Summer 2019 - PHIL 321 D100

Topics in Moral Philosophy (3)

Business Ethics

Class Number: 3263

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Tu 11:30 AM – 2:20 PM
    RCB 6125, Burnaby

  • Prerequisites:

    One of PHIL 120W (or equivalent), 121, 220, 221 or ENV 320W.



An advanced investigation of central issues and theories in moral philosophy. In any given term, the course may focus on a general theory or concept or concern, for example meta-ethics, utilitarianism, or theories of rights. Sometimes it will focus on a particular problem or problems, such as medical ethics, moral personhood, or free will and moral responsibility. May be repeated for credit.


Selected Topics: Business Ethics

This course aims to extend your ability to analyze and evaluate ethically complicated situations commonly encountered in business practices. We will approach the study of these situations by applying prominent moral theories, principles and methods of argumentation to famous cases drawn from a variety of contexts.  The instructional emphasis will focus on developing your ability to recognize the underlying structure of moral disagreement and moral argumentation, an ability which once acquired will enable you to assess the ethical character of actions, policies and plans.   In addition to elaborating basic principles and ethical theories, we examine a range of issues including corporate responsibility, sustainability and climate change, rights, justice, and ethical issues arising in globalization.


PHIL 321 may be applied towards the Certificate in Ethics: Theory and Application (see our website for more details).

General aim of this course: 
1. Recognizing 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. Presenting formally, the relevant arguments that we consider in class in premise to conclusion format
4. Articulating the key themes found within the class in a well structured essay
5. Critically analyzing and criticizing various arguments for soundness and validity
6. Critically comparing various theories showing their strengths and weaknesses and critically extending arguments to novel cases and problems not found within the text

This course is excellent preparation for: law school, graduate school in philosophy, public policy degrees, business school, or for anyone wishing to participate in public deliberation.


  • Essay (4-6 pages) 25%
  • Midterm 30%
  • Final Exam (take-home) 35%
  • Participation - Group Presentation 10%


Written work for this course will be submitted via Turnitin, 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.



1. Fritz Allhoff, Business In Ethics Focus, 2nd Edition, ISBN: 1554812518 (Broadview Press)
2. 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   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.