Spring 2021 - PHIL 201 D100

Epistemology (3)

Class Number: 2208

Delivery Method: Remote


  • Course Times + Location:

    Tu 2:30 PM – 5:20 PM

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Apr 20, 2021
    11:30 PM – 11:30 PM
    TAKE HOME-EXAM, Burnaby

  • 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.


This course will serve as an introduction to epistemology, the theory of knowledge. We will explore time-honored philosophical questions such as, What is knowledge? Does knowledge depend on justification? How do our faculties of sensory experience and rational reflection each contribute to justification? After covering some of the classic philosophical debates on these questions, a substantial portion of the course will be set aside to examining recent developments which attempt to move away from the individualistic focus of classical epistemology by uncovering a distinctively social dimension of knowledge. Among the questions that will concern us here are theory choice in science, testimony and peer disagreement, feminist epistemology and epistemic injustice. 


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


  • Participation: measured by contribution on classroom discussion or to Canvas discussion board 10%
  • First paper (4-5 pp.) 25%
  • Second paper (5-6 pp.) 35%
  • Take-home final exam 30%


Course delivery: remote, synchronous. Online presence is required during scheduled lecture time.



Students must have access to internet and a computer/other device that permits streaming video, word processing and teleconferencing with Zoom.


All readings will be available online or supplied by instructor.

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


Teaching at SFU in spring 2021 will be conducted primarily through remote methods. There will be in-person course components in a few exceptional cases where this is fundamental to the educational goals of the course. Such course components will be clearly identified at registration, as will course components that will be “live” (synchronous) vs. at your own pace (asynchronous). Enrollment acknowledges 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. To ensure you can access all course materials, we recommend you have access to a computer with a microphone and camera, and the internet. In some cases your instructor may use Zoom or other means requiring a camera and microphone to invigilate exams. If proctoring software will be used, this will be confirmed in the first week of class.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who believe they may need class or exam accommodations, including in the current context of remote learning, are encouraged to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112).