Ethics, Knowledge and Reality (PHIL*1050) | College of Arts

Ethics, Knowledge and Reality (PHIL*1050)

Code and section: PHIL*1050*01

Term: Fall 2022

Instructor: Andrew Bailey


Method of Delivery:

This course will be taught face-to-face during scheduled class and tutorial section times. On-line material will be available, but the course is not designed to be taken exclusively online.

Course Synopsis:

This course introduces students to philosophy through the exploration of basic perennial philosophical problems and questions, such as whether there is free will, a God, objective right and wrong, genuine knowledge of the world, and other topics. 
Our main text will be a book published in 2022 by one of today’s leading philosophers, called Reality+. In this book, written for a general audience, the author argues that “virtual worlds are not second-class worlds, and that we can live a meaningful life in virtual reality.” To engage with this topic we will grapple along the way with fundamental questions about the nature of reality, knowledge, the mind, God, and what it takes to lead a meaningful life. 

Assignments & Means of Evaluation:

  • Four short papers (~750 words each) - 32%
  • Mid-term exam - 30%
  • Final exam - 38%

Required Textbooks:

•    David Chalmers, Reality+, W.W. Norton & Company 2022, 978-0393635805 (
•    René Descartes, Meditations on First Philosophy, Broadview Press 2013, 978-1554811526 (é-Descartes/dp/155481152X)
•    Online materials and resources, e.g. The Matrix (

* Please note:  This is a preliminary web course outline only.  The Philosophy Department reserves the right to change without notice any information in this description.  The final, binding course outline will be distributed in the first class of the semester.