Spring 2018 - PHIL 300 E100

Introduction to Philosophy (3)

Class Number: 2880

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Mo 4:30 PM – 7:20 PM
    HCC 2510, Vancouver

  • Prerequisites:

    At least 60 units.



An introductory course specifically intended for students in other departments who have at least 60 units. This course is more advanced than 100 and 200 division courses and is of interest to students not only in the humanities, but also in the natural and social sciences. Normally, students with credit for PHIL 100 may not take this course for further credit. This course does not count towards the upper division requirements for a student pursuing a minor, major, or honors program in philosophy. Breadth-Humanities.


This class has two key aims. The first aim is to introduce you to some of the most influential problems in western philosophy. We will read and critically examine how classic and contemporary philosophers have responded to these problems. In addition, we shall watch the movie Shaun of the Dead (2005). The second aim of this class is to improve the skills that are necessary for success in university and beyond, namely the ability to think critically, to read with a careful eye, to listen to others, and to write clearly. Some of the questions we will consider include:

  •   What, if anything, can I know?
  •   If I exist, what am I?
  •   What is the nature of personal identity?
  •   Do I have free will?


PHIL 300 may be applied towards the Certificate in Liberal Arts and the Breadth-Humanities Requirement.

Only if you are a Philosophy Major or Minor
: please note that PHIL 300 will not count towards your upper division requirements.

This course aims to develop the skills that are necessary for success in university and beyond, namely the ability to think critically, to read with a careful eye, to listen to others, and to write clearly.


  • Low Stakes Assignments 20%
  • Two exams, each worth 25% 50%
  • Paper 30%


No final exam.


All assignments written outside of the classroom must be submitted to turnitin.com, a third party service licensed for use by SFU. Turnitin is used for originality checking to help detect plagiarism. Students will be required to create an account with Turnitin, and to submit their work via that account, on the terms stipulated in the agreement between the student and Turnitin. This agreement includes the retention of your submitted work as part of the Turnitin database. Any student with a concern about using the Turnitin service may opt to use an anonymous identity in their interactions with Turnitin. Students who do not intend to use Turnitin in the standard manner must notify the instructor at least two weeks in advance of any submission deadline. In particular, it is the responsibility of any student using the anonymous option (i.e. false name and temporary e-mail address created for the purpose) to inform the instructor such that the instructor can match up the anonymous identity with the student.



All readings are available online or will be posted on Canvas. There is no required textbook.

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