Philosophy is a subject that deals with the most profound questions of existence, the very nature of the world around us, and the reasons for our being here. This course will provide you with an introduction to this exciting area of study and will attempt to get you to think like a philosopher as we discuss such essential matters as morality, knowledge and truth, and existence. But, be warned, philosophy can create more questions than it actually answers!
Philosophy is one of the oldest disciplines, a subject developed in ancient Greece and which has evolved over time, concerning a diverse range of topics from religion to science, politics to morality. A study of Philosophy is not just the study of an academic subject, it is the study of thought itself, giving you the skills to think critically about everything around you. What is the difference between “wrong” and “right”? Does the material world around us exist? What is “existence” anyway? The skills acquired in learning to tackle such questions can be transferred to almost any other discipline, meaning that Philosophy can act as an excellent stepping stone into other areas.
The ORA Introduction to Philosophy is designed to offer an overview of what studying Philosophy at university is like, looking at the major areas that you would cover in a university course. This will benefit students who are keen to have a taster of the subject to help make a balanced and informed decision about whether or not they want to study Philosophy, and also students seeking to bolster their application by gaining a pool of knowledge to use in interviews and personal statements.
During this course, students will be able to…
By the end of this course, students will be able to…
This tutorial attempts to provide a definition of philosophy before moving on to discuss how we would go about questioning something in a philosophical manner. The tutorial will then explore the inter-related concepts of knowledge and truth and will end on a sceptical note with Descartes’ argument that, in essence, we can’t actually know anything.
This tutorial takes issue with the arguments of sceptics introduced at the end of the previous tutorial and explores how to deal with the pessimistic views that they espouse. The tutorial will then move on to look in more detail at one of philosophy’s most famous sceptics: Descartes. It will look, in particular, at his concepts of dualism and metaphysics.
This tutorial addresses questions that arise in relation to how we ought to behave. It explores the nature of moral obligation. In other words, why do we feel compelled to act in a certain way? The tutorial attempts to answer this question by looking at the concepts of Egoism, divine command, and the differing ideas of John Stuart Mill and Immanuel Kant.
This tutorial will introduce you to the philosophical method by discussing the types of questions that philosophers ask and by scrutinising the validity of arguments. The tutorial will end with a consideration of how philosophy relates to science and religion.
|Course Pre-requisites||Advanced level of EnglishAn interest and enthusiasm for critical thinking and philosophical thought!|
|Course Level||For students thinking of applying for philosophy-related subjects at university|
|Prior Knowledge||No prior knowledge is required to take this course, just enthusiasm for the subject.|
|Workload||4-6 hours (further independent study is encouraged)|