Everyone has at one time or another asked themselves philosophical questions such as: Why are we here? Could our lives be merely a dream? What makes an act right or wrong? What can we believe?
Senior VI students examine and interrogate such questions, developing an ability to think clearly and to construct and deconstruct arguments in all their forms. This is the basis for Arguments in Action, one of three units which constitutes the course. Pupils also study Moral Philosophy and discuss the ideas of Kant and Utilitarianism to examine important ethical ideas. The final part of the course is an examination of knowledge itself: the theories of Descartes and Hume are analysed in this unit.
The caricature of philosophy is one of extreme abstraction, thinking, not doing. However philosophy is at the heart of society:
- it is the foundation of all science and law
- medical ethics and neurology have their basis in ideas about the self and morality
- in politics the ability to construct an argument is vital.
Senior VI students can study philosophy at Higher level.