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Sixth Form: Philosophy

Updated: Wed 7 Feb 2018   Share: Share on facebookShare on TwitterShare on MySpaceShare by Email



Subject Leader: Mr D. Solomons

Examination Board: AQA

A2 SYLLABUS : 7172

Examinations: 100%

Coursework: None



‘It is not the truth which a man possesses… but the earnest effort which he puts forth to reach the truth, which constitutes the worth of a man. For it is not by the possession, but by the search after truth that he enlarges his power.’  - Gotthold Lessing (1729-1781)


What is A-Level Philosophy?

Philosophy offers an exciting opportunity for students who love independent thought.  The new syllabus concentrates on providing a solid philosophical base in Year 12 by the study of two units – Epistemology and Moral Philosophy.  These units provide students with the skills necessary to further their study into key themes and further philosophical problems in Year 13 where the topics studied are Metaphysics of God and Metaphysics of the Mind.


What makes a good philosopher?

The successful Philosophy student will possess an inquisitive (and open) mind, and love of opinion.  A Philosophy student will pay close attention to detail, and may never be satisfied. Philosophy requires students to be familiar with classic texts, therefore a love of reading would be a distinct advantage.  The successful Philosophy student will learn that precision of expression is of paramount importance to being understood.  A typical Philosophy student could often be described as being interested in debate, and keen both to express their own ideas and listen to those of others.  Do not pick this subject if you are afraid to be wrong, or if your grade is more important to you than your knowledge.


What can I expect to learn in Philosophy?

Specific subject knowledge is valuable in its own right, but Philosophy aims to provide students with transferable skills.  These skills will not just be important to other subjects where there is an analytical element, but also to any written theories that they will encounter in everyday life.  Philosophy aims to equip students with the skill and rigour to present arguments with coherence, and form and justify their own opinions on the validity of the arguments of others.


Where could Philosophy take me?

Philosophy is a subject that is easily combinable with a number of subjects at TBSHS and beyond.  Politics, English Literature, History and Psychology are some of the possible complementary subjects, and Philosophy can be combined with any number of subjects at university (most famously P.P.E. at Oxford).  The skills learned will benefit students of single honours Law, Politics, Theology, English Literature, and a number of other textual disciplines.  Past students have gone on to study both single honours Philosophy at University, as well as Philosophy in combination with subjects such as Law.