PHIL 110.6   63   (T1T2)

Instructor:  B.G. Wiebe 
Location: STM 450  
Time: MWF 11:30-12:20  pm
Office Hrs:  MWF 1:30 - 2:30 pm
and by appointment
U. of S. Office: STM 134
Phone: (306) 966-6071
Web Page:
Department Head: R. Jenkins, Email:

We acknowledge we are on Treaty Six Territory and the Homeland of the Métis. We pay our respect to the First Nation and Métis ancestors of this place and reaffirm our relationship with one another.

Texts:   Plato, Five Dialogues (Hackett); Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics (Hackett); Anselm, Proslogium (available through PAWS); Aquinas, Summa Theologica (PAWS); R. Descartes, Meditations on First Philosophy (PAWS); G. Berkeley, Three Dialogues between Hylas and Philonous (PAWS); I. Kant, Grounding for the Metaphysics of Morals (PAWS).


Term Work:   Readings as assigned.


     Class Participation              10%


     Mid Term Exam I (October 23, 2017)          10%


     Mid Term Exam II (December 6, 2017)          15%


     Mid Term Exam III (March 2, 2018)          15%


     Term Paper ( 2,000 - 2,500 words)             20%

     (See instructions below) Due February 2, 2018

    NOTE: Submitting Term Paper is required to pass course!


     Final Exam (3 hours, no books, no notes)       30%



Spelling, grammar and clarity of expression will all be taken into account. STM and your professor follow the rules regarding Academic Dishonesty as delineated in the University of Saskatchewan Calendar. Of these, plagiarism is a particularly serious offence. Plagiarism isthe presentation of the work or idea of another in such a way as to give others the impression that it is the work or idea of the presenter.” ( When quoting, paraphrasing, describing, presenting, summarizing or translating the work of others, you must acknowledge the source of the information you use, which includes ensuring that the reader can differentiate between your words and the words of others. Sources may come in print, electronic, digital, visual or oral form, and may be provided by a published author, fellow student, artist or internet site. Purchasing papers is not permitted. It is your responsibility to understand what constitutes plagiarism; when in doubt consult your professor. You must go beyond a rearrangement of the work of others, developing ideas of your own, to earn marks. Missed assignments and exams will count for zero, so please get in touch with your professor to discuss alterative arrangements. Late papers and assignments may be penalized. If you are a student who is registered with the Office of Disability Services for Students, you may apply for unique services or arrangements to complete the requirements for this course. Normally, these services will be provided through the DSS office. If you have not yet registered with that office, please do so as quickly as possible. Again, please discuss any problems with your professor.


Catalogue Course Description: This course explores some central problems of philosophy through modern and historical texts. Questions covered include: Is the world as you experience it? How do you know what you think you do? Does God exist? What ought we to do? What is beauty? What is a mind? Philosophy proceeds by the presentation and evaluation of reasons for alternative answers to fundamental questions and leads to improved critical, evaluative, and writing skills.





Euthyphro: Definition and Divine Command Theory of Ethics

Apology: Civil Disobedience, Values and Harm

Crito: Pacifism and Civil Disobedience (Legal Obligation)

Critical Thinking:

Definition and Classification
Recognizing Arguments
Fallacies and Weak Arguments
Propositional Syllogism
Categoricals, Square of Opposition, Immediate Inference and Categorical Syllogism


Meno: Virtue and Education, Knowledge

Phaedo: Knowledge and Metaphysics (the Forms), the Soul and After Life


Book I: Happiness; Book II: Virtue

Book III: Moral Responsibility (Voluntary Action) Bravery and Temperance

Book V: Justice; Book VI: Virtues of Thought

Book VII: Incontinence and Pleasure; Book X: Pleasure and Happiness

Anselm: God's Existence


Aquinas: I q. 2, God



Meditation I, Skepticism

Meditation II, Certain Knowledge

Meditation III, God;

Meditation IV, Error

Meditation V, God

Meditation VI, External World and Dualism (Mind and Body)


1st Dialogue, Against the Existence of Matter

2nd Dialogue, Mind and Brain, God, Meaning (of 'matter')

3rd Dialogue, Illusions, God and other various objections

Kant: The nature of Morality and its basis


Tentative Schedule


Sept. 6              Introductions
Sept. 8              Plato, Five Dialogues: Euthyphro

Sept. 11            Critical Thinking: Definition and Classification
Sept. 13            Plato, Five Dialogues: Apology
Sept. 15            Critical Thinking: Recognizing Arguments

Sept. 18            Plato, Five Dialogues: Crito
Sept. 20            Critical Thinking: Fallacies
Sept. 22            Critical Thinking: Fallacies

Sept. 25            Critical Thinking: Propositional Syllogism, Categoricals
Sept. 27            Critical Thinking: Square of Opposition
Sept. 29            Critical Thinking: Immediate Inference

Oct. 2               Critical Thinking: Categorical Syllogism
Oct. 4               Critical Thinking: Categorical Syllogism
Oct. 6               Critical Thinking: Categorical Syllogism

Oct. 9               THANKSGIVING DAY (No Classes)
Oct. 11             Plato, Five Dialogues: Meno
Oct. 13             Plato, Five Dialogues: Meno (cont.)

Oct. 16             Plato, Five Dialogues: Phaedo
Oct. 18             Plato, Five Dialogues: Phaedo (cont.)
Oct. 20             Plato, Five Dialogues: Phaedo (cont.)

Oct. 23             MID TERM EXAM I
Oct. 25             Plato, Five Dialogues: Phaedo (cont.)
Oct. 27             Plato, Five Dialogues: Phaedo (cont.)

Oct. 30             Plato, Five Dialogues: Phaedo (cont.)
Nov. 1              Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics, Book I
Nov. 3              Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics, Book I (cont.)

Nov. 6              Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics, Book II
Nov. 8              Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics, Book II (cont.)
Nov. 10             Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics, Book III

Nov. 13-17       BREAK WEEK (No Classes)

Nov. 20            Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics, Book III (cont.)
Nov. 22            Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics, Book V
Nov. 24             Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics, Book X

Nov. 27            Anselm, Proslogium, Preface and Chapters I through VI (PAWS)
Nov. 29            Gaunilon, “In Behalf of the Fool” (PAWS)
Dec. 1              Anselm, “Apologetic” (PAWS --  included in the Gaunilon file)

Dec. 4              Anselm, “Apologetic” (PAWS --  included in the Gaunilon file) (cont.)
Dec. 6              MID TERM EXAM II

Jan. 3-10          Aquinas, Summa Theologica Question 2, Article 3 (PAWS)

Jan 12-17         Descartes Meditations I & II

Jan 19-24         Descartes Meditations III & IV

Jan 26-31         Descartes Meditations V & VI

Feb. 2               ESSAYS DUE
Feb. 2-7           Berkeley pp. 1-9 (meanings of key terms & discussion of heat, cold, tastes & odors)
                        Berkeley pp. 9-17 (discussion of sounds, colours, extension, figure, motion & solidity)
                        Berkeley pp. 17-25 (3 putative distinctions, the key argument, and distance)

Feb. 9-16         Berkeley pp. 25-31 (theory of archetypes, brain events, God)
                        Berkeley pp. 31-38 (God causes sensations, matter cannot, ‘matter’ means nothing)
                        Berkeley pp. 38-45 (Against matter, against scepticism, no ideas of God or minds)
                        Berkeley pp. 45-53 (real vs. unreal, perceptual illusions, God and pain and deception)

Feb. 19-23       ** MIDTERM BREAK (No Classes) **

Feb. 27-28       Berkeley pp. 53-60 (seeing the same thing, creation)
                        Berkeley pp. 60-65 (advantages, ‘matter’ best avoided, ordinary people’s views)

Mar. 2              MID TERM EXAM III

Mar. 5-9           Kant pp. 1-7 (397) (The Good Will and Reason)
                        Kant pp. 7-11 (402) (Duty and Reverence)
                        Kant pp. 11-13 (Reason’s Law)

Mar. 12-16       Kant pp. 13-17 (The role of examples)
                        Kant pp. 17-24 (Imperatives)
                        Kant pp. 24-27 (424) (Formula of Universal Law and illustrations)

Mar. 19-23       Kant pp. 27-31 (431) (Formula of the End in Itself and illustrations)
                        Kant pp. 31-37 (Formula of Autonomy and Formula of Kingdom of Ends)
                        Kant pp. 37-41 (Spurious Principles of Morality)

Mar 26-29        Kant pp. 41-45 (Freedom and Morality)
                        Kant pp. 45-49 (How is a categorical imperative possible?)

Mar. 30            GOOD FRIDAY (No Classes)

Apr. 2              Kant pp. 49-52 (Conclusions)

Apr. 4-6           Kant - Separate .pdf file on PAWS (On a Supposed Right to Lie . . .)



TBA                 FINAL EXAM

Note: If I should need to cancel a lecture, I will notify the class through PAWS.


Instructions for Term Papers



Size: 2,000 - 2,500 words
Worth: 20%
Due: February 2, 2018. 
NOTE: Submitting this Term Paper is required to pass this course!


Your paper must be a critique of one of the following four articles:


DaVia, Carlo. “Universality in Aristotle’s Ethics.” Journal of the History of Philosophy 54, no. 2 (April 29, 2016): 181–201.

Frankel, Melissa. “Berkeley on the ‘Twofold State of Things.’” International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 80, no. 1 (August 1, 2016): 43–60.

Frogel, Shai. “Descartes: Truth and Self-Deception.” Philosophy 91, no. 1 (January 2016): 93–108.

Mertens, Thomas. “On Kant’s Duty to Speak the Truth.” Kantian Review 21, no. 1 (March 2016): 27–51.

Each of these articles is available on-line from the U. of S. Library’s Web site. Select the “Articles & Databases” tab (if it is not already selected) then, Select B “Find journals & e-journals”. Use the search box to look for the journal title. (It will make suggestions as you type.) When you hit “Search” you will be taken to a “Search Results” page. Click on the Journal Title you want. This takes you to a page that lists under “Available online” the available providers for this journal. Note that not all providers provide the same range of dates. If you are “off campus,” clicking on a provider takes you to the “Access Restricted” page where you must sign in using your university nsid. (You will need to either be on campus or have a student identity card to access the Journals.) You will also need to select the correct volume and number to get to the above articles. The complete text for these articles is available in Adobe Acrobat format (.pdf). These files may be saved or printed, although printing may require Adobe Acrobat Reader which can be downloaded for free. You should always use the .pdf format as it provides the correct page numbers for the articles. If you have difficulty  accessing any of these articles which you wish to investigate, I would be willing to help you. (Please make any requests as soon as possible as I cannot be available instantaneously.)

A critique involves the elements of description, analysis and critical assessment. Each of these elements is expected to be your own work, but the analysis and critical assessment in particular should be made up largely of your own arguments and ideas. Merely presenting someone else’s analysis or assessment, even if properly documented, represents inadequate completion of these two elements. See my webpage for further clarification and advice on term papers.

reserve the right to fail any paper which is not a critique of one of the four articles listed above.