Spring 2023 - PHIL 823 G100

Selected Topics Meta-Ethics (5)

Responding to Reasons

Class Number: 7193

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Fr 9:30 AM – 12:20 PM
    WMC 2531, Burnaby



Selected Topics: Responding to Reasons

[Note: this course is to be taught concurrently with PHIL 421W D100.]  

Important note regarding enrollment: All seats are reserved for Philosophy Graduate students. Enrollments from other departments will be considered only upon submission of the Graduate Course Add Form, and with instructor's permission. All such enrollments will be done in or after the first week of classes.

According to a popular conception of rationality, being rational is a matter of correctly responding to reasons. This course focuses on what correctly responding to reasons amounts to. Readings will cover material in contemporary metaethics and epistemology.


Successful completion of this course will satisfy the "Value Theory" stream or the“M&E" stream distribution requirement towards the MA degree for Philosophy graduate students.

By the end of the course, students should be able to:

  • Identify and reconstruct philosophical arguments
  • Write advanced-level philosophy papers
  • Conduct independent research
  • Engage with fundamental central issues in the philosophy of normativity


  • Weekly discussion questions (submitted prior to class) and in-class participation 10%
  • Paper proposal and bibliography 5%
  • Paper draft and peer review 5%
  • Workshop presentation 5%
  • Presentation on a reading 5%
  • Final paper 70%


Note: in person.



 All readings will be made freely available online.


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.

Graduate Studies Notes:

Important dates and deadlines for graduate students are found here: http://www.sfu.ca/dean-gradstudies/current/important_dates/guidelines.html. The deadline to drop a course with a 100% refund is the end of week 2. The deadline to drop with no notation on your transcript is the end of week 3.

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