Philosophy and Ethics – Year 13

A2 Philosophy Of Religion
A2 Ethics


A2 Philosophy of Religion

Autumn Half Term 1

Religious Language

  • Religious language – uses and purpose
  • The via negative (Apophatic way)
  • The verification and falsification principles
  • Different views on the meaningfulness of religious language
  • The uses of symbol, analogy and myth to express human understanding of God
  • The views of the Vienna Circle, A.J. Ayer, Anthony Flew, Ludwig Wittgenstein and Paul Tillich on religious language

Autumn Half Term 2

Religious Experience

  • Arguments from religious experience from William James
  • The aims and main conclusions drawn by William James in The Varieties of Religious Experience
  • The following different forms of religious experience: visions, voices, ‘numinous’ experience, conversion experience, corporate religious experience
  • The concept of revelation through sacred writings

Candidates should be able to discuss these areas critically and their strengths and weaknesses

Spring Half Term 1

Miracle – a study of how God might interact with humanity, by looking at the concept of miracle

  • Different definitions of miracle, including an understanding of Hume
  • The Biblical concept of miracle and the issues this raises about God’s activity in the world
  • The concept of miracle, and the cirticisms made by Hume and Wiles
  • The implications of the concept of miracle for the problem of evil

Candidates should be able to discuss whether modern people can be expected to believe in miracles, and whether miracles suggest an arbitrary or partisan God. Candidates should be able to discuss these areas critically and their strengths and weaknesses.

Spring Half Term 2

Attributes of God

  • God as eternal, omniscient, omnipotent and omni-benevolent – and the philosophical problems arising from these concepts
  • The views of Boethius in his discussion of eternity and God’s foreknowledge in Book 5 of The Consolations of Philosophy
  • The question as to whether or not a good God should reward and punish

Summer Half Term 1

Life and Death; The Soul

  • Distinction between body and soul, as expressed in the thinking of Plato, Aristotle, John Hick and Richard Dawkins
  • Other concepts of the body/ soul distinction
  • Different views of life after death: resurrection and reincarnation
  • Questions surrounding the nature of disembodied existence
  • The relationship between the afterlife and the problem of evil

Summer Half Term 2

Candidates will be given time to undertake a period of revision and examination preparation. On all units of study candidates should be able to discuss these areas critically and their strengths and weaknesses and comment on views of different thinkers.

A2 Ethics

Autumn Half Term 1

Free Will And Determinism

  • Hard Determinism, Soft determinism and libertarianism
  • The views of Darrow, Honderich, Hume, Kant, Leibniz and Locke.
  • Theological determinism (predestination) and religious ideas of free will.
  • The influences of genetics, psychology, environment or social conditioning on moral choices.
  • The implications of these views for moral responsibility.
  • The link between free will, determinism and moral responsibility.
  • The strengths and weaknesses of each approach

Autumn Half Term 2

Nature And Role Of Conscience

  • The different views of the conscience as God-given, innate or the voice of reason or instilled by society, parents, authority figure
  • The views of St. Paul, Augustine, Aquinas, Butler, Newman, Freud, Fromm, Piaget, Kohlberg.
  • Whether conscience is a reliable guide to ethical decision making
  • The strengths and weaknesses of each approach

Spring Half Term 1

Meta-ethics

  • The use of ethical language – the ways in which different scholars understand how words like ‘good’, ‘bad’, ‘right’, ‘wrong’ are used when ethical statements are made
  • How meta-ethics differ from normative ethics
  • The different approaches: Cognitive and non- cognitive. Ethical Naturalism, Intuitionism, Emotivism and Perscriptivism and how these apply to ethical statements
  • Strengths and weaknesses of each approach

Candidates should be able to discuss whether modern people can be expected to believe in miracles, and whether miracles suggest an arbitrary or partisan God. Candidates should be able to discuss these areas critically and their strengths and weaknesses.

Spring Half Term 2

Virtue Ethics

  • The principles of virtue ethics from Aristotle
  • The ‘agent centred’ nature of Virtue ethics
  • The concepts of eudaimonia and the Golden mean
  • The importance of practising the virtues and the example of virtuous people
  • More modern approaches to virtue ethics
  • The strengths and weaknesses of virtue ethics

Summer Half Term 1

Applied Ethics: Environmental And Business Ethics & The Ethical Theories: Natural Law, Kantian Ethics, Situation Ethics, Utilitarianism, Religious Ethics, Virtue Ethics

  • The issue of how humans should relate to the environment, its resources and species.
  • Secular approaches – the Gaia hypothesis.
  • Issues in Business ethics: the relationship between business and consumers.
  • Issues in Business ethics: the relationship between employers and employees
  • The relationship between business and the environment; business and globalisation.
  • The application and the different approaches of the ethical theories listed to environmental ethics.
  • The application and the different approaches of the ethical theories listed to business ethics.
  • The issues surrounding sexual ethics – pre-marital and extra-marital sex, contraception and homosexuality.
  • The application of the different ethical theories listed to sexual ethics

Summer Half Term 2

Candidates will be given time to undertake a period of revision and examination preparation. On all units of study candidates should be able to discuss these areas critically and their strengths and weaknesses and comment on views of different thinkers.