Trinity Western University

Course Descriptions

Philosophy, Graduate Courses

  • PHIL 510 Issues in Social Justice (3 sem. hrs.)

    An examination of ethical issues that pertain to social justice, addressing such topics as the distribution of wealth, affirmative action and quotas, sexual equality, gay rights, the morality of war, punishment, and responsibility. We will be discussing these issues within the larger context of the modern state’s power to define what “social justice” is.

    Cross-listing: PHIL 310; POLS 310.


  • PHIL 512 20th-Century Philosophy

    This course acquaints students with important philosophical developments in Western Anglo-American philosophy during the 20th century. These include analytic philosophy, ordinary language philosophy, and recent developments questioning the traditional value and role of philosophy. The writings of major philosophers are studied throughout, and emphasis is placed upon epistemological, metaphysical, and linguistic issues. Some attention is given to examining the relationships between these philosophical movements and others, e.g., those that characterize postmodernism. Attention is occasionally given to points that carry implications for Christian faith.


  • PHIL 515 Contemporary Political Philosophy (3 sem. hrs.)

    An examination of 20th century political philosophy through reading of texts by major contemporary political philosophers.


  • PHIL 520 Social and Political Philosophy (3 sem. hrs.)

    Provides an examination of foundational ideas and problems in the entire Western tradition of political philosophy. While undertaking close readings of major texts of this tradition, the course evaluates classical, medieval, and modern approaches to the state, the citizen, democracy, liberty, equality, authority, obligation, natural right, and disobedience. Also seeks to understand the applicability of these ideas as Christians facing the challenges of the 21st century.


  • PHIL 521 Postmodern Philosophy (3 sem. hrs.)

    An in-depth survey of postmodern thinkers and their philosophy. Authors considered include Nietzsche, Foucault, Derrida, and their critics. The philosophical and religious implications of both modernism and postmodernism are explored.


  • PHIL 550 Symbolic Logic (3 sem. hrs.)

    This course acquaints students with the elements of symbolic logic and its methods of deduction, including: the quantificational calculus, definite descriptions, identity, and the logic of relations. The significance of symbolic logic is examined in relation to logical atomism as advanced early in the 20th century by Ludwig Wittgenstein and Bertrand Russell.


  • PHIL 603 Social Ethics Seminar (3 sem. hrs.)

    Examines ethical questions concerning life and death. Special emphasis is placed on understanding and evaluating moral and legal perspectives on these questions, within the larger tradition of Western philosophy, and in the face of the current technological revolution. Issues include: the moral status of humans, the meaning of personhood, sanctity of life versus quality of life, genetic engineering, reproductive technologies, euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide, abortion.


  • PHIL 607 Special Topics in Philosophy (3 sem. hrs.)

    Topics may vary. Courses offered to date:

    • Existence, Truth and Possibility
    • Medieval Cosmology
    • Empericism
    • Neoplatonism and Early Christianity
    • Foundations of Ethics

  • PHIL 610 Research Design/Seminar (3 sem. hrs.)

    Under the direction of the student's approved thesis advisor, a course of reading and study which leads to the development of both a significant bibliographical essay (or annotated bibliography) and a thesis proposal. The latter includes at least the following: major question(s) to be addressed; significance of the issue(s); methodologies to be used; theories to be addressed and primary sources to be examined.


  • PHIL 611/612 Thesis (3 sem. hrs.; 3 sem. hrs.)


  • PHIL 613 Major Essay (3 sem. hrs.)

    Under the direction of a supervisor, students not doing a thesis research and write a major paper of approximately 10-15,000 words in length.


  • PHIL 621 Philosophical Perspectives on Religious Pluralism

    This course surveys and engages central philosophical issues relevant to assessing normative religious pluralism.


  • PHIL 645 Philosophy and Religion (3 sem. hrs.)

    Explores the foundations of religious belief and faith, particularly the issue of the rationality of religion. The role of methodology is examined, including the value of deductive, inductive, and abductive reasoning; also the question whether the method applicable to religious belief is unique to it. The work of recent philosophical theologians and their critics is examined and evaluated.

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This page contains official TWU academic program information.