Are faith and reason contrary ways of knowing?
What is real? What do we really know? What should we value? How should we live? And what connects things? These are the questions at the heart of Philosophy. Study subjects like metaphysics, epistemology, ethics and aesthetics, working closely with your professors and peers. Redeemer's Philosophy program will challenge and strengthen your faith as it aims for deep truth, and, as the apostle, Peter puts it, “reasons for the hope within you.”
Philosophy is a Bachelor of Arts degree program within the Philosophy Department. It is offered as a major and as a minor.
Right the start, you are brought into deep discussions with your peers, guided by experienced faculty who are ready to help lead you through thoughtful discussions surrounding the role of philosophy in today's culture.
First-year classes survey fundamental metaphysical, epistemological, and ethical issues in seminar-style classes. Examining the role of worldview in relation to logic and arguments prepares you to compose cogent written arguments with increasing skill.
The Core Curriculum is a set of 10 courses that every student takes. The courses are woven through every major and gets you to think deeply and broadly about what you’re studying. Think about it this way…
Wonder and ask questions about the world in intentional conversation in your courses as you study ancient philosophers and how their questions continue to shape our current culture through courses like Asian Philosophy, Philosophy of Language, Philosophy and Superhero Mythology, and Biomedical Ethics.
Kuyper’s Café and the Apologetics Club are student-run philosophy groups that prepare students for forums of debate.
Many philosophy majors and minors have co-authored chapters with our professors in books on popular culture and philosophy.
is using his philosophy education to aid him in his award-winning research into the ethical implications of human genome editing.
As part of his master of arts in philosophy at McMaster University, Enzo Guerra ’19 is asking critical, faith-driven questions about the daunting and bizarre nature of...
Engaging the philosophy of pop culture is both missional and prophetic, bringing Christian thought to a rapid-fire topic and truth to a fallen world.
Philosophy professor travels to Northern Ireland to learn more about the influential Christian thinker
Centre for Christian Scholarship prepares for guest speakers coming to Redeemer this fall
Take that first step and experience Redeemer’s one-of-a-kind community like never before. Visiting campus — whether in-person or online — is the best way to figure out if Redeemer is the right fit for you.
“Philosophy,” according to Socrates, “begins with wonder.” In this course, we will survey fundamental metaphysical, epistemological, and ethical issues raised by this “story that
began with wonder,” starting with the quest of the ancient Egyptians, Indians, and Chinese and then moving on to the ‘Big Questions’ asked by the ancient Greeks, medieval Christians, and other modern and contemporary Western thinkers.
This course introduces students to logic–both deduction and induction–and develops critical thinking skills in relation to arguments and their evaluation. Students will examine the role of
worldview in relation to logic and arguments and learn to compose cogent written arguments. The course will cover such topics as the importance of language, logical fallacies, sources of authority, and elementary philosophical concepts and categories.
In this course, students will explore how Christianity was shaped, and shapes,
philosophy, and how Christian philosophy, in turn, plays a foundational role in academic
study. Students will be introduced to key elements in Christian philosophy and
theology that will help them develop as human beings, Christians and students.
Required in Year 2
With the distinction between religion and philosophy being less clear outside the West, non-western philosophies–and Asian philosophies in particular–tend to offer students a different
way to think about fundamental issues. Home to the majority of people on our planet, Asia also gave rise to some of the earliest and certainly some of the most influential philosophers in history, including Buddha, Confucius, Ibn Sina, Gandhi, and Mao. In this history of philosophy course, we will explore the development of the major religio-philosophical traditions of the Middle East, South Asia, and the Far East.
Developing more or less parallel to the history course on Asian philosophy, Ancient Philosophy traces the beginnings of Western philosophy, focusing largely on ancient Greece and Rome. Particular emphasis will be on reading the entirety of what are sometimes known as “The Twin Pillars of Oxford University”– Plato’s Republic and Aristotle’s Ethics–though attention will also be given to major works in the Epicurean and Stoic traditions.
This course explores the development of Western philosophy in two phases. The first phase takes us from the collapse of the Roman Empire and St. Augustine through to the development of the medieval university and Thomas Aquinas. The second phase explores key thinkers coming out of the “three Rs” – the Renaissance, Reformation, and Scientific Revolution – focusing especially on Machiavelli, Hobbes, Descartes, and Locke.
The Enlightenment or ‘Age of Reason’ witnessed the rebirth of a radical new form of skepticism that started with Descartes. In this course, the ramifications of this skepticism are traced through the early atheism of Rousseau and agnosticism of Hume up to the crucial faith-reason divide of Kant. The subsequent post-Kantian explosion of atheism in both continental philosophy (Nietzsche, Heidegger, Foucault, Derrida) and analytical philosophy (Russell,
Flew, Dennett) will be explored, concluding with some responses by contemporary Christian philosophers.
This course introduces students to Reformational philosophy through a historical examination of modern and contemporary Reformed philosophers and the major philosophical issues they
encounter. Key philosophers to be examined include Herman Dooyeweerd, Dirk Vollenhoven, and H. Evan Runner, as well as some Reformed Epistemologists such as Nicholas Wolterstorff.
This course examines the development of epistemology in theWestern philosophical tradition with a particular focus on modern epistemology. Themes such as epistemic justification, rationality, faith, skepticism, foundationalism, postmodernity, and truth are central to this course, as are the religious epistemologies of Christian philosophers Richard Swinburne and Alvin Plantinga.
A philosophical consideration of art and art criticism, drawing on both classical and contemporary thinkers. Topics include beauty, expression, representation, aesthetic distance, the identity of the work of art, the relation of art to morality, and the influence of art on perception.
This course explores the relationship between religion, science, and philosophy, starting with the ancient Greeks and then progressing through the major philosophers – including natural
philosophers or “scientists”- of the medieval and modern eras. This philosophical exploration of science includes investigation into questions about the nature of, and relationship between,
metaphysics, mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology and the applied sciences. In the modern era, we turn to key questions concerning the problem of induction, the status of scientific frameworks, theories of probability, feminist critiques and, as a case study, competing views of origins.
The first half of this capstone course will focus on ethical theories, primarily forms of deontological and relativist theories. Additionally, students will spend ample time discussing Natural Law, natural rights, virtue, and happiness. In the second half of the course, students will apply ethical theories to particular, individual cases relating to themes such as cloning, euthanasia, censorship, terrorism, and others.
Students will study the nature, constitution, and structure of reality. They will discuss grand theories of everything, such as metaphysical materialism, idealism, and metaphysical dualism.
They will also discuss the differences between existence and essence and between substance, properties, accidents, and bundles. The course will clarify important distinctions between
metaphysical realism and nominalism and between universals and particulars. Topics will extend to fundamental issues about personal identity, the nature of eternity and time, necessity and possibility, and others.
A treatment of philosophical issues as they arise in religious experience and in theological thought, such as the nature of religious language, the enterprise of proving God’s existence, and the prospect of defining or circumscribing religion.
This course asks questions about the nature of society and culture. Major themes may include detailed discussions about societal institutions and concerns such as gender, marriage, race
and ethnicity, church-state relations, culture-making, education, and others.
A discussion of language and communication, focusing on such topics as speech, literal vs. figurative language, the nature of writing, the origin of language, and reification. Both classical and contemporary thinkers will be considered.
A treatment of selected topics relating to historical consciousness and the nature of historical knowledge. Both classical and contemporary positions on historical explanations will be
This course will examine the philosophy of mythology, a particular off-shoot of aesthetics, and relate to this one type of modern mythology-superhero mythology. Moreover, the particular themes to be mined in superhero mythology and culture are not merely of aesthetic interest, but reveal important perspectives on social, ethical, and metaphysical themes, all of which beg for a Christian philosophical analysis.
A critical exploration of philosophical ideas that shape and promote environmental awareness, protection and stewardship, as well as those which are a hindrance to a Christian understanding of the subject.
This course provides students with the opportunity to pursue advanced studies on issues and themes of immediate significance in the field of philosophy. Seminars may be offered on topics
where there is demonstrated interest on the part of students and faculty.
For information on setting up an independent study see page 52 of the Academic Calendar.
This course is designed to introduce the student to the relatively young field of bioethics. Topics include procreative technologies including in vitro fertilization, the creation and manipulation of human embryos for research, genetic testing and interventions, and end-of-life issues including euthanasia and physicianassisted suicide. Some of these issues will be addressed in light of various ethical theories that have been influential among both
Christian and non-Christian bioethicists.
The Philosophy program does not have program-specific requirements.
Applicants from Ontario will be considered for general undergraduate admission based on the following requirements: