Philosophy is taught in the Sixth Form at Norwich School
Philosophy invites us to solve the riddle of the world through pure reason. It invites us to test our assumptions and beliefs about absolutely everything.
The subject is an extremely liberating one to study. It encourages us to shrug off the constraints of conventional and habitual thinking, to experience the world afresh and from first principles. Pupils are encouraged to think freely, to develop supple minds rather than dogmatic ones.
Philosophy is an exciting and challenging journey to the very heart of Reality. It begins with the fundamental questions: Where did we get all our beliefs from, anyway? And what caused us to believe them?
Philosophy Paper One: Epistemology and Moral Philosophy
In this part of the three-hour written examination, pupils consider questions about Perception (What are the immediate objects of perception?); The Definition of Knowledge (What is propositional knowledge?) and Concept Empiricism: all concepts are derived from experience (tabula rasa, impressions and ideas, simple and complex concepts).
The Moral Philosophy element comprises questions on Ethical Theories (How do we decide what it is morally right to do?); Utilitarianism (the maximisation of utility); including: Kantian deontological ethics (what maxims can be universalised without contradiction?); Ethical language (What is the status of ethical language?) and Cognitivism (ethical language makes claims about reality which are true or false).
Philosophy Paper Two: Metaphysics of God and Metaphysics of Mind
Metaphysics of God
In this section of the three-hour written examination, pupils answer questions on The Concept of God, Arguments Relating to the Existence of God and The Problem of Evil.
Metaphysics of Mind
This consists of questions on The Mind–Body Problem (what is the relationship between the mental and the physical?); Dualism (the mind is distinct from the physical); Qualia (introspectively accessible subjective/phenomenal features of mental states); Materialism (the mind is not distinct from the physical) and Logical/analytical Behaviourism.