Expectations for Students/Learning Outcomes

Strand 1: Foundations for doing philosophy

Students learn about

Students should be able to

1. Introducing philosophy
  1. 1.1

    explain what philosophy is

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  2. 1.2

    trace the origins of philosophy and name some of its big thinkers from classical times to the modern day

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  3. 1.3

    identify questions that are common (shared by everybody), central (help us understand ourselves and our world) and contestable (the subject of argument and competing understandings)

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  4. 1.4

    identify  ‘What are my big questions?’ and ‘How can I grapple with these questions?’

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  5. 1.5

    agree as a class some ‘big questions’ which they would like to explore as part of this course

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2. Building a community of enquiry
  1. 1.6

    listen carefully, critically and respectfully to other points of view

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  2. 1.7

    seek out different ideas and information in order to reach a more informed position 

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  3. 1.8

    ask relevant and probing questions at the right time, for the right reason

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  4. 1.9

    use the language of reasoning when engaging in discussion

     

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  5. 1.10

    present a coherent argument and be able to justify it (e.g. provide examples, counter-examples, define meanings, find criteria, build on others’ ideas, see connections)

     

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  6. 1.11

    map out an argument or set of arguments (e.g. showing premise, evidence, conclusion)

     

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  7. 1.12

    express emotion in appropriate ways

     

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3. Developing tools for thinking
  1. 1.13

    help others to feel included in the group

     

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  2. 1.14

    reflect on how they have participated in the learning

     

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  3. 1.15

    think about their thinking

     

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  4. 1.16

    explain the difference between an argument, an explanation and an anecdote

     

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  5. 1.17

    when listening to someone or reading a text, be able to judge whether the speaker or writer is making a valid and sound argument

     

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  6. 1.18

    identify different types of reasoning (e.g. deductive and inductive)

    identify some common weaknesses in reasoning (e.g. fallacies related to relevance, an appeal to pity or emotion, an appeal to authority, using a straw man, argumentum ad hominem, etc.) and be able to identify examples of some of these fallacies in everyday life

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  7. 1.19

    identify some common weaknesses in reasoning (e.g. fallacies related to relevance, an appeal to pity or emotion, an appeal to authority, using a straw man, argumentum ad hominem, etc.) and be able to identify examples of some of these fallacies in everyday life

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4 . Key concepts
  1. :

    Community of enquiry, questioning, critical thinking, creative thinking, collaborative thinking, caring thinking, reason, concept, values, argument, logic, premise, evidence, conclusion, assumptions, example, criteria, category, alternative, opinion, fact, cognitive bias, perception, cause, effect, strength, weakness, fallacy.

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Strand 2: Philosophy of knowledge

Students learn about

Students should be able to

1. Philosophy of knowledge
  1. 2.1

    listen carefully, critically and respectfully to each other

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  2. 2.2

    seek out different viewpoints and perspectives on the questions under discussion, including references to relevant philosophers or theories

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  3. 2.3

    analyse and compare ideas and be able to build on others’ ideas to form a personal position 

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  4. 2.4

    create arguments (oral and written) that communicate a clear and logical point of view

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  5. 2.5

    contribute to creating a critical, creative, collaborative and caring community of enquiry

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  6. 2.6

    reflect on how learning is developing their thinking and collaborative skills 

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2. Key concepts
  1. :

    Mind/body relationship, knowledge/perception, reality, truth, illusion, idea, senses, imagination, experience, beliefs, memories, language, emotion, self, artificial intelligence, brain-enhancing technologies, gender, culture, beauty, scepticism, relativism.

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3. Guiding Questions
  1. :
    • When are we justified in saying we know something?
    • What does it mean to say you know something/someone?
    • Can anyone else know what it means to be me?
    • Can you know something by instinct or by appearances?
    • Do emotions help or hinder knowledge?
    • Is the mind separate to the brain?
    • What is the relationship between our minds and our bodies?
    • Can animals reason?
    • Do men and women reason and know differently?
    • Are there limits to what we can know?
    • If you use brain-enhancing technologies before an exam is it cheating?
    • How do I know the world isn’t virtual?
    • Does Google own knowledge?
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Strand 3: Philosophy of language

Students learn about

Students should be able to

1. Philosophy of language
  1. 3.1

    listen carefully, critically and respectfully to each other 

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  2. 3.2

    seek out different viewpoints and perspectives on the questions under discussion, including references to relevant philosophers or theories

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  3. 3.3

    analyse and compare ideas and be able to build on others’ ideas to form a personal position 

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  4. 3.4

    create arguments (both oral and written) that communicate a clear and logical point of view

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  5. 3.5

    contribute to creating a critical, creative, collaborative, and caring community of enquiry

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  6. 3.6

    reflect on how learning is developing their thinking and collaborative skills 

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  7. Key concepts

    Meaning, knowledge/knowing, language, understanding, descriptive, prescriptive, emotive, persuasive, inference, non-verbal communication, reality, truth, lie, propaganda, myth, stories, manipulation, gender, culture.

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Guiding. Questions
  1. Guiding Questions
    • Where does language come from?
    • How can we know what words mean?
    • What is the relationship between language and the world?
    • Does language shape our thoughts?
    • Is it possible to think without words?
    • What is the link between words and emotions?
    • Can words have power?  Who names the world?
    • What is a lie?
    • Why do people tell stories?
    • Does a language still exist if no-one speaks it?
    • Do girls/women use and understand language differently to boys/men?
    • Do animals use language?
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Strand 4: Philosophy of art (including visual arts, music, poetry, film, fashion, etc.)

Students learn about

Students should be able to

1. Philosophy of art (including visual arts, music, poetry, film, fashion, etc.)
  1. 4.1

    listen carefully, critically and respectfully to each other 

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  2. 4.2

    seek out different viewpoints and perspectives on the questions under discussion, including references to relevant philosophers or theories

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  3. 4.3

    analyse and compare ideas and be able to build on others’ ideas to form a personal position 

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  4. 4.4

    create arguments (both oral and written) that communicate a clear and logical point of view

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  5. 4.5

    contribute to creating a critical, creative, collaborative and caring community of enquiry

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  6. 4.6

    reflect on how learning is developing their thinking and collaborative skills 

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  7. Key concepts

    Beauty, value, abstract, representational, interpretation, judgement, attraction, subliminal messages, composition, atmosphere, emotion, truth, illusion, idea, communication, gender, culture.

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Guiding. Questions
  1. Guiding Questions
    • What is and isn’t a work of art?
    • How can we tell and who decides?
    • Why do people create art?
    • What do the different arts have in common?
    • Is objectivity possible in evaluating art?
    • What is art for?
    • Does the artist’s intention matter?
    • What makes something valuable?
    • Is everyone capable of creating a work of art?
    • What is the relationship between art and beauty, art and truth, art and morality, art and human wellbeing?
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Strand 5: Philosophy of sport

Students learn about

Students should be able to

1. Philosophy of sport
  1. 5.1

    listen carefully, critically and respectfully to each other 

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  2. 5.2

    seek out different viewpoints and perspectives on the questions under discussion, including references to relevant philosophers or theories

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  3. 5.3

    analyse and compare ideas and be able to build on others’ ideas to form a personal position

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  4. 5.4

    create arguments (both oral and written) that communicate a clear and logical point of view

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  5. 5.5

    contribute to creating a critical, creative, collaborative and caring community of enquiry

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  6. 5.6

    reflect on how learning is developing their thinking and collaborative skills

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  7. Key concepts

    Games, sports, play, competition, winner/loser, judgement, fair/unfair, discipline, mind/body relationship, performance-enhancing technologies, motivation, individualism, team, leadership, gender, culture.

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Guiding. Questions
  1. Guiding Questions
    • What does sport mean? 
    • What is sport for?
    • Are humans naturally game-playing animals? 
    • Are we naturally competitive? 
    • What’s the difference between a game and a sport? 
    • Should genetic advantages be taken into account in sporting competitions?
    • Who does a competition bring the most pleasure to? 
    • What does it mean to be a sports leader? 
    • Can a loser be a winner at the same time?
    • Is it ever okay to break the rules in order to win? Are performance-enhancing drugs ever justified? 
    • Should some sports be banned? Are some sports immoral?
    • Is academic achievement more highly valued than sporting ability?
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Strand 6: Philosophy of science and technology

Students learn about

Students should be able to

1. Philosophy of science and technology
  1. 6.1

    listen carefully, critically and respectfully to each other 

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  2. 6.2

    seek out different viewpoints and perspectives on the questions under discussion, including references to relevant philosophers or theories

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  3. 6.3

    analyse and compare ideas and be able to build on others’ ideas to form a personal position

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  4. 6.4

    create arguments (both oral and written) that communicate a clear and logical point of view

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  5. 6.5

    contribute to creating a critical, creative, collaborative and caring community of enquiry

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  6. 6.6

    reflect on how learning is developing their thinking and collaborative skills 

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  7. Key concepts

    Knowledge, progress, method, observation, hypothesis, experimentation, verification, interpretation, cause/effect, consent, responsibility, rights, duties, ethics, instrumentalism, big pharma, biotechnology, endangered species.

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Guiding. Questions
  1. Guiding Questions
    • What is science?
    • How is scientific knowledge different from other kinds of knowledge?
    • What are the assumptions of science?
    • Is there such a thing as scientific method? 
    • Can everything be explained by science?
    • What is the relationship between what we believe and what we see?
    • Are science and morality compatible?
    • Should we use animals in scientific experiments? What about using humans?
    • Should there be limits to the use of biotechnology? How should limits be set? 
    • Does technology always advance human wellbeing? When is it harmful? 
    • Can science and technology provide a solution to all our problems?
    • Will technology be able to save our fragile earth?
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Strand 7: Moral philosophy

Students learn about

Students should be able to

1. Moral philosophy
  1. 7.1

    listen carefully, critically and respectfully to each other 

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  2. 7.2

    seek out different viewpoints and perspectives on the questions under discussion, including references to relevant philosophers or theories

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  3. 7.3

    analyse and compare ideas and be able to build on others’ ideas to form a personal position

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  4. 7.4

    create arguments (both oral and written) that communicate a clear and logical point of view

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  5. 7.5

    contribute to creating a critical, creative, collaborative, and caring community of enquiry

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  6. 7.6

    reflect on how learning is developing their thinking and collaborative skills 

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  7. Key concepts

    Moral/immoral, ethics, good, bad, right/wrong, truth, objectivism, absolutism, relativism, duty, responsibility, intention, consequence, free will, authority, justice, law, human nature, reward, punishment, guilt, utilitarianism, hedonism,  environmental ethics, business ethics, feminist ethics, distribution of wealth. 

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Guiding. Questions
  1. Guiding Questions
    • What is goodness? 
    • Is happiness the highest good?
    • What is a good life? 
    • How do I know what the right action is?
    • Are there absolute rights and wrongs?
    • Why should I be good/moral?
    • Can you be a good person and do bad things?
    • Is it ever okay to take a life?
    • Is it ethical to purchase human organs? 
    • Do animals have rights? Do humans have a duty to protect nature?
    • Are the consequences of actions all that matter? 
    • Does the end justify the means?
    • Is there ever a ‘just war’? 
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Strand 8: Social and political philosophy

Students learn about

Students should be able to

1. Social and political philosophy
  1. 8.1

    listen carefully, critically and respectfully to each other 

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  2. 8.2

    seek out different viewpoints and perspectives on the questions under discussion, including references to relevant philosophers or theories

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  3. 8.3

    analyse and compare ideas and be able to build on others’ ideas to form a personal position

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  4. 8.4

    create arguments (both oral and written) that communicate a clear and logical point of view

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  5. 8.5

    contribute to creating a critical, creative, collaborative, and caring community of enquiry.

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  6. 8.6

    reflect on how learning is developing their thinking and collaborative skills 

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  7. Key concepts

    Human nature, the role of government, authority, freedom, justice, crime and punishment, protection of human rights, democracy, dictatorship, anarchy, socialism, communism. 

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Guiding. Questions
  1. Guiding Questions
    • Do humans need to be part of a society to flourish?
    • What is the purpose of government? 
    • What is freedom? Are we really free?
    • What limits, if any, should be put on the freedom of individual citizens? 
    • What is equality? Does treating everyone equally mean treating them the same?  Should the statetervene to rectify inequalities?
    • What is justice? Should we keep the law/rules if they are unfair?
    • What is the purpose of prisons?
    • What gives people the right to rule? 
    • Do our public representatives really represent all of the people?  
    • Why are there more male politicians than female? 
    • Does power always corrupt?
    • Are women and men equal in today’s society?
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Strand 9: Philosophy of education

Students learn about

Students should be able to

1. Philosophy of education
  1. 9.1

    listen carefully, critically and respectfully to each other

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  2. 9.2

    seek out different viewpoints and perspectives on the questions under discussion, including references to relevant philosophers or theories

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  3. 9.3

    analyse and compare ideas and be able to build on others’ ideas to form a personal position

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  4. 9.4

    create arguments (both oral and written) that communicate a clear and logical point of view

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  5. 9.5

    contribute to creating a critical, creative, collaborative, and caring community of enquiry

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  6. 9.6

    reflect on how learning is developing their thinking and collaborative skills

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  7. Key concepts

    Education, learning, training, equality, intelligence, skills, human development, justice, equality, the arts and sciences.

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Guiding. Questions
  1. Guiding Questions
    • What is school for?
    • What would fairness and equality in education look like?
    • Is intelligence innate? 
    • Is there a difference between education and training?
    • Does everyone need to go to school to be educated?
    • What do tests and exams measure?
    • What does it mean to have a good education?
    • Does learning stop after formal education?
    • Are the arts superior to the sciences? (or vice versa?)
    • What is the most important thing you need to learn for life?
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Strand 10: Philosophy of religion

Students learn about

Students should be able to

1. Philosophy of religion
  1. 10.1

    listen carefully, critically and respectfully to each other 

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  2. 10.2

    seek out different viewpoints and perspectives on the questions under discussion, including references to relevant philosophers or theories 

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  3. 10.3

    analyse and compare ideas and be able to build on others’ ideas to form a personal position

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  4. 10.4

    create arguments (both oral and written) that communicate a clear and logical point of view

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  5. 10.5

    contribute to creating a critical, creative, collaborative, and caring community of enquiry

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  6. 10.6

    reflect on how learning is developing their thinking and collaborative skills 

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  7. Key concepts

    God, faith, belief, values, good/evil, suffering, existence and meaning, origin of life, after-life, morality, truth, wisdom, atheism, agnosticism, humanism. 

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Guiding. Questions
  1. Guiding Questions
    • Does God exist? 
    • How do we know?
    • If God is male, is the male God?
    • Why does an all-powerful God let good people suffer?
    • What happens when we die?
    • If there’s no after-life, then why should we live a good life?
    • Does a person need religion to live a moral life?
    • Has religion lost its power in the world?
    • Would the world be more peaceful without religion?
    • Is religion ‘the opium of the people’? 
    • What is religious experience? 
    • Can belief exist without understanding?
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