Spring 2022 - PHIL 322 D100

History of Ethics (3)

Class Number: 7381

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    We 9:30 AM – 12:20 PM
    RCB 7100, Burnaby

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Apr 20, 2022
    3:30 PM – 6:30 PM
    WMC 3210, 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 key themes and ideas in the history of ethics. We will cover a range of issues and debates by lesser known (e.g. Samuel Pufendorf) and well known (e.g David Hume) thinkers varying in understandings of the source and nature of morality. Our survey will take us through understandings of morality from the natural law tradition through to Kant. We will see key debates in understanding the relationship between human and divine nature and morality; the role of reason and sentiment as a source of morality; and the importance and emergence of autonomy. Students will grasp some of the debates that influenced the thought of the major thinkers often studied and will have a broad understanding of the challenges facing previous conceptualizations of moral obligation and human flourishing. We hope to also further illuminate these debates and issues they engender by taking the merit of these theories in their application to current moral problems that arise in thinking about sites of disadvantage including race, gender, and indigeneity.


  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

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


  • One Essay 35%
  • Midterm Exam 25%
  • Final Exam 35%
  • Participation (measured in terms of participation to class discussions) 5%


Course delivery: In person



1. J. B. Schneewind. Moral Philosophy from Montaigne to Kant, Cambridge University Press, 2002.

ISBN: 9780521003049

2. A section of articles provided via canvas

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 2021 and Spring 2022. 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 spring 2022 will involve primarily in-person instruction, with safety plans in place.  Some courses will still be offered through remote methods, and if so, this 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 spring 2022 term.