important roles that religion can play in people’s lives, apart from being a source of truth-claims. These issues are among the great questions that have roiled the human mind. In Faith and Reason, students will confront them head-on in an intellectual environment that will demand both analytical rigor and mutual respect.


HY3005 / HY3905 Great Ideas and Innovations
Pre-requisites: Nil
AU: 3​ ​
 

Where do great ideas and innovations come from?  What are some examples of great ideas and innovations from history, and how did they arise?  How are new ideas and artifacts created?  Philosophy provides a unique perspective from which to examine the origin of great ideas and innovations.  This course particularly highlights the role of thinking creatively but in a controlled manner.  It examines the ideas of philosophers such as Plato and Locke on the origins of ideas, as well as the role of thought experiments in opening up new unconsidered possibilities.  It will also present case studies of great ideas, such as the work of Galileo, Copernicus, Darwin, as well as the origin of computing and the importation of ideas about computing to the study of the mind.  Students will be encouraged to explore various great ideas and innovations on their own as well. 


HY3010 / HY3910 Philosophy of Science
Pre-requisites: Nil
AU: 3​ ​
 

This course is an introduction to the philosophy of science, a major sub-field of philosophy. Philosophy of science is concerned with understanding the nature of science, and it intersects with other sub-fields of philosophy such as metaphysics, epistemology, and ethics. The first part of the course will focus on major theories about the nature of science, including those of the logical empiricists, Karl Popper, and Thomas Kuhn. The second half of the course will examine a variety of topics within contemporary philosophy of science, which may include: social studies of science, science and values, the ethics of science, scientific realism, as well as the application of philosophy of science to problems in the science of well-being, climate science, and other fields. By taking this course, you will gain a nuanced understanding of how science produces knowledge, as well as the ability to think critically about the status and role of science in society.


HY3011 Philosophy of Mind
(Previous title - Minds and Machines​)
Pre-requisites: Nil
AU: 3​ ​ 
 

This course introduces you to the philosophy of mind, a core area of analytic philosophy that has connections to nearly every other area of philosophical study. You will gain an understanding of major theories and issues in philosophy of mind, as well as their connections to topics in other areas of philosophy and the sciences.  


HY3012 / HY3912 Philosophy of Technology
Pre-requisites: Nil
AU: 3​ ​
 
This course is an introduction to the philosophy of technology. Through examination of a variety of perspectives on the nature and significance of technology, you will gain a greater understanding of the place of technology in society and its effects on human individuals and societies.   

HY3014 19th Century Continental Philosophy
Pre-requisites: : Nil
AU: 3​ ​
 
This course introduces you to fundamental themes and figures of 19th century European philosophy. You will grasp the genesis, arguments, and motivations for a range of new movements that emerge in this period, including, e.g. idealism, romanticism, historicism, hermeneutics, historical materialism and philosophy of history, and will evaluate their respective interpretations of human reason, nature, freedom, experience, history, and social life. 

HY3015 20th Century Continental Philosophy
Pre-requisites: : Nil
AU: 3​ ​
 
This course introduces you to the central thinkers, philosophical movements, and fundamental themes in 20th century European philosophy. You will learn the fundamentals of structuralism, hermeneutics, critical theory, deconstruction, feminism, and psychoanalysis, among other movements, and will explore how thinkers from each movement respond to the problems they think plague their philosophical rivals.

HY3017 Philosophy and Music​
Pre-requisites: HY1001
AU: 3​ ​
 

This course introduces philosophical questions about music in cross-cultural perspectives. Throughout this course, students will explore the following questions: Why music and philosophy were at a high tension in ancient Greek but not in early China? Why music was regarded as not just an enjoyable entertainment but an indispensible part of understanding human nature in both traditions? Why do we find music to be deeply moving and even profound? This course introduces philosophical questions about music in cross-cultural perspectives. Throughout this course, students will explore the following questions: Why music and philosophy were at a high tension in ancient Greek but not in early China? Why music was regarded as not just an enjoyable entertainment but an indispensible part of understanding human nature in both traditions? Why do we find music to be deeply moving and even profound? What are the main issues in the contemporary discussions of music and philosophy.


HY3018 Epistemology
Pre-requisites: Nil
AU: 3
 
Epistemology is a core subdiscipline of philosophy. This is a survey class that introduces you to some of the most influential debates and approaches in epistemology in the last 100 years. Topics to be covered may include the following: analyses of knowledge, coherentist vs foundationalist theories of justification, varieties of skepticism, internalism vs externalism, formal vs traditional approaches to epistemology, legal epistemology, and more.

HY3019 Consequentialism
(New course, take effect from AY2019-20 Sem 2 onwards)
Pre-requisites: HY2002
AU: 3
 
Consequentialism holds, roughly, that acts are permissible if and only if they bring about the best outcome. The right-to-left reading of this biconditional is a particularly compelling idea. Since by our acts we influence how things turn out, it's hard to deny that it is always permissible to actualize the outcome that's best. And yet critics have leveled a number of powerful objections. It is argued that the theory's commitment to aggregation is objectionable, that it fails to recognize the separateness of persons, that it disregards the moral importance of intergrity, that it's overly stringent (or excessively permissive). and that it falters in the face of collective action problems. Beyond these external criticisms, the precise formulation of the theory presents a number of technical obstacles. This has given rise to major internal disputes among its advocates. Should we, for example, bring about the most actual good or aim for the most expected good? Are our obligations determined by the possible consequences of our acts or their actual consequences? This course will address the three issues just mention: Consequentialism's compellingness, and its purported internal and external problems. This course is suitable for those who want to investigate the nature of consequentialism in a philosophically rigorous manner.

HY3020 Deontology
(New course, take effect from AY2019-20 Sem 2 onwards)
Pre-requisites: HY2002
AU: 3
 
Deontological theories hold, roughly, that there are certain features that our actions themselves that are relevant to the deontic properties they possess - that do not reduce to the consequences. Accordingly, allows for the possibility that some actions are impermissible, even though the results of so acting would be best. In this course, how this position might be maintained and explained, as well as the most pressing objections it faces. This course is suitable for those who want to investigate the nature of deontology in a philosophically rigorous manner.

HY3021 Philosophy of Race and Gender
Pre-requisites: HY2002
AU: 3
 
This course is designed to introduce students to a range of philosophical issues surrounding race and gender. There are two main topics that we'll be exploring in the course, each of which will occupy about half of the term. The first topic is the multidisciplinary debate about what race and gender actually are, which we will engage with through critical examination of a range of proposed definitions of race and gender. The second topic is the social, ethical, and political significance that race and gender, with particular attention to the ways that race and gender shape the opportunities and obstacles faced by individuals/groups in society. By examining these issues, students will gain a better understanding of the role of race and gender in their own individual identity as well as the ability to think critically about societal policies and ideologies related to race and gender.

HY3024 Virtue Ethics
Pre-requisites: HY2002 
AU: 3
 
Virtue ethics is, along with deontology and consequentialism, one of the "big three" theories in normative ethics. This course aims to give you an in-depth understanding of the virtue ethical tradition, including close reading of major book-length works by both ancient and contemporary virtue ethicists.

HY4002 Knowledge and Reality​
Pre-requisites: HY1001
AU: 4
 

This is a class on metaphysics, epistemology, and the intersection between these two fields. Our main focus will be on us and our status in the world (both epistemologically and metaphysically), and we will be interested in questions such as the following ones: What is knowledge and how can we know anything about the external world? How should we respond when we find that our peers disagree with us? Is our knowledge of ourselves qualitatively different from our knowledge of others? What are we anyway?


HY4003 Advanced Epistemology
Pre-requisites: HY1002
AU: 4
 
The aim of this class is to introduce you to some of the major recent developments in contemporary epistemology, including various ways in which formal methods have been used to study philosophical problems. We will discuss both debates that are internal to contemporary approaches in epistemology as well as contrasts between modern and traditional approached to epistemology. We will also discuss applications of modern epistemology in, for example, a legal context.

HY4005 History of Analytic Philosophy
Pre-requisites: : Nil
AU: 4
 
This course is designed to introduce advanced undergraduates to the history of analytic philosophy through the reading of primary sources. Analytic philosophy is a major tradition of contemporary philosophy, and it has produced numerous landmark works. In this course, we will read and analyze several of these landmark works, which may include books and articles by Gottlob Frege, Bertrand Russell, Rudolf Carnap, W. V. O. Quine, Saul Kripke, and others. By reading these works together, you will gain a better perspective on how many of the central ideas in contemporary philosophy emerged, and how they are related to each other. You will also gain experience in analyzing and critiquing primary sources at an advanced level.

HY4006 Philosophy of Physics
Pre-requisites: Nil
AU: 4

This course is designed to introduce advanced undergraduates to the philosophy of physics, a core branch of philosophy of science. Physics is widely believed to be the most fundamental of the sciences, and many conceptual issues in physics intersect with philosophy. We will examine these conceptual issues from a philosophical perspective. In the first half of this course, we will explore the conceptual development of theories about space and time. We will take a historical approach, examining in turn the ideas of Newton, Leibniz, Mach, the logical positivsts, and Einstein. In the second half of the course, we will explore conceptual issues in quantum mechanics, a theory developed in the twentieth century about what the world is like at the scale of atoms. We will focus on puzzling conceptual problems of quantum mechanics such as the measurement problem and non-locality, as well as various interpretations of quantum mechanics. By examining the philosophy of physics, students will gain an understanding of the kinds of issues that might arise at the intersection of science and philosophy.

HY4007 Aesthetics
(Previous title - Art and Beauty)
Pre-requisites: : Nil
AU: 4
 
This course exposes students to core questions in aesthetics and the philosophy of art, and features readings from a range of contemporary and historical sources. Topics to be considered include the definition of art, the nature of
aesthetic experience, the relation between art and truth, aesthetic expression, etc. You will evaluate the persuasiveness of competing definitions of art and the aesthetic, and will familiarize yourself with different methodological approaches for the study of aesthetic objects, experiences, and institutions. 

HY4008 Advanced Moral Philosophy
(New course, take effect from AY2019-20 Sem 2 onwards)
Pre-requisites: HY2002
AU: 4
 
What are we required to do? Who are we required to be? And why are we required to do these things or be these types of people? Ethical theories attempt to systematically answer these questions. In this course, we will examine the most promising such theories, evaluating each for their strengths and weaknesses. This course is suitable for those who want to investigate ethics in a philosophically rigorous manner.  

HY4009 Value Theory
(New course, take effect from AY2019-20 Sem 2 onwards)
Pre-requisites: HY2002
AU: 4
 
What is the nature of ultimate value? Theories of intrinsic value attempt to answer this question. In this course, we will examine the most promising of such theories, evaluating each for their strengths and weaknesses. This course is suitable for those who want to investigate the nature of the good in a philosophically rigorous manner.

HY4011 Moral Psychology
Pre-requisites: HY2002
AU: 4
 
This course is designed to introduce you to the interdisciplinary field of moral psychology, which studies the cognitive and biological basis of moral judgment and behavior. As a 4000-level offering, this advanced course will build on your understanding of other philosophical fields (e.g. ethics, philosophy of science) and will introduce you to a variety of interdisciplinary work.  

HY4013 Language and Being ​
(New title - Philosophy of Language, take effect from AY2019-20 Sem 2 onwards)
Pre-requisites: HY1001
AU: 4
 
The philosophy of language is the study of the properties and workings of natural human language. It is a "central" branch of contemporary analytic philosophy, in the sense that concepts developed by philosophers of language have proven useful in many other areas of philosophy (including metaphysics, logic, philosophy of science, and ethics). The course will focus on three linguistic phenomena. We examine reference, and ask how a linguistic expression can refer to things in the world. In addition, we study the nature of linguistic meaning (otherwise known as "sense"), and ask how a verbal noise or written mark acquires meaning (sense). Furthermore, we explore pragmatics, and analyze the various uses of language exercised by speakers in everyday life. The material in this course contains useful insights not only for philosophy majors, but also for anyone who studies language and linguistic representation in a variety of disciplines: linguists, logicians, computer scientists, artificial intelligence researchers, ethologists, sociologists, and anthropologists.

HY4015 Philosophical Methodologies
Pre-requisites: HY1001
AU: 4​
 
Philosophy is done in different ways. In supporting their claims, different philosophers take very different approaches and cite different sources of information. This course is an introduction to metaphilosophy - the philosophical assessment of philosophy itself. It addresses the question of whether some ways of doing philosophy - i.e., some philosophical methodologies - are more reliable than others in leading to discovery. This question is fundamental to the enterprise of philosophy: it calls for us to reflect whether philosophical questions can have correct answers, and whether philosophical reflection can yield knowledge of interesting truths. We will survey different methodologies pursued across multiple areas of philosophy, including epistemology, metaphysics, the philosophy of mind, and ethics. Along the way, we will identify standards of success for philosophical arguments, and we will ask whether any ways of doing philosophy are particularly effective in facilitating successful philosophy.  

HY4021 Practical Rationality​
Pre-requisites: HY2002
AU: 4
 

Practical rationality is a core topic that straddles moral philosophy and epistemology. The course aims to bolster your research into moral philosophy by adding probability theory and decision theory. The course also aims to connect theoretical concepts in normative philosophy to actual life decisions and strategies.


HY4023 Metaethics​
Pre-requisites: HY2002
AU: 4

Whereas theories in normative ethics address questions concerning what we are required to do and who we are required to be, theories in metaethics address questions about ethics. Metaethical theories, that is, provide systematic accounts of the nature of ethics. In this course, we will examine the most promising such theories, evaluating each for their strengths and weaknesses. This course is suitable for those who want to investigate the nature of ethics in a philosophically rigorous manner.


HY4024 Metaphysics  ​
Pre-requisites: : Nil
AU: 4
 
Metaphysics is a core subdiscipline of philosophy. This is a survey class that introduces you to some of the most influential debates and approaches in contemporary metaphysics. The class will begin with an introduction to the metaphysics of possible worlds, which has found areas of application in many areas of philosophy, including in epistemology, logic, and philosophy of language, as well as in many debates in metaphysics itself. The class will then go on to discuss a number of specific topics in metaphysics, including, e.g. the mind-body problem, time, and constitution. 

HY4025 Ethics and Public Policy​
Pre-requisites: HY2002
AU: 4​
 

Public policy is any institution, norm, or rule created by a government to guide people’s behavior. The study of public policy raises significant ethical questions. In particular: to what ends should citizens’ behavior be guided, and by which means should a government guide such behavior? When might a public policy intervention by the government in the affairs of private individuals be unethical? Ethics and Public Policy will survey a number of areas in which public policy has been used to address social and political issues: crime, immigration, health, safety, inequality, religion, and the family. Students will question, debate, and reflect on the ethical principles which favor or disfavor the implementation of various publicPublic policy is any institution, norm, or rule created by a government to guide people’s behavior. The study of public policy raises significant ethical questions. In particular: to what ends should citizens’ behavior be guided, and by which means should a government guide such behavior? When might a public policy intervention by the government in the affairs of private individuals be unethical? Ethics and Public Policy will survey a number of areas in which public policy has been used to address social and political issues: crime, immigration, health, safety, inequality, religion, and the family. Students will question, debate, and reflect on the ethical principles which favor or disfavor the implementation of various public policies.


HY4037 Kant ​
Pre-requisites: HY2012
AU: 4
 

This course is an in-depth introduction to the thought of Immanuel Kant, one of the most important and influential Modern philosophers. You will study the basic structure of key Kantian positions, including his account of human reason, experience, and freedom, and will critically evaluate their philosophical motivations and broader implications.


HY4110 Special Topics in Philosophy of Science​
Pre-requisites: Nil
AU: 4
 

This course is designed to introduce advanced undergraduates to a special topic within philosopy of science. Philosophy of science is concerned with understanding the nature of science, and it intersects with other sub-fields of philosophy such as metaphysics, epistemology, and ethics. Special topics that are covered in this course might include: scientific realism, scientific explaination, confirmation theory, philosophy of probability, philosophy of measurement, philosophy of models and simulations, philosophy of particular sciences (e.g., biology, chemistry, cognitive science, economics, the historical sciences), the work of particular philosophers of science (e.g., Descartes, Newton, Leibniz, Kant, Mach, Duhem, the logical empiricists, Popper, Kuhn). By examining a particular special topic in depth, you will gain an understanding of the debates surrounding that special topic, and more generally, you will gain experience analyzing and critiquing books and papers within a specialized literature.


HY4111 Special Topics in Ethics​
Pre-requisites: Nil
AU: 4​
 

Using a for and against format, this course covers a wide swath of particularly vexing, and extremely important, ethical problems. The course will touch on, for example, organ sales, terrorism, torture, filial piety, genetic enhancement, euthanasia, world hunger, and more. The course is suitable for those who want to apply ethics in a philosophically rigorous manner. It is not for those looking for a platform to share their "big ideas" about how to solve society's problems.


HY4112 Special Topics in Philosophy​
Pre-requisites: HY1001
AU: 4​
 

The special topic will change, depending on the coordinating lecturer, in response to student needs and divisional expertise at any given time.


HY4113 Special Topics in Chinese Philosophy​
Pre-requisites: Nil
AU: 4​
 

This course is to be offered by both regular and visiting faculty in Philosophy, to be conducted in a seminar style. Each course is to focus on one special area and is taught through extensive reading of selected key texts in the subject and intensive discussions in the class. Students will be required to write review essays or/and research papers and to make presentations in class. ​​


HY4114 Special Topics in Logic​
Pre-requisites: HY1002
AU: 4​
 
Logic underwent a revolution in the late 19th and early to middle 20th century. Starting with Frege, mathematicians and philosophers developed logical systems that were much more powerful than the traditional logical systems inherited from Aristotle and Boole. It became clear that by using these new tools, it was possible to formalize large swaths of mathematics, and many mathematicians and philosophers became optimistic that it may even be possible to reduce mathematics to formal logic. However, in the wake of this optimism, a number of results were proven that demonstrated several fundamental limitations inherent in all formal logical systems. This class introduces you to the major positive results - including the soundness and completeness theorems - and the major limitation results, in particular Godel's incompleteness theorems and Church's undecidability theorem. The philosophical implications of the results will be emphasized.

HY4115 Special Topics in Buddhist Philosophy​
Pre-requisites: HY2003
AU: 4​

The special topic will change, depending on the coordinating lecturer, in response to student needs and divisional expertise at any given time. Possible topics include Chan and Zen Buddhism, Buddhist arguments against the self, Buddhism in China, Yogacara Buddhism, and so on.  ​​

HY4116 Phenomenology
Pre-requisites: HY2012
AU: 4​
 

This course studies key figures and topics in phenomenology, including intentionality, embodiment, temporality, perception, intersubjectivity, meaning, expression, etc. The course aims to sensitize students to phenomenology's systematic goals, historical development, and philosophical prospects.


HY4118 Independent Study I​
Pre-requisites: Nil
AU: 4​
 

The course is offered to satisfied special needs of individual students in areas of interest of a faculty member or members. It is usually taught at an advanced level, with intensive reading and writing. The student will meet with the faculty member periodically as progress requires. Methods of assessment are to be determined by the faculty member.


HY4119 Independent Study I​I
Pre-requisites: HY4118
AU: 4​​
 

The course is offered to satisfied special needs of individual students in areas of interest of a faculty member or members, and only to students who have satisfactorily completed HY4118. It is taught at an advanced level, with intensive reading and writing. The student will meet with the faculty member periodically as progress requires. Methods of assessment are to be determined by the faculty member.​​


HY4120 Special Topics in Philosophy of Science II
Pre-requisites: Nil
AU: 4​
 
The special topic will change, depending on the coordinating lecturer, in response to student needs and divisional expertise at any given time. Possible topics include Explaination, Evidence, Confirmation, Philosophy of Physics, Philosophy of Biology or Philosophy of Social Science, and so on. 

HY4121 Special Topics in Ethics II
Pre-requisites: HY2002
AU: 4​
 
What distinguishes doing something from somethings merely happening? How we answer this question matters for ethics. For any theory of right action relies on account of what separates our acts from, say, the movement of a hurricane. What makes you one and the same person today as five minutes from now? How we answer this question matters for ethics. For many ethical theories take your agential involvement or your close personal ties to  matter. The course will take up these two questions with the goal of illuminating how the answers we give bear on the plausibility of various ethical theories.

HY4122 Special Topics in Philosophy II
Pre-requisites: Nil
AU: 4​
 

The special topic will change, depending on the coordinating lecturer, in response to student needs and divisional expertise at any given time.  


HY4123 Special Topics in Chinese Philosophy II ​
Pre-requisites: Nil
AU: 4​
 

The special topic will change, depending on the coordinating lecturer, in repsonse to student needs and divisonal expertise at any given time. Possible topics include Chinese ethics, and various traditions including Confucianism, Buddhism, Daoism, etc. 


HY4124 Special Topics in Logic II ​
Pre-requisites: HY1002
AU: 4​
 

If a proposition is possibly true, does it follow that it's necessary that it's possibly true? If you know that a proposition is true, does it follow that you know that you know that it's true? Modal logic is the rigorous study of arguments that involve modal notions such as necessity, possibility, knowing, obligation, etc. Modal notions play a central role in many philosophical debates, and hence modal logic is of central importance to philosophy. This course introduces you to modern modal logic. The course is divided into two parts. The first part covers the fundamentals of formal modal logic, including techniques for translating from English into propositional and predicate modal logic, as well as both syntactic and semantic methods for evaluating arguments in formal modal logic. The second part of the course focuses of applications of modal logic, including applications in epistemology and ethics.   


HY4130 Special Topics in Philosophy of Science III ​
Pre-requisites: Nil
AU: 4​
 

Thie special topic will change, depending on the coordinating lecturer, in repsonse to student needs and divisional expertise at any given time. Possible topics include Explaination, Evidence, Confirmation, Philosophy of Physics, Philosophy of Biology or Philosophy of Social Science, and so on. 


HY4131 Special Topics in Ethics III ​
Pre-requisites: HY2002
AU: 4​

The special topic will change, depending on the coordinating lecturer, in response to student needs and divisional expertise at any given time. 

HY4132 Special Topics in Philosophy III ​
Pre-requisites: Nil
AU: 4​
 

The special topic will change, depending on the coordinating lecturer, in response to student needs and divisional expertise at any given time. 


HY4133 Special Topics in Chinese Philosophy III
Pre-requisites: Nil
AU: 4​

The special topic will change, depending on the coordinating lecturer, in response to student needs and divisional expertise at any given time. Possible topics include Chinese ethics, and various traditions including Confucianism, Buddhism, Daoism, etc. 

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