Philosophy and Ethics Faculty
Mr R Stephenson
The educational purpose of A-Level Philosophy is to enhance students’ critical thinking skills about ultimate questions of existence, themselves, and others. Philosophy students will learn about aspects of human reasoning from the ideas of the ancient philosophers through to philosophers of the present day. This will help pupils in all areas of their lives by improving their ability to communicate and reason with other people as they consider different world views and opinions. Additionally, in turn, this will lead to young people being better equipped to understand the modern world and the complex issues it faces.
Apart from direct benefits of learning Philosophy, it also indirectly facilitates learning in other subjects. Pupils will obtain skills which will enhance their thinking, reasoning, and learning in other academic disciplines. Philosophy modules comprise an important part of other lessons such as History, Business, Sport, Social Sciences and Psychology.
Similarly diverse are the occupational areas in which Philosophy is relevant and important. Those with a Philosophy qualification are involved in a variety of contexts which include research, healthcare and educational posts in the private and public sector, various organisations and corporations, legal and clinical settings, charities, social services and much more. Having a background in Philosophy is of considerable benefit in any work setting which includes teamwork, working with clients, advertising, and working under pressure.
The students will explore a variety of perspectives on the study of human existence and beliefs. The key approaches this course focuses on are Epistemology, Moral philosophy, the Metaphysics of God and the Metaphysics of Mind. Throughout the course, emphasis will be placed on the development of reasoning and critical thinking and students will become competent in understanding the main philosophical arguments in these areas.
During the first year, pupils will study the ways in which philosophers have analysed the core concepts of philosophy and be able to identify how subtle differences in thought can have wider impacts on philosophical arguments. In the second year, they will understand the similarities and differences between the forms of reasoning used in different philosophical content areas, including the similarities and differences between different kinds of knowledge.
The AQA syllabus has been chosen because it has proven to be clear, engaging, and easy-to-use, ensuring that pupils are helped as much as possible in their learning. This qualification introduces students to basic knowledge of all areas of Philosophy and it promotes the development of critical analysis, independent thinking, and reasoning skills. The AQA specification ensures that the topics have been updated so that they include the latest advances in the subject.