Philosophy is essentially concerned with what can be known and as such provides excellent training in independent, critical thinking. It is as much an activity as it is an academic discipline. The subject demands engagement with some of the most profound questions human beings can ask: does God exist? How can we distinguish knowledge from belief? Is there only one moral code by which to live? Philosophy encourages open-mindedness and can be character changing.
At Queen’s Gate, students are encouraged to engage with a range of philosophical debates from the very start of the A Level Course. The Philosophy Department aims to foster an environment in which to study abstract questions whilst remaining committed to addressing the ways in which these questions arise out of everyday experiences and how they might be practically applied. Each lesson is based around the use of philosopher’s texts and supplements the detailed class notes that students receive for each topic studied. Class teaching is reinforced through extended reading activities, ALP lecture days and attendance at seminars organised by a variety of organisations, such as the London School of Economics, Heythrop College and the French Institute.
Students study the AQA Philosophy specification. The AS course comprises of an introduction to epistemology and the metaphysics of morals. At A Level, students study epistemology and the metaphysics of morals as well as the philosophy of religion and the metaphysics of mind. They also investigate a number of philosophical problems through the study of a number of core texts, such as Descartes’ Meditations and Plato’s Republic.