Fall 2021 - PHIL 121 D100

Global Justice (3)

Class Number: 7419

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Mo, We 2:30 PM – 3:20 PM
    AQ 3159, Burnaby



An introduction to the ethical issues arising from interactions of states, NGOs and other international agents. Topics may include international human rights, terrorism, war, gender justice, climate justice, fairness in international trade, cultural diversity and conflict, the rights of indigenous peoples, collective responsibility and restitution for historical wrongdoing, among others. Students who have received credit for PHIL 220 cannot receive credit for this course. Breadth-Humanities/Social Sciences.


Every day, and mostly without thinking about it, we make choices that affect the lives of people around the globe: each of us effectively have dozens of “employees” – many of them children – who work for us under slavery-like conditions to produce the clothes we wear, the coffee we drink, and the cell phones we use to plot our plans for the weekend. While ours is a time of unprecedented possibilities for human progress, war, poverty, and tyrannical government continue to affect the majority of the world’s citizens on a day-to-day basis. This course will introduce you to the study of Global Justice, which is concerned with charting the structural sources of today’s problems and with proposing ways for moving forward. Possible topics of discussion include the morality of international trade, human rights and state sovereignty, gender justice, refugee rights, the challenges of climate change, and the rights of future generations.


PHIL 121 may be applied towards the Breadth-Humanities Requirement  OR the Breadth-Social Sciences Requirement  (but not both; student can choose which Breadth requirement to satisfy and plan enrollment in other courses accordingly).

Taking this course will help you:
·         Come to a better understanding of some of the most pressing political challenges of our time
·         Develop a conceptual tool kit for analyzing complex moral problems
·         Develop better skills at analyzing and presenting written arguments
·         Learn to respectfully debate deep and controversial questions in a public forum

Videos: Why Study Philosophy? and Meet Our Professors!


  • First paper (600 words) 15%
  • Second paper (900 words) 25%
  • Third paper (1200 words) 30%
  • Weekly quizzes: 20% (cumulative) 20%
  • Five low-stakes writing-exercises: 10% (pass / fail) 10%
  • [Contributions to lecture and tutorial discussion:10% (extra credit)]


Course delivery: in person.


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.



All readings will be supplied by the instructor, or be available online.

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 Spring/Summer/Fall 2021. 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 fall 2021 will involve primarily in-person instruction, with approximately 70 to 80 per cent of classes in person/on campus, with safety plans in place.  Whether your course will be in-person or through remote methods 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 fall 2021 term.