A-Level Course Outline
What does the course aim to do?
If you have ever wondered where it all started or what life is all about or whether we are all free, then you have already been doing philosophy. Indeed philosophy is the activity of using rational argument and logical thinking to shine light on life's big questions. By studying philosophy, you will gain a greater understanding of the world we live in and your own self. You will also form a greater appreciation of any of the other subjects you will be studying, be they science subjects such as Physics or Biology or arts subjects such as English or History.
Which topics will you study?
At A-level, you will look at two topics - Metaphysics of God which contemplates the nature and existence of God and Metaphysics of Mind, the intellectual and practical exploration into the true nature of what we call "Mind". This second year builds on the foundations built in the first year in Epistemology; the study of knowledge and justified belief, and Moral Philosophy; the study of moral principles that govern a person's behaviour or the conducting of an activity.
What Skills Will You Develop When Studying Philosophy?
Philosophy will help you develop your ability to construct well-argued, well-informed, balanced and structured written arguments as well as providing you with the necessary skills to examine information in a critical way as well as form judgments based on clear evaluation. In addition, as an essay-based subject, there will be plenty of opportunity for students to develop an ability to provide clear expositions of difficult ideas as well as rigorous and sustained commentary.
Who should study this course?
Philosophy appeals if you have skills in the Arts and/or the Sciences. Philosophy is a popular choice if you wish to impress when it comes to university applications. It also enables you to fine tune your reasoning so that your enhanced intellect can be applied to other careers. Law, politics, the civil service, journalism, advertising, education, medicine are some of the professions where your ability to turn abstract subjects into solid concepts will be highly regarded.
What is the structure of the course?
This course will be taught for 6 hour long lessons per week. Homework will be set on a regular basis. Students will receive both class and revision notes but the reading of textbooks along with classic philosophical texts as an accompaniment is highly recommended.
|PHILOSOPHY (AQA) A-Level Specification|
Section 1: Epistemology
Section 2: Moral philosophy
Section 3: Metaphysics of God
Section D: Metaphysics of Mind
How it's assessed:
Jeremy Hayward, Gerald Jones, Dan Cardinal AQA A-level Philosophy Year 1 and AS: Epistemology and Moral Philosophy (2017), ISBN: 978-1510400252
Nigel Warburton, Philosophy: The Classics, Routledge, ISBN: 978-0415356299
Rene Descartes, Meditations and Other Metaphysical Writings (Penguin Classics), ISBN: 978-0140447019
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