Philosophy AS AQA

Length of course: 5 half-day sessions
Boards: AQA (1176) only

This course is board-specific for AQA AS Philosophy specification (1176). All topics for both units will be covered with a focus on how to apply the material to the exam format.

The following topics will be covered:

Epistemology

  • Concept empiricism: the view that all concepts are derived from experience and issues arising from this view.
  • Knowledge empiricism: the view that all synthetic knowledge is a posteriori; all a priori knowledge is (merely) analytic and issues arising from this view.
  • The tripartite view: terminology and the view that justified true belief is necessary and sufficient for propositional knowledge; issues and responses to this view.
  • Direct realism: the view that immediate objects of perception are mind-independent objects and their properties; issues and responses to this view.
  • Indirect realism: the view that immediate objects of perception are mind-dependent objects that are caused by and represent mind-independent objects; issues and responses to this view.
  • Berkeley’s idealism: the view that immediate objects of perception (i.e. ordinary objects such as tables, chairs, etc.) are mind-dependent objects; issues and responses to this view.

Philosophy of Religion

  • The concept of God: God as omniscient, omnipotent, supremely good, and either timeless (eternal) or within time (everlasting) and the meaning(s) of these divine attributes. Issues with claiming that God has these attributes, either singly or in combination.
  • Ontological arguments, including those formulated by: Anselm; Descartes; Leibniz; Malcolm; Plantinga; issues with these arguments.
  • The argument from design: arguments from purpose and regularity, including those formulated by: Paley; Swinburne; issues with these arguments.
  • The cosmological argument: including those formulated by: Aquinas’ Five Ways (first three); Descartes; the Kalam argument; issues with these arguments.
  • The problem of evil: how to reconcile God’s omnipotence, omniscience and supreme goodness with the existence of physical/moral evil. Responses to the issue and issues arising from those responses.
  • Religious language: cognitivist and non-cognitivist accounts of religious language (including verification/falsification). Issues arising from these views including the University Debate.