Spring 2021 - PHIL 203 D100
Class Number: 2154
Delivery Method: Remote
An examination of central problems of metaphysics such as space and time, universals and particulars, substance, identity and individuation and personal identity.
Metaphysics is the study of the basic components of the world and their relation to one another. The aim of this course is to give students a rigorous introduction to a set of key metaphysical positions and arguments that shape historical and contemporary philosophical discourse. We shall begin by inquiring about the method of metaphysics: what is the job of a metaphysical theory? We shall look at Quine’s influential answer to this question and several critiques of Quine’s view. With this methodological question in the background, we shall then examine a core set of metaphysical topics, including identity, modality, the relation between mind and body, causation, free will and the metaphysics of race and gender. We shall read pieces by Lewis, Kripke, Adams, Fine, Schaffer, Kim and others and we shall occasionally seek out the historical roots of the primarily contemporary positions we discuss in philosophers like Leibniz and Hume.
COURSE-LEVEL EDUCATIONAL GOALS:
- The Levels: a series of short writing assignments done throughout the semester 30%
- One term paper 35%
- A final exam 35%
Course delivery: remote, synchronous. Attendance is not a component of student grades, but attendance at all sessions is highly recommended.
MATERIALS + SUPPLIES:
Students must have access to internet and a computer/other device that permits streaming video, word processing and teleconferencing with Zoom.
Alyssa Ney, Metaphysics: An Introduction. , Routledge, ISBN-13: 978-0-415-64075-6
All other readings will be made available to the students via the SFU library website or through 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 firstname.lastname@example.org More details on our website: SFU Philosophy
ACADEMIC INTEGRITY: YOUR WORK, YOUR SUCCESS
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TEACHING AT SFU IN SPRING 2021
Teaching at SFU in spring 2021 will be conducted primarily through remote methods. There will be in-person course components in a few exceptional cases where this is fundamental to the educational goals of the course. Such course components will be clearly identified at registration, as will course components that will be “live” (synchronous) vs. at your own pace (asynchronous). Enrollment acknowledges 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. To ensure you can access all course materials, we recommend you have access to a computer with a microphone and camera, and the internet. In some cases your instructor may use Zoom or other means requiring a camera and microphone to invigilate exams. If proctoring software will be used, this will be confirmed in the first week of class.Students with hidden or visible disabilities who believe they may need class or exam accommodations, including in the current context of remote learning, are encouraged to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (email@example.com or 778-782-3112).