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Philosophy & Ethics A Level *FEES PAYABLE* at Eastbourne College

Course description

In AS Philosophy & Ethics we consider the oldest and most important questions human beings have ever asked; ‘What am I?’ and ‘How should I live to be happy?’ These are timeless questions that have troubled some of the greatest religious and philosophical writers in human history. AS Philosophy and Ethics is a journey through the landscape of western thinking from the Greek philosophy of Plato and Aristotle all the way through to Darwin and Sigmund Freud. Students will learn from these great minds the important difference between simple argument and genuine critical thought. What are the limits to human reason and what does Religion have to offer when those limits are reached? At what point does an argument become ‘unreasonable’ and which ‘story’ offers the best explanation for why the world is as it is? Was Socrates right when he said ‘The unexamined life is not worth living’ or should we simply accept it as a ‘brute fact’ that requires no explanation and which ultimately possesses no real meaning?

In Philosophy of Religion we begin with the foundation of Western thinking established by Plato, Aristotle and the Judaeo-Christian Tradition. What did they say about the physical world and the possible existence of God? These themes are then developed through the classical ‘proofs’ for God’s existence written by Anselm, Aquinas and Kant and the challenges that have been levelled against them. If intellect will not prove the existence of God, will different kinds of religious experiences, or are these best explained using the psychology of Sigmund Freud? What if any answer can be given to those who argue that modern man has outgrown traditional religious beliefs and should now embrace the wholly scientific view of Charles Darwin and the evolutionists?

In Ethics we will study some of the most important areas of modern life such as abortion, euthanasia, genetic engineering and stem cell research. What is a human being and how should they be treated? Will the insights of great ethical teachers such as Jesus or John Stuart Mill help us decide? In a rapidly changing world dominated by science and consumerism is life still sacred or should society increasingly take decisions regarding people’s health care and well being?

Course content

Religious Studies teaches you to think and argue about some of the most fundamental questions of life. Religious Studies complements most other subjects and will enhance your understanding of them. It will be of interest to universities and future employers and valuable for a wide spectrum of careers. It is a hugely popular AS subject in many schools up and down the country.


We will be studying the OCR Religious Studies syllabus (H172 / H175). At AS two modules G571: Philosophy and G572 are examined. There will be one paper on each module, each paper lasting one and a half hours.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Eastbourne College directly.

Last updated date: 16 June 2015

Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Duration: 2 Years