The study of philosophy aims to encourage the deep, critical analysis on different points of view by considering arguments from philosophers on a range of ethical and metaphysical topics. Students will develop the skills to be original, flexible and articulate thinkers. Consequently, there is an emphasis in this course on the use of evidence or sound reasoning in the clear articulation of ideas, be they original or an analysis and discussion of another philosopher's ideas. It is expected that students will be able to apply the skills and knowledge learnt in Philosophy to a wide range of different contexts and other classes and, indeed, as leaders in their particular chosen career which could be anything from law to the sciences, music to the humanities.
Unit 1: Metaphysics and Epistemology
What is the nature of reality? How do we learn and have knowledge about reality and the world around us? Unit 1 aims to introduce students to the basic theories and ideas of metaphysics (the philosophy of existence and reality) and epistemology (philosophy of knowledge). Students will learn how to create philosophical arguments and debate different viewpoints with a range of different subject areas including free will, philosophy of identity and time travel.
Unit 2: Ethics
What is right and wrong? How do we judge ethical problems? Students will explore theories of morality and assess ethical situations using a range of different ethical positions. There is significant emphasis in this unit on ‘practical ethics', that is, an exploration of ethics in an active and applicable way. To do this, personal ethical dilemmas, issues in the media and contemporary ethical debates in society will all be used to highlight the role of morality in our lives.
Unit 3: The Good Life
What is the ‘good' life? Unit 3 utilises texts set each year by the VCAA as a launching pad for further discussion, analysis and original thought related to the conception of the ‘good life' by asking what in life, either a philosophical aim or tangible object, makes a ‘good' life. Is it a life of moral value? Is it a life of justice? Is it a life of happiness and pleasure? Previous philosophers set by the VCAA for study includes Plato, Aristotle, Weil and Nietzsche.
Unit 4: Mind, Science & Knowledge
Unit 4 is divided into two broad areas. The first concerns the nature of the mind and the body and the surrounding metaphysical debate and historical development of this most interesting area of philosophy. The second component of Unit 4 concerns epistemology with a specific focus on the epistemology of science and the progress of scientific knowledge. There is also an emphasis on the nature of the ideas of objectivity, truth, belief, judgment and knowledge. Previous philosophers set by the VCAA for study include Descartes, Armstrong, Popper and Kuhn.
Units 1 and 2: Course and written work
Research tasks and presentations
Tests and an examination
Units 3 and 4: School assessed coursework 50 percent
Examination 50 percent
Design and Technology
Chinese Second Language
Chinese First Language
Indonesian Second Language
Indonesian First Language
Texts & Traditions
Visual Communication & Design
Scotch College: ABN 86 852 826 445 ACN 005 650 395 CRICOS 00624A (Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students)