Summer Courses 2022

Summer 2022 Schedule

Classroom Legend
EM – Emmanuel College
VC – Victoria College

First Term: May 1, - June 30, 2022


HPS100H1 Introduction to History and Philosophy of Science and Technology

Course instructor: Hakob Barseghyan

Tuesdays and Thursdays 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm Delivery Method: Lectures and Tutorials - Online Synchronous
An investigation of some pivotal periods in the history of science with an emphasis on the influences of philosophy on the scientists of the period, and the philosophical and social implications of the scientific knowledge, theory and methodology that emerged.

Distribution Requirement: This is a Humanities or Science course

Breadth Requirement: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)


HPS300H1 Topics in History and Philosophy of Science and Technology: Philosophy of Social Science   

Course instructor: Adrian Yee

Mondays and Wednesdays 10:00 am – 12:00 noon (Classroom Location: AH 107) Delivery Method: Lectures and Tutorials - In-person  

This course will examine key philosophical topics in contemporary social science. While we will cover aspects of psychology, anthropology, and the information sciences, there will be particular emphasis on sociology and economics. Specific topics covered will emerge from the following questions?
• What separates the methodologies of the natural and social sciences?
• What is race?
• Are social systems emergent from their members?
• What are the limits of markets?
• What is poverty?
• What are the uses of and abuses of mathematics in the social sciences?
• Can there be a science of well-being?
• How should we understand information ecosystems on the internet in the 21st century?  
Prerequisites: None

Distribution Requirements: This is a Humanities course

Breadth Requirement: None

Second Term (July 1 – August 31, 2022)


HPS250H1 Introductory Philosophy of Science

Course instructor: Fermin Fulda

Mondays and Wednesdays 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm   Lectures and Tutorials – Online Synchronous

Course Description: This course introduces and explores central issues in the philosophy of science, including scientific inference, method, and explanation. Topics may include underdetermination, realism and empiricism, and laws of nature.

Distribution Requirement: This is a Humanities course

Breadth Requirement: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)


HPS301H1 Topics in the History of Science: “Normality”: A Critical History

Course instructor: Filippo Sposini

Tuesdays and Thursdays 10:00 am – 12:00 noon (Classroom Location: UC 52) Delivery Method: Lectures and Tutorials - In-person

This course examines the emergence of ideas about human “normality” with their consequences for individuals, policy, and society. Using primary and secondary sources, it invites students to look at the different meaning of “the normal”. Focusing on the last two centuries, it critically engages with the origins of the so-called medical model of disability and the conception of human diversity as individual pathologies to diagnose, cure, and prevent. At the same time, this course takes into account the lived experience of persons to emphasize the grave consequences of being categorized as a “deviant”, including stigmatization, segregation, and marginalization. Guiding questions for the course will be: When did normality become a major issue of scientific and political concern? Which methods have been proposed for defining the normal? What was the role of social, cultural, and political factors? How relevant were discussions about normality for the foundation of human sciences? How important were ideas about cure, marginalization, and control?  And what were the consequences for people’s lives? Embracing a critical perspective, this course invites students to engage with some of the most important topics in disability studies and policy. In particular, this course provides three analytical tools.  First, it introduces students to the relevance of history for understanding recent debates. While offering an overview of major developments, this course emphasizes the importance of primary sources as an entry-point to the authenticity of the past.  Second, it introduces students to an inter-disciplinary approach. Rather than focusing on a specific domain or discipline, this course encourages students to think across different fields, theories, and methods. As many stakeholders participated in the definition of “the normal”, students have the chance to make comparisons, draw distinctions, and identify areas of cross-fertilization. Third, this course is an exercise in critical thinking. Students are invited to see current practices and assumptions from a critical perspective and to consider the severe consequences of defining a person as “deviant” or “abnormal”.  Prerequisites: None

Distribution Requirements: This is a Humanities course

Breadth Requirements: Creative and Cultural Representations (1)

HPS346H1 Modifying and Optimizing Life: on the Peculiar Alliance between AI, Biology, and Engineering

Course instructor: Alex Djedovic

Lecture Days & Times: Mondays and Wednesdays 10:00 am – 12:00 noon (Classroom Location: AH 107) Delivery Method: Lectures and Tutorials - In-person

Taking a cue from the entanglements that historically have pervaded the relation between biology and information technology since the early 20C century, this course interrogates the sociocultural and technological conjuncture that has brought computer science, biology and engineering together into peculiar, ingenious, and often controversial alliances. What do AI, synthetic biology, and biotechnology have in common? How have they come to be associated? What are the debates and ethics emerging from such associations? The course will focus on topics such as: geoengineering and bioremediation; GMO and Robotic insects; the use of expert systems and machine learning to optimize synthetic biology; the flourishing and marketing of precision and personalized medicine/immunotherapy; and the ethics behind CRISPR babies.

Distribution Requirements: This is a Humanities course

Breadth Requirements: Society and its Institutions (3)