Summer 2018 - PHIL 300 E100

Introduction to Philosophy (3)

Class Number: 4639

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Th 4:30 PM – 7:20 PM
    HCC 1325, Vancouver

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Aug 9, 2018
    7:00 PM – 10:00 PM
    HCC 1800, 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.


In this course we cover a number of important issues in philosophy. These include well known topics such as Free Will, the problem of knowledge, the Mind/Body problem - These are interesting problems, focusing us in understanding (or recognizing the limits of our understanding) the nature of our physical interactions with the world we experience. We will also consider a number of challenging issues relevant to our social lives: the meaning of life and the meaning death. And finally we will think about issues that seem to tear at our attempts to live peacefully: the meaning of race and of gender and the nature of justice!


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.

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


  • First essay (3-5 pages) 15%
  • Second essay (3-5 pages) 25%
  • Midterm 25%
  • Final Exam 35%



Thomas Nagel, "What Does It All Mean?: A Very Short Introduction to Philosophy," Oxford University Press. (ISBN: 0192854259)

Selected readings 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   More details on our website: SFU Philosophy

Registrar Notes:

SFU’s Academic Integrity web site 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.