Fall 2019 - PHIL 201 D100

Epistemology (3)

Class Number: 4763

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Sep 3 – Dec 2, 2019: Mon, 2:30–4:20 p.m.

    Sep 3 – Dec 2, 2019: Wed, 2:30–3:20 p.m.

  • Prerequisites:

    One of PHIL 100W (or equivalent), 120W (or equivalent), 121, 144, 150, 151, or COGS 100.



A critical overview of recent accounts of the nature and scope of human knowledge and of justified or rational belief, and of philosophical issues that these accounts are intended to address. Students who have taken PHIL 301 cannot take this course for further credit.


Cultural commentators worry that we have moved into a "post-truth" era: “a time in which [truth] has become unimportant or irrelevant.”  Traditional philosophy, on the other hand, has maintained that truth will always be of central importance for us: Plato, for example, claimed that “truth heads the list of all things good, for gods and men alike.”  Our concern in this course will be with what it would mean for truth to be good, and whether it really is good in that way.  We will consider this question both in connection with some traditional philosophical analyses of important ways  of relating to the truth---such as justified belief and knowledge---as well as in connection with recent worries about entering a “post-truth” era.  Readings will include both classic and contemporary work on these issues.


PHIL 201 is a required course for the Philosophy and Methodology of Science Certificate
It is also a required course for the Philosophy Major. 


  • Three short papers (at 20% each) 60%
  • Longer final paper 40%


Class attendance and participation will be taken into account in adjudicating borderline cases.

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://www.sfu.ca/students/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