Philosophy

Philosophy is the love of wisdom. It asks the big questions about the universe, human nature and God.


Term 1 – Ancient Philosophy

Term one examines the thoughts of the most prominent ancient thinkers: Socrates, Plato and Aristotle, for their impact on the formation of Western thought about the nature of the human person. We compare and contrast their views of what the human person is, focusing particularly on concepts such as being, the soul, virtue, the social and creative nature of persons, and how persons learn. We explore theories of human nature, the differences between persons and animals, human behavior and instincts, and identity

Term 2 – Medieval Philosophy

In term two, we explore the philosophers of the Middle-Ages, including St Anselm, St Thomas Aquinas, and Boethius. In particular, we focus on: arguments for the existence of God; the relationship between faith and reason; the emergence of natural theology; metaphysics and ethics; and the impact of this period on the development of Western Christianity. 

Term 3 – Modern Philosophy

Modern Philosophy begins to ask questions about the identity of the individual, and how he ought to act in society: what is the relationship between the mind and body? What is identity? What is freedom? What is our communal and political responsibility? To answer these questions, we consider thinkers such as Rene Descartes, Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, David Hume and Immanuel Kant. Political Philosophy is also central to this period. 

Term 4 – 19th & 20th Century Philosophy

Contemporary philosophy spans the period of time between the early 20th century until the present days. It deals with the rise of analytic and continental philosophy and focuses primarily on metaphysics, logic, ethics, aesthetics, existentialism, language, and epistemology. Key thinkers in this term include: Dostoyevsky, Solzhenitsyn, Kierkegaard, Heidegger, Binswanger, Nietzsche and Arendt.