Fall 2022 - PHIL 203 D100

Metaphysics (3)

Class Number: 7686

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Sep 7 – Dec 6, 2022: Tue, 2:30–5:20 p.m.

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Dec 17, 2022
    Sat, 7:00–10:00 p.m.

  • Instructor:

    Simon Pollon
    Office: WMC 5655
  • 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.


Who are you? What makes you the individual that you are? What even is it to be an 'individual'? Are there even any distinct entities in the world? What is the world? What is it made of? Is it made of one thing? Two things? Many things? Could there be no things at all? Because, after all, what's a thing?

These are the sorts of questions addressed by the subject of this course-the field of Metaphysics, which is most broadly concerned with what kinds of things exist, how they are structured or constituted, and what the relations might be between the thing(s) that exist(s). In our inquiries, we will focus on issues of basic ontology-what exists and what are its/their properties, how to understand abstract objects, the nature of material objects, questions regarding the identity of objects and persons over time, Time itself, Causation, and Free Will.


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


  • Short Written Assignments: 40%
  • Midterm 25%
  • Final Exam 35%


Course delivery and exam: In person.



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

All other readings will be made available to the students via the SFU library website or through 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 philmgr@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