Spring 2023 - PHIL 203 D100

Metaphysics (3)

Class Number: 7167

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Tu 2:30 PM – 5:20 PM
    WMC 3533, Burnaby

  • Prerequisites:

    One of PHIL 100, 100W, 120, 120W, 121, 144, 150, 151, 300, or COGS 100.



An examination of central problems of metaphysics such as space and time, universals and particulars, substance, identity and individuation and personal identity.


Broadly construed, metaphysics concerns the most general questions one can ask about the world and our place in it: What sorts of entities are there? What are their features? We will consider a range of metaphysical topics, including: abstract entities, material objects, time and persistence, modality, causation, free will, and the metaphysics of race. Students will work on reading, assessing, and constructing arguments in the context of contemporary debates on these topics. Audio of class lecture and discussion will be posted to Canvas.


PHIL 203 is a required course for the for the Philosophy Major and the Philosophy and Methodology of Science Certificate


  • Weekly critical comments 10%
  • Weekly group commentaries 10%
  • Paper 1 (including abstract) 35%
  • Paper 2 (including abstract, outline, and presentation) 45%


Course delivery: in person. Audio of class lecture and discussion will be posted to Canvas.



Metaphysics: An Introduction, by Alyssa Ney, Routledge, ISBN-13: 978-0-415-64075-6

Additional readings will be posted on Canvas.


Your personalized Course Material list, including digital and physical textbooks, are available through the SFU Bookstore website by simply entering your Computing ID at: shop.sfu.ca/course-materials/my-personalized-course-materials.

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 philcomm@sfu.ca   More details on our website: SFU Philosophy

New elective grade policy : P/CR/NC, pilot project in place from Spring 2021 to Summer 2023. 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 website 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