Fall 2022 - PHIL 332 D100

Selected Topics (3)


Class Number: 7715

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Fr 9:30 AM – 12:20 PM
    WMC 3510, Burnaby

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Dec 16, 2022
    3:30 PM – 6:30 PM
    RCB 8100, Burnaby

  • Instructor:

    Simon Pollon
    Office: WMC 5655
  • Prerequisites:

    As stated by department at time of offering.



May be repeated for credit.


Selected Topics: Consciousness

Prerequisites: Either one of: PHIL 201 or 203; or one of PHIL 100W or COGS 100, plus COGS 200; or permission of the instructor. This course will be taught at a level suitable to 3rd and 4th year students from a variety of disciplines. 

[Note: this course is to be taught concurrently with COGS 310.]

Course Description:

You are almost certainly having a conscious experience as you read this-black text against a white background, a certain level of comfort or eye strain, the sounds and smells around you, the possible stiffness or ache from sitting too long at the computer, and so on.

Now, what is this? What is this consciousness?

The answer might seem somewhat obvious. It's this! This thing happening now! Right here!

Our own consciousness is one of the things we are most familiar with-possibly the thing we are most familiar with. Indeed, we might even think that is what we are-our consciousness is our self.

However, we're pretty sure we have bodies and a biology, and this body and biology are made up of physical or material thing. And our consciousness seems to be attached to these bodies, but that consciousness we are so familiar with doesn't seem to be a physical thing like everything else. So, the following question arises: how supposed to fit this consciousness into the material world of which we are so sure? After all, our materialistic science seems to be working out pretty well. So, our consciousness should fit in there somehow. In this course, therefore, we are going to look at various ways this issue manifests in the philosophy, psychology, and neuroscience of consciousness generally and with respect to some particular features of consciousness like pain, various kinds of perception, self-consciousness and the feeling of acting.


  • Final Paper 40%
  • Participation 10%
  • Reading Reflections 50%


Course delivery: In person.



Electronic 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