PHIL 241 Philosophy in Literature

Summer Semester 2013 | Evening | Burnaby


INSTRUCTOR: Jennifer Warriner, WMC 5607 (jwarrine at


As a discipline, philosophy tends to dwell on the “big” questions: Does God exist? What am I? Is free will real or an illusion? What sort of duties (if any) do we have toward persons? However, philosophy also tends to approach these questions in the abstract. This class will introduce students to key philosophical problems by reading primary philosophical sources as well as literary texts to help us flesh out these problems more concretely. Throughout this course, we will consider how philosophical issues emerge in everyday life, as well as how our everyday experiences come to be incorporated into philosophy and literature.


  • Time's Arrow, Martin Amis, Vintage Books, 2003, ISBN: 978-0099455356
  • Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, Philip K. Dick, Del Ray, 1996, ISBN: 978-0345404473
  • The Bell, Iris Murdoch, Vintage Books, 1999, ISBN: 978-0099470489
  • The Metamorphosis, Franz Kafka, Dover Edition, 1996, ISBN: 978-0486290300
  • Custom Course pack available from the SFU Bookstore


  • First Paper:  20%
  • Second Paper: 30%
  • Short Writing Assignments: 20%
  • Final exam: 30%

 All papers must be submitted to, which is a plagiarism detection website.

Prerequisites: Philosophy 241 has no prerequisites and may be applied towards the Certificate in Liberal Arts.