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An award winning sixth-form college in the heart of Central London offering a wide range of GCSE and A-Level courses

The quality of the curriculum, teaching and learners' achievements is excellent
ISI INSPECTION REPORT - 2018

T (+44) 20 7409 7273
Albemarle Independent College, 18 Dunraven Street, Mayfair, London W1K 7FE

PHILOSOPHY (AQA)

A-Level Course Outline

Who should study this course?

Philosophy

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 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 topics like the role of a state and where our knowledge comes from. You will also consider free will and determinism along with the nature of reality. This first year will provide an introduction to philosophy and will enable you to begin the task of considering such subjects in a provocative and enlightening way.

What Skills Will You Develop When Studying Philosophy?

Philosophy will provide 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.

Structure of the Course

This course will be taught for 4 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.

What are the challenging aspects of the course?


PHILOSOPHY (AQA) A Level Specification

Section 1: Epistemology

  • What is knowledge
  • The tripartite view
  • Perception as a source of knowledge
  • Reason as a source of knowledge
  • The limits of knowledge

The question paper consists of five questions on this section.
Worth 40 marks. Candidates must answer all questions.

Section 2: Moral philosophy

  • Normative ethical theories
  • Utilitarianism, Kantian ethics, Aristotelian ethics
  • Applied Ethics
  • Meta-ethics
  • Moral realism
  • Moral anti-realism

The question paper consists of five questions on this section. Worth 40 marks. Candidates must answer all questions.

Section 3: Metaphysics of God

  • The concept and nature of 'God'
  • Arguments relating to the existence of God
  • Ontological arguments, teleological arguments, cosmological arguments
  • The Problem of Evil
  • Religious Language

The question paper consists of five questions on this section. Worth 40 marks. Candidates must answer all questions.

Section D: Metaphysics of Mind

  • What do we mean by 'mind'?
  • Dualist theories (substance dualism, property dualism)
  • Physicalist theories
  • Physicalism, Mind-brain type identity theory, eliminative materialism
  • Functionalism

How it's assessed:
2 papers

Paper 1:
Written exam: 3 hours
100 marks
50% of A-Level
Questions
Section A: Five questions on epistemology
Section B: Five questions on moral philosophy

Paper 2:
Written exam: 3 hours
100 marks
50% of A-Level
Questions
Section A: Five questions on metaphysics of God
Section B: Five questions on metaphysics of mind
Available May/June

Core Textbooks
AQA A-level Philosophy Year 1 and AS: Epistemology and Moral Philosophy (2017), Jeremy Hayward, Gerald Jones, Dan Cardinal ISBN: 978-1510400252

Introductory Reading
Dan Cardinal, Jeremy Hayward, Gerald Jones, AQA AS Philosophy, Hodder Education, ISBN-13: 978-1471835353

Philosophy