Dated: 30 Nov 2009
This course allows you to investigate the nature and scope of philosophy and explore different points of view andarguments.You will develop skills in evaluating evidence, presenting arguments and justifying conclusions. By enhancing your thinking and reasoning skills, the course provides a valuable contribution to your personal, social and intellectual development. It may also lead to further study of the subject at a more advanced level.
The course consists of four units, two twenty hour units and two forty hour units, plus 40 hours flexible time.
Critical Thinking in Philosophy (20 hours)
This unit will help you to develop a deeper understanding of good and bad arguments and develop sound reasoning skills. You will consider the building blocks of arguments and what makes an argument reliable or unreliable.
Metaphysics (20 hours)
This unit develops aspects of metaphysical debate chosen from the following:
Is there a rational basis for belief in God?
Do we have free will? (Free will and determinism)
Epistemology (40 hours)
This unit considers philosophical issues in the nature, sources and possibilities of knowledge. The unit is divided into two sections.
An investigation into three questions on the topic of knowledge. Why are knowledge claims a problem in philosophy? What is knowledge? Can knowledge claims be justified?
An investigation of either a rationalist position – by studying extracts from Descartes’ Rationalism – or an empiricist position – by studying extracts from Hume’s Empiricism
One of the following texts is studied:
Descartes: The Meditations I, II, III and VI
Hume: An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding
Moral Philosophy (40 hours)
There are two sections in this unit.
The first section involves the study of two specific moral theories:
Consequentialism (Utilitarianism) – as illustrated by the ideas of Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill
Non-consequentialism or deontology – as illustrated by the theories of Kant
You will be required to examine the key idea from each theory and evaluate them in relation to a moral issue.
The course is assessed by a combination of internal assessment by your teacher/lecturer and an external examination, set and marked by the SQA.
Pupil revision notes