AP/PHIL2170 3.0 A: Freedom, Determinism and Responsibility
Calendar Description / Prerequisite / Co-Requisite
An investigation of different concepts of freedom, and how they relate to arguments for free will and determinism, the adjudication of people's responsibility for their actions, the justification of punishment and some related moral problems.
Dr. Oisin Deery
Office Location: S442 Ross
Phone Number: (416) 736-2100 Ext: #77593
Office Hours: TBA
The problem of free will is one of the great perennial issues in philosophy, covering metaphysics, morals, and matters of central importance not only for philosophy but also for law, theology, psychology, and the social sciences. What is at stake is nothing less than our self-image as responsible agents who are in control of our own destinies. During the past few decades, the free-will debate has developed in exciting new ways, with the result that most parties to the debate have had to revise their positions in order to respond to the arguments of critics. In this course, we will look at some of the most important contributions to this on-going discussion.
- Paul Russell & Oisin Deery, Eds. (2013). The Philosophy of Free Will: Essential Readings From The Contemporary Debates. Oxford University Press. ISBN-10: 0199733392
- Michael McKenna & Derk Pereboom. (2016). Free Will: A Contemporary Introduction. Routledge/Taylor & Francis. ISBN-10: 0415996872
Assessment for the course is by two brief expository assignments (20% each),
one essay (40%),
and an exam (20%). The exam will comprise both multiple-choice and short-answer questions.
This course is mostly lecture-based, with two lectures per week. In the lectures, students are invited to ask questions and contribute to discussion. The lectures will occasionally be broken up in order to engage in either individual or group learning exercises.
To introduce students to the main strands of philosophical thought about free will and moral responsibility, both historically and in relation to contemporary debates.
- Academic Honesty
- Student Rights and Responsibilities
- Religious Observance
- Grading Scheme and Feedback
- 20% Rule
No examinations or tests collectively worth more than 20% of the final grade in a course will be given during the final 14 calendar days of classes in a term. The exceptions to the rule are classes which regularly meet Friday evenings or on Saturday and/or Sunday at any time, and courses offered in the compressed summer terms.
- Academic Accommodation for Students with Disabilities