Phil 300 Introduction to Philosophy

Summer Semester 2012 | Evening | Harbour Centre


INSTRUCTOR  Simon Pollon, WMC 4617


  • Plato, Five Dialogues, 2nd edition. G.M.A. Grube (trans.), Hackett 2002
  • Rene Descartes, Meditations on First Philosophy, John Cottingham (ed.), Cambridge University Press, 1996
  • John Locke, Essay Concerning Human Understanding, Pauline Phemister (ed.), Oxford University Press, 2008
  • David Hume, Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion, J.C.A. Gaskin (ed.), Oxford Paperbacks, 2009
  • Frederiche Nietzsche, The Gay Science, Bernard Williams (ed.), Cambridge University Press, 2001
  • Albert Camus, The Myth of Sisyphus, Justin O'brien (trans.), Penguin Classic, 2006


Have you ever wondered the following?

Why are we here? What sort of place is here? What sort of things are we? What is our relationship to 'here'? What then would be the best way to be here, or live? Do we have a purpose for being here? If so, what is it? And is it related to how to live best? How do we know any of this?

This course will be concerned with these questions. More specifically, this course will be about some particular answers given to some, and sometimes all, of these questions at particular points in time in what is commonly called the 'Western Philosophical Tradition.' These accounts have all, in their way, attempted to provide the answers to these questions via the application of 'Reason'. As such, in this course, we will be examining how these philosophers have applied 'reason' to these issues, and what answers these applications have yielded.


  • Participation - 10%
  • 1 Midterm Exam - 30%
  • 1 Paper - 20%
  • 1 Final Exam - 40%


NOTE: Prerequisite: at least 60 units. Normally, students with credit for PHIL 100 may not take this course for further credit. This course does not count towards the upper division requirements for a student pursing a minor, major, or honors program in philosophy. Breadth-Humanities.