HZT4U1 Course of Study
Course Details
Course Code:
Course Title:
Credit Value:
Humberside Collegiate Institute, TDSB
Philosophy: Questions and Theories
Any university or university/college preparation course in the
Social Sciences and Humanities
Policy Document:
The Ontario Curriculum, Grades 9-12, Social Sciences and
Humanities, revised 2013.
Ms. Savvides
Course Description:
This course enables students to acquire an understanding of the nature of
Philosophy and philosophical reasoning skills and apply their knowledge and skills
while exploring specialized branches of philosophy.
This course will cover at least three of the following branches:
o Metaphysics (core)
o Ethics (core)
o Epistemology (core)
o Philosophy of Science (supplementary)
o Social and Political Philosophy (supplementary)
o Aesthetics (supplementary)
Students will develop critical thinking and philosophical reasoning skills as they
formulate and evaluate arguments related to a variety of philosophical questions
and theories. They will also develop research and inquiry skills related to the study
and practice of philosophy.
Specific Expectations
I. Research and Inquiry Skills
Throughout this course students will:
 Explore a variety of topics related to philosophy
 Identify key concepts
 Formulate effective questions to guide their research and inquiry
 Create appropriate research plans to investigate their selected topics.
Locate and select information relevant to their investigation from a variety of
primary sources
Based on preliminary research, formulate arguments and anticipate counterarguments.
Assess various aspects of information gathered from primary and secondary
Record and organize key ideas and information using a variety of formats
Correctly use terms relating to their chosen topics
Use appropriate formats to communicate results of research and inquiry
effectively for a specific purpose and audience
Demonstrate an understanding of their inquiries and follow appropriate
conventions for acknowledging sources (MLA, APA, Chicago, etc)
Demonstrate an understanding of the general research process by reflecting
on and evaluating their own research, inquiry, and communication skills.
II. Philosophical Foundations
Throughout this course students will:
 Explain the main areas of philosophy and identify some of the big questions
that arise in each area.
 Describe the main periods of philosophical development and the major
philosophers identified with those periods.
 Distinguish between philosophy and other areas in the social sciences and
 Demonstrate an understanding of the form and components of a
philosophical argument, including a philosophical argument differs from
other communications, and identify these components when formulating and
evaluation arguments.
 Describe critical thinking skills and habits of mind that support philosophical
reasoning, and demonstrate the ability to use them in various texts
 Correctly use terminology related to logic when formulating and analyzing
 Explain common fallacies of reasoning and identifying them when
formulating and analyzing arguments.
 Explain how philosophical reasoning and critical thinking skills can be
applied in everyday life, and demonstrate the ability to apply these skills in
various contexts.
III. Core and Supplementary Topic Expectations
 Demonstrate an understanding of the main questions in core and
supplementary topics
 Summarize the positions of various major philosophers
 Explain different theories from core and supplementary topics with
reference to some classic and contemporary texts
 Compare how different philosophers and/or schools of philosophy approach
the same questions/issues.
Evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of philosophical responses to some of
the main questions in the core topics.
Describe forces that have helped shape the evolution of major philosophical
topics and thought over time, and analyze their impact.
Demonstrate an understanding of the influence of philosophy and
philosophical topics and ideas on other subject areas.
Formulate and explain, using philosophical reasoning.
Correctly use terminology related to the core topics of philosophy.
Course Content:
Introduction to Philosophy
What is the study of Philosophy?
How to write a short philosophical argument
The Pre-Socratics
Socratic Dialogue
The Allegory of the Cave
Theories of Human Nature
Key Philosophers:
Bertrand Russell
Ayn Rand
Thales of Miletus
Evaluation (s)
Written Assignment
Formal and Informal Logic
The syllogism (categorical, disjunctive, hypothetical)
Inductive and deductive reasoning
Informal fallacies
Key Philosophers
Evaluation (s)
Written argument
Murder Mystery
Metaphysics –Ontology and
The mind body problem
Personal identity
Free will and determinism
Computers and consciousness
Does God exist?
Key Philosophers:
Thomas Hobbes
John Locke
Rene Descartes
Baruch Spinoza
Gilbert Ryle
George Berkeley
David Hume
Immanuel Kant
Evaluation (s)
Written Essay: Short Argument
Oral presentation
Social and Political
Freedom and authority
The individual and the state
Anarchism, communism, socialism, liberalism,
Theories of Justice
The social contract
Key Philosophers:
Thomas Hobbes
Nicolo Machiavelli
John Locke
John Rawls
Karl Marx
Georg Hegel
Emma Goldman
Michael Bakunin
Oral Presentation
Written assignment
What is art?
What is the value of art?
What is beauty?
Studying Urban and Natural Landscapes-Field trip
Key Philosophers:
Leo Tolstoy
Clive Bell
Three part project: written review, written interview,
presentation of art work
Categorical Imperative
What constitutes the good life?
Ethical Case studies
Key Philosophers:
Jeremy Bentham
John Stuart Mill
Immanuel Kant
Evaluation (s)
Film study oral presentation
Mark Breakdown
Course Work: 70%
Final Exam:
Achievement Chart
Assignments and evaluations will be designed to reflect the categories outlined in
the Achievement Chart. Students will be evaluated according to the following
breakdown of categories:
30% - Knowledge/Understanding
30% - Thinking/Inquiry
20% - Communication
20% - Application
Extra help is available upon student request. Students and parents can reach the
teacher at the school. Phone: 416-393-8122 (20085)