Aims of the course

The Higher Philosophy course is designed to build upon pupils’ existing knowledge of Philosophy. This course will involve studying central philosophical ideas, concepts, texts and key figures. It will teach pupils the skills needed to analyse and evaluate the philosophical positions of others, while allowing them the opportunity to build and develop their own ideas and viewpoints. It will help pupils to develop the ability to think logically, evaluate effectively and challenge their own ideas and those put forward by other people.

Course Details

The course has three areas of study:

• Arguments in Action
The aim of this unit is to allow pupils to develop their knowledge and understanding of arguments. This includes looking at argument structure, philosophical techniques and errors in reasoning. Pupils will learn how to analyse and evaluate arguments put forward by others.

• Knowledge and Doubt
The aim of this unit is to introduce pupils to two philosophical theories about knowledge. Pupils will learn to explain, analyse and evaluate these theories.
This area of study is based on two philosophical texts – Rene Descartes’ Meditations on First Philosophy and David Hume’s An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding.

• Moral Philosophy
The aim of this unit is to introduce pupils to moral philosophy. This will involve explaining, analysing and evaluating two different moral theories. Pupils will examine Utilitarianism and Kantian ethics, learning how to apply these theories to different moral situations or issues.


The course assessment has two components
• Component 1: Question Paper 1
Marks – 60
Duration – 2 hours and 15 minutes
• Component 2: Question Paper 2
Marks – 50
Duration – 1 hour and 45 minutes