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Philosophy AS & A Level at King George V College

Course description

Philosophy literally translates as ‘love of wisdom’.  Popularly defined as ‘thinking about thinking,’ Philosophy probes deeply into ordinary opinions and convictions on almost every topic – morality, politics, psychology, physics, and     religion. Following correct principles of reasoning, Philosophy dissects familiar ideas and investigates fundamental issues raised with the sole goal of gaining genuine knowledge.

It is often argued that an understanding of oneself and one’s place in the world can only be gained through serious thinking and investigation of philosophical questions. If you enjoy thinking and reflecting on these fundamental questions, then Philosophy is the course for you. Philosophy will give to you the skills to think logically and critically. You will be taught, not what to think, but how to think.

Course content

First Year

  • Epistemology: Do we experience the world as it is or is human perception merely an interpretation of the world? What is knowledge? What can we know and how do we know that we know?
  • Philosophy of Religion: Is there a God? Does the universe show evidence of God’s existence? Does morality transcend God or is God the source of all moral goodness. Can the attributes of God be reconciled with the existence of evil in the world? Is Religious language meaningful?

Second Year

  • Moral Philosophy (Ethics): Is there objective moral truth i.e. is anything right/wrong for all cultures, time and persons? How do we decide what is morally right? Are our ethical statements mere expressions of our subjective feelings about situations or are they descriptive of a moral reality.
  • Philosophy of Mind: What is the relationship between the mental and the physical? Are the mind and the body separate and can either exist without the other?

Entry requirements

By far the most important thing is to have a natural interest in philosophical and ethical ideas; those who already find themselves pondering ‘the big questions’ tend to find this subject highly rewarding and stimulating. A good philosophy student takes nothing for granted and must be prepared to question and challenge hitherto held assumptions.

Future opportunities

Philosophy prepares you for the kind of rigorous thinking and critical analysis valued in a wide variety of fields. Big businesses – City firms, banks,  management consultancies, chartered accountants – are enthusiastic about people who’ve done philosophy, because they know how to think clearly and rigoriously. Philosophy students also go into law, politics, and the civil service. Journalism is a logical career path, since you have to be able to write well and present ideas logically and clearly.

Advertising is another choice, and of course, last in this very incomplete list, but never least, there’s always education! Philosophy students do better in verbal, writing and mathematical skills and therefore make great teachers.

Further information

Students have the opportunity to join the Philosophy Symposium – a very popular debating forum during which current affairs are debated in conjunction with Philosophical texts. There is also the chance to attend a Philosophy and Religious Studies conference at Lancaster University. This is a great opportunity to listen to experts in different areas of Philosophical interest.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact King George V College directly.

Last updated date: 23 September 2016

Key information