Spring 2023 - PHIL 300 D100

Introduction to Philosophy (3)

Class Number: 7185

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Jan 4 – Apr 11, 2023: Wed, 2:30–5:20 p.m.

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Apr 20, 2023
    Thu, 3:30–6:30 p.m.

  • Prerequisites:

    At least 60 units.



An introductory course specifically intended for students in other departments who have at least 60 units. This course is more advanced than 100 and 200 division courses and is of interest to students not only in the humanities, but also in the natural and social sciences. This course does not count towards the upper division requirements for a student pursuing a minor, major, or honours program in philosophy. Students with credit for PHIL 100 or PHIL 100W may not take this course for further credit. Breadth-Humanities.


This course is an introduction to philosophy through some contemporary examples of philosophy written for a general audience. Topics may include: the nature of reality and the mind; personal identity; the nature and possibility of knowledge; the future of humanity; moral issues for the lives of humans and animals.


  •  Read and discuss examples of philosophy written for a general audience.
  •  Develop a sense of what makes a question a philosophical question.
  •  Explore a philosophical problem in writing to develop and defend a personal view on it.

PHIL 300 may be applied towards the Breadth-Humanities Requirement.

If you are a Philosophy Major or Minor: PHIL 300 will not count towards your upper division requirements. For everyone else: PHIL 300 will count as an upper division elective. If you have taken PHIL 100 or 100W in the past, PHIL 300 will count as a repeat. 


  • Exam 1 25%
  • Exam 2 30%
  • Assignment 25%
  • Lecture (iClicker) 10%
  • Reading Quizzes 10%



We’ll use i-Clickers (henceforth “clickers”) in lectures. Clickers allow everyone in our large room to respond to multiple choice questions during class, and allow me to show response statistics to the class. Every clicker question is scored for participation, and some are scored for correctness. The total clicker mark for the course (10%) is approximately 6 pts for participation and 4 pts your correctness. The difference between getting every question right and getting every question wrong is normally less than the mark range of a single
letter grade.


Online sources and PDFs distributed 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 philcomm@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