Spring 2020 - PHIL 322 D100

History of Ethics (3)

Class Number: 9021

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Mo 2:30 PM – 4:20 PM
    AQ 2104, Burnaby

    We 2:30 PM – 3:20 PM
    AQ 5018, Burnaby

  • Prerequisites:

    One of PHIL 120W (or equivalent), 121, 150, 151, 220 or 221.



An examination of an issue or selection of issues in the history of moral or political philosophy. Historical readings will be the primary focus and may include important figures such as Aristotle, Hobbes, Locke, Hume, and Kant.


This course provides a survey of classical Chinese Philosophy from the Spring and Autumn Period and the Warring States Period, with a focus on ethical and political thought during those periods. Topics include: self-cultivation in Confucius; the Mohist defense of impartial caring; the debate between the Confucians Mencius and Xunzi on whether human nature is good or bad; paradoxes from the School of Names; the Daoists Laozi and Zhuangzi on the “Way”; and the beginning of Buddhist thought in China. Goals of the course include: learning how to approach historical texts; recognizing and assessing philosophical arguments; and thinking about the role of individuals and government in society. No knowledge of any Chinese language is necessary.


PHIL 322 may be applied towards the Certificate in Ethics and the Concentration in Law and Philosophy


  • Participation, including attendance and group discussions 5%
  • Short writing assignments, to be completed in class 20%
  • Discussion notes, to be completed online 20%
  • Paper, including proposal (5%), outline (10%), presentation (5%) and final draft (35%). 55%



Philip Ivanhoe and Bryan Van Norden, Readings in Classical Chinese Philosophy 2nd edition (Indianapolis: Hackett), 2005. 
ISBN: 978-0872207806

Bryan Van Norden, Introduction to Classical Chinese Philosophy (Indianapolis: Hackett), 2011. 
ISBN: 978-1603844680

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