PHIL 100W Knowledge and Reality

Fall Semester 2011 | DAY


INSTRUCTOR   Holly Andersen, WMX 4610



  • Elements of Philosophy, Gendler, Siege, and Kahn (eds.), Oxford University Press
  • Writing Philosophy: A Guide for Canadian Students, Vaughn & McIntosh, Oxford University Press, 2009



This course is an introduction to some of the central issues in philosophy. It will be centered around two main themes, that of what the world itself is like, and how we come to know about that world. We will consider the nature of philosophical investigation itself, and apply those tools to questions such as: what is perception, and why should we trust our senses to give us knowledge about the world? What form does knowledge take - how do we distinguish knowledge from mere belief or opinion? How do we know that we really experience the world as it is, rather than experiencing an illusion? What is the relationship between our conscious experience and the physical material out of which we are made?

This course will also focus on developing students' writing skills, including their abilities to reconstruct the arguments in written texts, to analyze the key ideas in such arguments, and to formulate their own thoughts in a clear and concise way.



  • Two papers, including revision in response to feedback - 20% each
  • In-class short essay writing and practice essays - 20% total
  • Midterm - 15%
  • Final exam 25%


NOTE:  Philosophy 100 has no prerequisites and may be applied towards the Certificate in Liberal Arts, the W-requirement, and the Breadth/Humanities requirement.