Fall 2018 - PHIL 121 D100

Global Justice (3)

Class Number: 2761

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Mo, We 3:30 PM – 4:20 PM
    SSCC 9000, Burnaby

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Dec 12, 2018
    8:30 AM – 11:30 AM
    WMC 3260, Burnaby



An introduction to the ethical issues arising from interactions of states, NGOs and other international agents. Topics may include international human rights, terrorism, war, gender justice, climate justice, fairness in international trade, cultural diversity and conflict, the rights of indigenous peoples, collective responsibility and restitution for historical wrongdoing, among others. Students who have received credit for PHIL 220 cannot receive credit for this course. Breadth-Humanities/Social Sciences.


This course will introduce students to contemporary debates in global justice. We commonly agree that justice matters for citizens of a nation state. But how should we understand justice as a global norm and what does it require once we look beyond our borders and allegiances? And of what importance should such concepts as state sovereignty and citizenship play in ameliorating international patterns of injustice? Paying particular attention to US and Canadian polices and practices we will focus on several issues. We will focus on global poverty; exploitation of third world resources including the “brain drain” and organ selling; and legal and illegal migration; and climate change. These problems bring to light the vexing issues around the causal role and responsibility of first world states; the justification and application of admissions policies of first world states; the nature and limits of state sovereignty; and the meaning of membership in a political and ultimately a global community. 


  1. Recognizing and explaining key concepts, articulating their meaning and placing them in their appropriate context
  2. Identifying key arguments placing them in their appropriate context with respect to authorship
  3. Reconstructing and critically analyzing key arguments for soundness and validity
  4. Articulating the key themes found within the class in a well structured essay
  5. Critically comparing various theories showing their strengths and weaknesses and critically extending arguments to novel cases and problems not found within the text

    PHIL 121 may be applied towards the Breadth-Humanities Requirement  OR the Breadth-Social Sciences Requirement (but not both; student can choose which Breadth requirement to satisfy and plan enrollment in other courses accordingly).


  • 2 essays: 3-5 pages each (15%, 25%) 40%
  • Midterm 25%
  • Final exam 35%



John Rawls, The Law of Peoples with "The Idea of Public Reason Revisited."
ISBN: 978067400542

Selected readings that will be available through the university library website

Department Undergraduate Notes:

Thinking of a Philosophy Major or Minor? The Concentration in Law and Philosophy? The Certificate in Ethics? The Philosophy and Methodology of Science Certificate?
Contact the PHIL Advisor at philmgr@sfu.ca   More details on our website: SFU Philosophy

Registrar Notes:

SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://students.sfu.ca/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html