Summer 2023 - PHIL 300 D100

Introduction to Philosophy (3)

Class Number: 2838

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    May 8 – Aug 4, 2023: Mon, 2:30–5:20 p.m.

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Aug 14, 2023
    Mon, 12:00–3:00 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.


Philosophy 300 is an upper-level introduction to philosophy for students who are not majoring or minoring in philosophy. Being restricted to students with at least 60 credits, it is, to quote its calendar description, “more advanced than 100 and 200 division courses”. However it is still an introduction to the subject, and taking it requires no background knowledge of philosophy or previous philosophy courses. “More advanced” therefore means mostly that you the student are expected to be more advanced academically, in class discussions and in writing, than might be expected of a typical student new to university.

The range of possible topics and readings that are appropriate for a course like this is huge. What makes this an introduction is not that it covers some standard set of core philosophical texts or theories, but that it will acquaint you with, and give you a chance to try out, the practice of philosophy: what it is to identify and ask a philosophical question and how to go about proposing and evaluating answers to it, in discussion and in writing.

The term schedule divides the course into two sections loosely corresponding to the sorts of topics covered in Philosophy 100 (Knowledge and Reality) and Philosophy 120 (Moral and Legal Problems). The correspondence is only loose, since in the first part we’ll confront some broadly moral questions and in the second part we’ll still be concerned with reality. (Reality includes quite a lot of things, it turns out!) The particular topics and readings we’ll look at represent some longstanding and some more recent concerns of philosophy. All of the readings are contemporary, though. We won’t read any of the Great Works of Philosophy. Our focus will be on the problems, the concepts, and the arguments themselves, not their historical development.


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 35%
  • Exam 2 30%
  • Short paper 30%
  • Paper planning meeting 5%



Provided files and links.


Your personalized Course Material list, including digital and physical textbooks, are available through the SFU Bookstore website by simply entering your Computing ID at:

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   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 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.


Students with a faith background who may need accommodations during the semester are encouraged to assess their needs as soon as possible and review the Multifaith religious accommodations website. The page outlines ways they begin working toward an accommodation and ensure solutions can be reached in a timely fashion.