The RE department offer an A Level in Philosophy as well as offering an A Level in Government and Politics.
A Level Philosophy:
The AQA Philosophy course is a challenging A Level and is nationally recognised as an accolade for those who succeed in it. It requires the use and understand of the rigorous application of logic and therefore suits those who prefer a humanities subject that is based upon complex rational thinking.
The course is designed to:
- develop a range of transferable skills which can be applied far beyond the study of Philosophy such as logic, reason and accurate written communication
- integrate themes and texts to allow students to engage with challenging conceptual problems through reading and comprehension of classical as well as contemporary philosophy
- help students gain a thorough grounding in key philosophical techniques
- enable students to develop the ability to reason, form their own judgements, express themselves coherently and contribute to the process of debate
- show students how to consider philosophical problems through the study of a key text (Descartes)
- give students the opportunity to explore the ‘big questions’ associated with the four areas of study
The course covers the following content, the first two modules are taught side-by-side in Year 12 and then towards the end of Year 12 the final two modules are started. This is to allow ample revision time in Year 13 to prepare for the linear end of Year 2 examinations. At the end of the course students undertake two 3 hour exams, the first exam covering the first two modules and the second exam covering the final two modules.
- Epistemology – The study of propositional knowledge and the limits of knowledge. Including what knowledge is (the Tripartite Theory), the use of our senses as a source of knowledge, the origin of knowledge/concepts and the use of scepticism to doubt the existence of knowledge.
- Moral Philosophy – The study of the concepts of right/wrong, good/bad and whether they have any philosophical justification. Exploring the key theories of moral decision-making, Utilitarianism, Kantian Deontology and Virtue Ethics. Ethical theories have to be applied to the issues of eating animals, stealing, simulated killing and telling lies.
- The Metaphysics of Mind – An inquiry into the nature of consciousness. What, if anything, is a ‘mind’? Furthermore, what is the relationship between mind and body? Is a ‘person’ made up of more than physical substance? In this unit, students will study the Philosophy of Mind from Descartes in the 17th Century right up to modern day arguments where neuroscience meets philosophy.
- The Metaphysics of God – The study of what the concept of God refers to and the qualities that any possible God may have. Traditional arguments for the existence of God are explored and evaluated as well as a study of religious language and whether it holds any conceptual meaning.