Fall 2018 - PHIL 332 D100

Selected Topics (3)


Class Number: 6339

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    We 9:30 AM – 12:20 PM
    WMC 2531, Burnaby

  • Prerequisites:

    As stated by department at time of offering.



May be repeated for credit.


Selected Topics: Consciousness

Prerequisites: Either one of: PHIL 201 or 203; or both of PHIL 100W (or equivalent) and COGS 200

[Note: this course is to be taught concurrently with COGS 310.]

This course will be built around two central goals:

  1. To provide a survey of some of the central problems & challenges inherent in the study of consciousness as a subject matter. 
  2. To grapple with the methodological challenge inherent in developing and pursuing a genuinely interdisciplinary approach to research on consciousness.

The course will serve as an introduction to the recent history of research on consciousness with a focus on the ways contemporary philosophical work has shaped the field. We will cover work on the nature of and relationship between intentionality and phenomenology, the challenges consciousness presents for functionalism/computationalism and the representational theory of mind, as well as more recent alternative approaches to the mind (e.g. embodiment, enactivism, and the extended mind).

The following are some broad thematic questions that we will try to gain some insight into over the course of the semester: How important is an understanding of consciousness to Cognitive Science? Is it possible to understand the nature of consciousness empirically? Among the disciplines that treat consciousness as a target of serious ongoing research, should one set the agenda for the others? What role should philosophy play in cognitive science? Because enrolled students will be expected to contribute regularly to discussions in class, and will be required to produce weekly discussion questions and/or reflection papers, attendance will be required.


  • Attendance 10%
  • Bi-weekly Reflection Papers 30%
  • 2 Research Papers (6-8 pages) 60%



Readings will be provided as PDFs.

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