Philosophy and Ethics

Head of Department: Miss A Innalls: ainnalls@kingalfred.somerset.sch.uk

 

This A Level course is aimed at those who are prepared for an open-minded exploration of the big questions, in particular the medical, legal and moral issues that affect the lives of humans today, as well as deeper philosophical questions about the nature of the universe and of humanity, and the existence or non-existence of God. The big issues in such areas as legal ethics, medical ethics and the environment as well as sex and relationships provide the opportunity to explore how we know what has been traditionally seen as right and wrong and how we apply these ideas in practice. The big questions like "if there's a God why doesn't (s)he prove it?" in addition to euthanasia, cloning, IVF and social justice are investigated through the writings of the philosophers and scholars, always requiring pupils to evaluate for themselves the relative strengths and weaknesses of the contrasting evidence.

Students who wish to ask the impossible questions about life, the world and the universe and explore some of the answers offered by the philosophers and scholars are likely to feel at home being challenged by and challenging others on this course. Previous experience of GCSE philosophy is not required, as the course will fill in any gaps in students understanding.

An A Level in Philosophy & Ethics is a highly regarded qualification for anyone proceeding to University in the Arts and the Sciences. The ability to think clearly and to evaluate contrasting philosophical, ethical and moral views, as well as possession of an understanding of the history of ideas from Socrates onwards, are valued by both universities and employers.

 

What does the course cover?

Philosophy:

Ancient Greek Influences: Plato and Aristotle.

Judaeo - Christian influences

Arguments for and against the existence of God 

 

Ethics:

Ethical theories e.g Natural Law, Utilitarianism, Applied Ethics e.g Abortion, Euthanasia, War & Peace

These units are then carried forward to A2 study.  Areas of study include

  •     Life and Death
  •     Free Will
  •     Conscience and Virtue Ethics
  •     Environmental Ethics
  •     Sexual Ethics 

 

Assessment:

- AS modules are assessed in two 90-minute papers at the end of year 12. 

- A2 modules follow the same format at the end of year 13.

- There is no coursework.

The big issues in such areas as legal ethics, medical ethics and the environment as well as sex and relationships provide the opportunity to explore how we know what has been traditionally seen as right and wrong and how we apply these ideas in practice. The big questions like "if there's a God why doesn't (s)he prove it?" in addition to euthanasia, cloning, IVF and social justice are investigated through the writings of the philosophers and scholars, always requiring pupils to evaluate for themselves the relative strengths and weaknesses of the contrasting evidence