Fall 2021 - PHIL 342 D100

Topics in Asian Philosophy (3)

Buddhist Ethics

Class Number: 7524

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Mo 12:30 PM – 2:20 PM
    WMC 2503, Burnaby

    We 12:30 PM – 1:20 PM
    WMC 3510, Burnaby

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Dec 16, 2021
    11:59 PM – 11:59 PM
    TAKE HOME-EXAM, Burnaby

  • Prerequisites:

    One prior philosophy course (not including PHIL 110, PHIL 105, PHIL 310, PHIL 314, or PHIL 315). (This prerequisite may be waived in some cases, at the discretion of the instructor.)



A discussion of philosophical issues raised by works of Asian philosophy, either historical or contemporary. This may include classical Chinese philosophy, Buddhist philosophy, and/or other Asian philosophical traditions. May be repeated for credit. Students who have taken PHIL 322 in Spring 2020 or Spring 2021, PHIL 333 in Summer 2015, or PHIL 357 in Fall 2020, under the same topic may not take this course for further credit.


Course description: Siddhartha Gautama, the historical Buddha, claimed to have discovered the key to eliminating suffering. Suffering, he thought, arises because our most basic experiences of the world are mistaken. In the thousands of years that followed, his philosophical and psychological insights have been developed by thinkers around the world. This course will present an introduction to the basic philosophical concepts of Buddhist philosophy and their relevance to ethics.



Students may repeat this course for further credit under a different topic. Students who have taken PHIL 322 in Spring 2020 (History of Ethics - Buddhist Ethics) may not take this course for further credit. 


  • To understand how different disciplines approach and theorize about a shared research topic.   
  • To learn how to read original scientific sources and place them within their historical context.  
  • To learn to write concise summaries of and critical questions about original research.


  • Participation in weekly discussion 10%
  • Short Assignments (4 @ 15% each) 60%
  • Weekly response quizzes 10%
  • Final paper 20%



Nicolas Bommarito, Seeing Clearly: A Buddhist Guide to Life

ISBN: 9780190887506


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

New elective grade policy : P/CR/NC, pilot project for Spring/Summer/Fall 2021. List of exclusions for the new policy. Specifically for Philosophy: 

  • Students can use a P or CR to satisfy any requirement for a major, joint major, honours, or minor in Philosophy (with the exception of Honours tutorials).
  • Students can use a P or CR to satisfy any prerequisite requirement for any PHIL course.
  • Students can use a P (but not a CR) to satisfy any requirement for the Ethics Certificate, or the Philosophy and Methodology of Science Certificate.
  • Philosophy Majors and Honours students can use a P (but not a CR) to satisfy any WQB requirement.

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


Teaching at SFU in fall 2021 will involve primarily in-person instruction, with approximately 70 to 80 per cent of classes in person/on campus, with safety plans in place.  Whether your course will be in-person or through remote methods will be clearly identified in the schedule of classes.  You will also know at enrollment whether remote course components will be “live” (synchronous) or at your own pace (asynchronous).

Enrolling in a course acknowledges that you are able to attend in whatever format is required.  You should not enroll in a course that is in-person if you are not able to return to campus, and should be aware that remote study may entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who may need class or exam accommodations, including in the context of remote learning, are advised to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112) as early as possible in order to prepare for the fall 2021 term.