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Philosophy AS/A2 at Christ The King College

Course description

Philosophy is the art of deepening thinking, answering questions and expressing yourself through written and verbal argument. ‘Philosophy’ literally means a ‘love of wisdom’ (from the Ancient Greek φιλοσοφία, philosophia), but is best understood as a critical and precise way of forming your own systems and ideas about the world and our place in it. However, you will need to be able to defend your views clearly and to see the strengths and weaknesses in the views of others, both the philosophers we will learn about and your peers.
Philosophy is valued because of its consequence of the skills which you will develop during your studies; honing one’s ability to reason logically, explain oneself and analyse complex ideas are highly desirable to employers and
universities alike. Yet it is also a subject which is studied for its own sake; some people just are ‘philosophical’ by nature, and studying it may help you realise this potential with peers of a similar temperament. Both are expressed in the skill of essay writing which is taught here to a very high standard.

Course content

Unit 1: Epistemology – ‘the study of knowledge’:
• Perception: what can we know about the world that appears to us through perception? Should we be sceptical about the world about us, or believe the evidence of our senses? Illusions, objects and the ideas in the mind of God, and more, are explored in our first topic.
• Definition of Knowledge: here we consider what counts as knowledge and what does not.
• The Origin of Concepts: from where do our basics concepts about the nature of knowledge arise? We compare theories such as whether we are born with innate ideas to the objections that everything we learn comes from experience, to different species and kinds of knowledge.
Unit 2: Philosophy of Religion:
• The Concept of God: the conceptual limits of our understanding of God are explored in our first lessons in this unit.
• Existence of God: we consider the main arguments put forward for proving the existence of God and explore the objections and replies resulting from them including the ‘Problem of Evil’ and the ‘Euthyphro Dilemma’.
• Religious Language: Does the word ‘unicorn’ pick out anything real in the world? What about the word ‘justice’?
The same can be, and is, asked of religious language and we will explore the philosophers who argue the debate.
 A2 has two further units. Firstly, Ethics, the study of actions and value; what is right and wrong? Why should we do right and avoid wrong? The second is Philosophy of Mind, focusing primarily of the existence of the mental; what is the mind? Is it physical, a soul or even something else?

Entry requirements

There is no specific pathway leading to philosophy or qualification you will need. Literacy will complement the written aspects of the course (such as the final examination), whereas if your strengths are in mathematical or scientific areas this analyticity and knowledgebase may assist you in the reasoning aspects. Determination and an enquiring mind with the ability to reflect on important issues suit the subject well.


Philosophy is assessed by a single, three-hour examination in which you will answer all questions, demonstrating: knowledge of the key ideas; how thinkers’ various theories relate to one another; and an ability to evaluate arguments in logical, well-structured essays.

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 03 June 2015
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Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Duration: 1-2 Years