Philosophy

Philosophy: Introduction

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Faculty Affiliation

Arts and Scien​ce

Degree Programs

Philosophy

​​MA​
​PhD

Combined Degree Programs

Collaborative Specializations

The following collaborative specializations are available to students in participating de​gree programs as listed below:

  1. Ancient and Medieval Philosophy
    • Philosophy, PhD
  2. Bioethics
    • Philosophy, MA, PhD
  3. Editing Medieval Texts
    • Philosophy, PhD
  4. Jewish Studies
    • Philosophy, MA, PhD
  5. Sexual Diversity Studies
    • Philosophy, MA, PhD
  6. Women and Gender Studies
    • Philosophy, MA, PhD

Overview

Philosophy has been taught at the University of Toronto since 1843. Much has changed in that time, but the department remains Canada’s preeminent philosophy department.  It is an international leader in the history of philosophy—especially ancient and medieval philosophy—as well as ethics, philosophy of science, and philosophy of mind. In all of these areas, department members take contemporary philosophical problems and their historical antecedents to illuminate one another.

The department’s most distinctive strength is its broad coverage of the history of philosophy. While our peer departments usually have one or two experts in a few historical periods, U of T has specialists in every area of the history of Western philosophy, as well as in aspects of the history of non-Western philosophy. This historical focus engages with other areas of strength: ethics, philosophy of science, and philosophy of mind.

Many U of T faculty working in these areas also study their history; they use that study to inform their contributions to contemporary debates. At the same time, our historians of philosophy benefit from and contribute to ground-breaking work in systematic philosophy. This integration of historical and systematic philosophy sets us apart from other top philosophy departments where the history of philosophy is often segregated from the rest of the discipline.

Contact and Address

Web: www.philosophy.utoronto.ca
Email: phildept@chass.utoronto.ca
Telephone: (416) 978-3312
Fax: (416) 9​78-8703

Department of Philosophy
University of Toronto
Jackman Humanities Building (JHB)
Room 410, 170 St. George Street
Toronto, Ontario M5R 2M8
Canada

Philosophy: Graduate Faculty

Full Members

Ainslie, Donald - BSc, MA, PhD
Allen, Derek - BA, BPhil, MA, DPhil
Allen, James - BA, PhD
Barney, Rachel - BA, PhD
Black, Deborah - BA, MA, PhD
Brown, James - BA, MA, PhD, FRSC
Clark, Philip - BA, MA, PhD
Comay, Rebecca - BA, MA, PhD
Cunningham, Frank - BA, MA, PhD
Dickie, Imogen - BA, BPhil, DPhil
Dyzenhaus, David - BA, LLB, DPhil
Franks, Paul - AB, MA, PhD
Gerson, Lloyd - BA, MA, PhD, FRSC
Gibbs, Robert - BA, MA, PhD
Gooch, Paul William - BA, MA, PhD
Heath, Joseph - BA, MA, PhD, FRSC
Hellie, Benjamin - BA, PhD
Hubner, Karolina - BA, MA, PhD
Hurka, Thomas - BA, BPhil, DPhil, FRSC
Hutchinson, Douglas - BA, BPhil, DPhil
Inwood, Brad - BA, MA, PhD, FRSC
Katz, Bernard - BA, MA, PhD
King, Peter - BA, PhD
Kingwell, Mark - BA, MA, MPH, DFA, PhD (Graduate Director)
Kremer, Philip - BS, PhD
Lange, Lynda - BA, MA, PhD
Matthen, Mohan - PhD, FRSC
Misak, Cheryl - BA, MA, DPhil, FRSC
Moreau, Sophia - BA, BPhil, PhD, JD
Morgan, Kathryn - BA, MA, MEd, PhD
Morgan, Michael - BA, BA, MA, PhD, PhD
Morrison, Margaret - BA, MA, PhD
Mullin, Amy - BA, PhD
Nagel, Jennifer - BA, MA, PhD
Novak, David - AB, PhD
Pickavé, Martin - MA, PhD (Chair and Graduate Chair)
Raffman, Diana - BA, PhD, FRSC
Rattan, Gurpreet - BSc, AM, MPH, PhD
Ripstein, Arthur S - BA, MA, LLM, PhD
Rozemond, Marleen - BA, PhD
Seager, William Edward - BA, MA, PhD
Sedivy, Sonia - BA, PhD
Shen, Vincent Tsing-song - MA, PhD
Smith, Brian Cantwell - BS, MS, PhD
Tenenbaum, Sergio - MA, PhD
Thompson, Paul - BA, MA, PhD
Walsh, Denis - BA, BSc, MPH, PhD, PhD
Weisberg, Jonathan - BMath, BPhil, PhD
Wilson, Jessica Marie - BA, PhD
Yi, Byeong-Uk - BA, MA, MA, PhD

Members Emeriti

Boyle, Joseph - BA, PhD
Canfield, John - BA, MA, PhD
De Sousa, Ronald - BA, PhD, FRSC
Goldstick, Daniel - BA, BPhil, DPhil
Hacking, Ian - BA, BA, MA, PhD
Kremer, Elmar - AB, PhD
Stefanovic, Ingrid - BA, MA, PhD
Urquhart, Alasdair - MA, MA, PhD

Associate Members

Barnett, David - BA, PhD

Philosophy: Philosophy MA

​Master of Arts

Program Description

The MA may be taken on a full-time or part-time basis.

Applicants should consult the department's web page for complete details on graduate programs, course offerings, short academic profiles of graduate faculty, and application procedures.

 

Minimum Admission Requirements

  • ​Applicants are admitted under the General Regulations of the School of Graduate Studies. Applicants must also satisfy the Department of Philosophy's additional admission requirements stated below.

  • Admission requires an appropriate bachelor's degree from a recognized university. Applicants must have a strong background in philosophy (roughly equivalent to an undergraduate major), with an average grade of at least a mid-B in the applicant's overall program and at least an A- in the applicant's philosophy courses. In certain cases, an applicant whose background in philosophy is deficient may be admitted to the MA program but be required to take one or two additional courses, possibly at the undergraduate level.

  • Applicants whose primary language is not English and who are not graduates of a university whose language of instruction is English must complete the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) with the following minimum scores:

    • paper-based TOEFL exam: 600 and 5 on the Test of Written English (TWE)

    • Internet-based TOEFL exam: 100/120 and 22/30 on the writing and speaking sections.

  • Equivalent results in some other recognized test of English-language proficiency are acceptable.

Program Requirements

  • Coursework. Students must complete 3.5 full-course equivalents (FCEs) in philosophy including:

    • at least 1.0 FCE in the history of philosophy

    • at least 1.0 FCE in the problems of philosophy

    • 1.0 FCE designated courses only for MA students. One 0.5 FCE in the broad area of ethics/politics and the other 0.5 FCE in the broad area of metaphysics and epistemology. Either could be historical.

      • 0.5 FCE taken in the first session

      • 0.5 FCE taken in the second session

    • teaching workshop PHL 2152H Philosophy and Teaching (0.5 FCE)

  • Each MA student is assigned an advisor who will recommend a suitable program of philosophy courses. The student's choice of courses must be approved by the department.

  • It is possible for a full-time student to complete all requirements for the MA degree in the Fall and Winter sessions; however, the department encourages students to take no more than 3.0 FCEs during the Fall and Winter sessions and to complete the last course during the Summer session.

Program Length

3 sessions full-time (typical registration sequence: F/W/S);
5 years part-time

Time Limit

3 years full-time;
6 years part-time

Philosophy: Philosophy PhD

Doctor of Philosophy

Program Description

The PhD program has two options: a five-year option and a four-year option. The five-year option is the most common and is the only direct-entry option for students with a bachelor's degree. The five-year option provides five years of funding and requires two years of coursework, while the four-year option provides four years of funding and requires one year of coursework. The program requirements are summarized below.

Students enrolled in graduate programs in philosophy in other universities are welcome to apply to spend a year studying at the University of Toronto. Please direct any inquiries to the Director of Graduate Studies.

Students who wish to take, for credit, one or more of the courses offered by the department as non-degree students, should apply for admission as Special Students. The application procedures and deadlines are the same as those for the MA program.

Applicants should consult the department's web page for complete details on graduate programs, course offerings, short academic profiles of graduate faculty, and application procedures.

 

PhD Program

Minimum Admission Requirements

  • Applicants approved by the department are admitted under the General Regulations of the School of Graduate Studies.

  • Applicants should have a master's degree in philosophy from a recognized university with an average grade of at least an A- in the applicant's overall program. Applicants must satisfy the department that they are capable of independent research in philosophy at an advanced level.

  • Applicants whose primary language is not English and who are not graduates of a university whose language of instruction is English must complete the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) with the following minimum scores:

    • Paper-based TOEFL exam: 600 and 5 on the Test of Written English (TWE).

    • Internet-based TOEFL exam: 100/120 and 22/30 on the writing and speaking sections.

  • Equivalent results in some other recognized test of English-language proficiency are acceptable.

Program Requirements

  • Course Requirements

    • Students must complete a minimum of 3.0 FCEs in philosophy, with a minimum A- average by the end of Year 1 including:

      • At least 1.0 FCE which must comprise history of philosophy courses.

      • At least 1.0 FCE which must comprise problems of philosophy courses.

      • The proseminar in philosophy (PHL 1111H) worth 0.5 FCE during the Fall session of Year 1. 

      • With the department's permission, a student may replace up to 1.0 FCE in philosophy with graduate courses offered by another department, provided that the courses are required for the student's planned research.

  • Breadth Requirement. A student must demonstrate competence in at least six areas of philosophy, including the following:

    • Each of the following three areas in the problems of philosophy:

      • Contemporary issues in metaphysics, epistemology, and philosophy of science.

      • Contemporary issues in values (ethics, politics, aesthetics, and philosophy of religion).

      • Contemporary issues in mind, language, and logic.

    • The remaining three required areas must be chosen from the periods in the history of philosophy specified below:

      • Ancient

      • Medieval

      • Seventeenth to eighteenth centuries

      • Nineteenth century

      • Twentieth century.

    • Competence in any area is normally established by successful completion of a graduate 0.5 FCE in that area.

    • A student must also demonstrate competence in logic (defined as proficiency in first-order symbolic logic with identity). This competence is expected of all students prior to beginning doctoral studies. Where this is not the case, competence must be acquired as a supplement to the required number of courses and be demonstrated to the satisfaction of the department by the time the qualifying requirement is met.

  • Qualifying Requirement. After completing all course requirements, the student selects a thesis committee that will oversee his or her academic progress through the final thesis defence. The student meets with the committee to discuss a tentative thesis topic, construct an appropriate research reading list, and receive guidance on writing a qualifying paper. After submitting the qualifying paper and making any required adjustments to the reading list, the student takes a two-part (written and oral) qualifying examination based on the paper and the reading list. The paper will be submitted and written and oral exams taken four to six weeks later, during the Winter session of Year 2.

  • Research Tools Requirement. Each PhD student must demonstrate competence in at least one research tool. A research tool may be one of the following:

    • Reading knowledge of a language other than English.

    • Familiarity with a discipline other than philosophy (e.g., linguistics, psychology, or mathematics).

    • Mastery of research methods not typical in philosophy (e.g., statistical methods).

    • The research tool will be determined by the Graduate Coordinator in consultation with the student's thesis committee.

  • Thesis. A candidate must submit a thesis on an approved subject and defend the thesis at a Doctoral Final Oral Examination. The department is not obligated to provide supervision in areas falling outside the competency, interest, or availability of its graduate faculty.

  • Residence. Students must be registered as full-time, on-campus students and must reside in sufficient geographical proximity to enable them to fulfil the course, breadth, qualifying, and language requirements set by the department in a smooth and timely fashion. They are also expected to participate fully in departmental activities. While writing the thesis, candidates are expected to be in residence, with the exception of absence for research.

  • Normal Timeline Through the Program. By the end of Year 1 of registration, students should have completed all the course requirements for the degree. By the end of the following year of registration, all students should have satisfied any remaining breadth requirements, selected a thesis committee, and passed the qualifying examination. (These are general deadlines; consult the department's web page for specific dates and further details.) Thereafter, the candidate selects a member of the thesis committee to be the thesis supervisor and begins work on the thesis, which he or she is expected to finish within two years.

Program Length

4 years 

Time Limit

6 years

 

PhD Program (Direct-Entry)

Minimum Admission Requirements

  • Applicants approved by the department are admitted under the General Regulations of the School of Graduate Studies.

  • Applicants should have an appropriate bachelor's degree from a recognized university; a strong background in philosophy (roughly equivalent to an undergraduate major); and an average grade of at least a B+ in the overall program and at least an A- in philosophy courses.

  • Applicants whose primary language is not English and who are not graduates of a university whose language of instruction is English must complete the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) with the following minimum scores:

    • Paper-based TOEFL exam: 600 and 5 on the Test of Written English (TWE).

    • Internet-based TOEFL exam: 100/120 and 22/30 on the writing and speaking sections.

  • Equivalent results in some other recognized test of English-language proficiency are acceptable.

Program Requirements

  • Course Requirements

    • Students must take a minimum of 6.0 FCEs in philosophy, with an average grade of at least an A- including:

      • At least 2.0 FCEs which must comprise history of philosophy courses.

      • At least 2.0 FCEs which must comprise problems of philosophy courses.

      • The proseminar in philosophy (PHL 1111H) worth 0.5 FCE during the Fall session of Year 1.

      • With the department's permission, a student may replace up to 1.0 FCE in philosophy with graduate courses offered by another department, provided that the courses are required for the student's planned research.

    • To remain in good standing, students must complete 3.0 FCEs with an A- average by the end of Year 1, and 6.0 FCEs with an A- average by the end of Year 2.

  • Breadth Requirement. A student must demonstrate competence in at least six areas of philosophy, including the following:

    • Each of the following three areas in the problems of philosophy:

      • Contemporary issues in metaphysics, epistemology, and philosophy of science.

      • Contemporary issues in values (ethics, politics, aesthetics, and philosophy of religion).

      • Contemporary issues in mind, language, and logic.

    • The remaining three required areas must be chosen from the periods in the history of philosophy specified below:

      • Ancient

      • Medieval

      • Seventeenth to eighteenth centuries

      • Nineteenth century

      • Twentieth century.

    • Competence in any area is normally established by successful completion of a graduate 0.5 FCE in that area.

    • A student must also demonstrate competence in logic (defined as proficiency in first-order symbolic logic with identity). This competence is expected of all students prior to beginning doctoral studies. Where this is not the case, competence must be acquired as a supplement to the required number of courses and be demonstrated to the satisfaction of the department by the time the qualifying requirement is met.

  • Qualifying Requirement. After completing all course requirements, the student selects a thesis committee that will oversee his or her academic progress through the final thesis defence. The student meets with the committee to discuss a tentative thesis topic, construct an appropriate research reading list, and receive guidance on writing a qualifying paper. After submitting the qualifying paper and making any required adjustments to the reading list, the student takes a two-part (written and oral) qualifying examination based on the paper and the reading list. The paper will be submitted and written and oral exams taken four to six weeks later, during the Winter session of Year 3.

  • Research Tools Requirement. Each PhD student must demonstrate competence in at least one research tool. A research tool may be one of the following:

    • Reading knowledge of a language other than English.

    • Familiarity with a discipline other than philosophy (e.g., linguistics, psychology, or mathematics).

    • Mastery of research methods not typical in philosophy (e.g., statistical methods).

    • The research tool will be determined by the Graduate Coordinator in consultation with the student's thesis committee.

  • Thesis. A candidate must submit a thesis on an approved subject and defend the thesis at a Doctoral Final Oral Examination. The department is not obligated to provide supervision in areas falling outside the competency, interest, or availability of its graduate faculty.

  • Residence. Students must be registered as full-time, on-campus students and must reside in sufficient geographical proximity to enable them to fulfil the course, breadth, qualifying, and language requirements set by the department in a smooth and timely fashion. They are also expected to participate fully in departmental activities. While writing the thesis, candidates are expected to be in residence, with the exception of absence for research.

  • Normal Timeline Through the Program. By the end of Year 2 of registration, students should have completed all course requirements for the degree. By the end of the following year of registration, all students should have satisfied any remaining breadth requirements, selected a thesis committee, and passed the qualifying examination. (These are general deadlines; consult the department's web page for specific dates and further details.) Thereafter, the candidate selects a member of the thesis committee to be the thesis supervisor and begins work on the thesis, which he or she is expected to finish within two years.

Program Length

5 years

Time Limit

7 years

Philosophy: Philosophy MA, PhD Courses

Not all courses are offered every year. Please consult the department's Graduate Bulletin, which lists the courses the department will offer this year as well as those offered by other departments that may be taken for philosophy credit.

Required Course for PhD Students

​PHL 1111H​
​​Proseminar

Reading Courses

​PHL 1000H,Y
​Reading Course
​PHL 1001H,Y
​Reading Course
​PHL 1500H,Y
​Reading Course

History of Philosophy

Ancient Philosophy

​PHL 2000H​
​Early Greek Philosophy
​PHL 2002H
​​Plato
​PHL 2003H
​Aristotle
​PHL 2005H
​Seminar in Plato
​PHL 2007H
​Seminar in Aristotle
​PHL 2009H
​Seminar in Greek Philosophy
​PHL 2010H
​Late Greek Philosophy
​ PHL 2011H​
​Seminar in Hellenistic Philosophy

Eastern Philosophy

PHL 2015H​​
​Confucianism
​PHL 2016H
​Taoism: Philosophy and Religion
​PHL 2017H
​Buddhism in China

Medieval Philosophy

​PHL 2020H​
​Augustine
​​PHL 2030H
​Aquinas
PHL 2032H
​Seminar in Aquinas
​​PHL 2040H
Medieval Philosophy
​PHL 2041H
​Seminar in Medieval Philosophy
PHL 2042H​
Topics in Medieval Philosophy
​PHL 2045H
​Late Medieval Philosophy

Early Modern Philosophy

​PHL 2050H​
​Descartes
​PHL 2051H
​The Rationalists
PHL 2054H
​​Hume
​ PHL 2055H
The Empiricists
​PHL 2057H
Seminar in Seventeenth-and Eighteenth-Century Philosophy
PHL 2062H
​Kant's Critique of Pure Reason
PHL 2063H
​Kant's Ethics​
​PHL 2064H
​Seminar in Kant

Nineteenth- and Twentieth-Century Philosophy

PHL 2076H
​Hegel
​PHL 2078H
​Kierkegaard
PHL 2079H
Marxist Philosophy
PHL 2084H
Seminar in Nineteenth-Century Continental Philosophy
PHL 2085H
Husserl
PHL 2088H
​Heidegger
PHL 2089H
Seminar in Twentieth-Century Continental Philosophy​
​PHL 2090H​
​Hermeneutics
​PHL 2091H
​The Critical Theory of Society
​PHL 2092H
​Pragmatism
​PHL 2093H
​Frege
​PHL 2094H
​Russell
​PHL 2095H
​Wittgenstein
​PHL 2096H
​Seminar in Analytic Philosophy
​PHL 2097H
​Topics in Analytic Philosophy
​PHL 2099H
​Bernard Lonergan
​JCY 5116H
​Freud: Case Historie​s

Problems of Philosophy

Metaphysics and Epistemology

​PHL 2100H
​M​etaphysics
​PHL 2101H
Seminar in Metaphysics​
​PHL 2105H
​Topics in Metaphysics
​PHL 2110H
Epistemology​
​PHL 2111H
​Seminar in Epistemology
​PHL 2115H
Topics in Epistemology​
​PHL 2117H
​Formal Epistemology
​PHL 2119H
​Philosophical Foundations of Multidisciplinary Studies
​PHL 2171H
​Philosophy of Mind
​PHL 2172H
​Seminar in Philosophy of Mind
​PHL 2174H
Freud's Philosophy of Mind​
​PHL 2175H
​Philosophy of Perception
​PHL 2181H
​Philosophy of Religion
​PHL 2182H
​Seminar in Philosophy of Religion​

Logic and the Philosophy of Language

​PHL 2120H
​Introductory Mathe​matical Logic
​PHL 2122H
Advanced Logic​
​PHL 2124H
​Seminar in Logic
​PHL 2125H
Many Valued and Modal Logics​
​PHL 2126H
Philosophy of Logic​
​PHL 2127H
​Philosophy of Mathematics
​PHL 2128H
​Decision and Game Theory
​PHL 2130H
Topics in Informal Logic​
​PHL 2137H
Philosophy of Action
​PHL 2190H
​Philosophy of Language
​PHL 2191H
​Seminar in the Philosophy of Language
​PHL 2197H
​Foundations of Computation and Information

Value Theory

​PHL 2131H
​E​thics
​PHL 2132H
​Seminar in Ethics
​PHL 2133H
​Topics in Ethics
​PHL 2135H
Metaethics​
​PHL 2141H
​Political Philosophy
​PHL 2142H
​Seminar in Political Philosophy
​PHL 2143H
​Social Philosophy
​PHL 2144H
​Seminar in Social Philosophy
​PHL 2145H
Bioethics
​PHL 2146Y
​Topics in Bioethics
​PHL 2148H
​Philosophy of Law
​JPL 2149H
​Legal Theory
​PHL 2151H
​Aesthetics
​PHL 2152H
​Philosophy and Teaching

Feminist Philosophy

JPW 2118H
​Philosophical Foundations of Women's Studies
​PHL 2140H
​Topics in Feminist Philosophy

Philosophy of Science

​JPH 2192H​
Philosophy of Science​
​JPH 2194H
Topics in the History of the Philosophy of Science​
​PHL 2195H
​Philosophy of Biology
​PHL 2196H
​Topics in the Philosophy of Science
​PHL 2199H
​Seminar in the Philosophy of Science

Miscellaneous

​PHL 2222H
​MA Seminar
​PHL 3000H
Professional Development Workshop
PHL 3101H
Intensive Special Course
​PHL 4900H
​​​Research Seminar