Spring 2022 - PHIL 326 E100

Topics in Law and Philosophy (3)

Indigenous Perspectives

Class Number: 7360

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Th 4:30 PM – 7:20 PM
    AQ 2104, Burnaby

  • Prerequisites:

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



Explores in detail classic problems in the law using the methods and resources of philosophy. Topics may include: problems in professional ethics facing lawyers; philosophical issues in international law and human rights; constitutional interpretation and the philosophy of language; the assessment of evidence and formal epistemology; the intellectual origins of the theory of natural law and natural rights; or others. Students may repeat this course for further credit under a different topic.


Topics in Law and Philosophy: Indigenous Perspectives on Global Justice

To talk about global justice is to talk about an issue that should, when properly considered, be an opportunity for different positions from around the globe to be discussed and debated thoroughly. However, opportunities for participation in the debate have been scarce to none for some groups in the world. In this course we will learn and discuss about dominant paradigms of global justice in Western philosophical academia, and we will see how these positions hold in light of indigenous perspectives from around the world. Together we will engage with Andean, Māori, and Inuit views and see how compatible, if at all, they are with some assumptions commonly held by those working in global justice solely from a Western perspective.



PHIL 329 is required for students doing a Philosophy Major or Minor with a Concentration in Law and PhilosophyIt may also be applied towards the Certificate in Ethics: Theory and Application

Course Objectives:

  • Introduce students to some classical theories of global justice in Western philosophical thought
  • Introduce students to some basic notions from Indigenous thought
  • Allow students to evaluate the similarities and tensions between Western and Indigenous perspectives on global justice
  • Provide students with basic tools for the development of alternative views of moral thinking with a focus on issues of global justice


  • Two short assignments: each member of the class will write two (2) short assignments during the semester. Each week of the semester, except for the first and last one, they will have a topic to write about and each assignment must be of five hundred (500) words. The assignments will be answers to a question posed for that week. The assignments must be uploaded online before the class on the topic. 10%
  • Short midterm paper (no more than 1200 words): each member of the class will write an essay of approximately a thousand two hundred words (1200). A list of suitable topics will be uploaded online during the semester and the expectations for the essay will be further discussed in class. 30%
  • Final term paper (no more than 2000 words): each member of the class will write an essay of approximately two thousand words (2000). A list of suitable topics will be uploaded online during the semester and the expectations for the essay will be further discussed in class. 40%
  • Attendance: attendance is mandatory. Each student can miss up to two (2) sessions during the semester without having to present a dispense. Each day of attendance will be rewarded with 1% of the final grade. 10%
  • Contribution to class discussion: since participation in the class is highly encouraged, questions will be asked throughout each class and discussion in class will be promoted. Students who show command and interest in the topics discussed in class will receive up to 10% worth of the final grade. 10%


  1. Course delivery: in person
  2. Assignments will be submitted online
  3. Attendance and contribution/participation will be assessed in person and in each class



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.



No purchase of materials or supplies is necessary for this class.


The readings will be uploaded to the course 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 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.