Philosophy (A/T)


Course information

Philosophy is the study of humanity’s most enduring and influential ideas. Students develop an understanding of how these ideas influence human action, thought, existence and knowledge.

Students develop their knowledge and understanding of philosophical ideas, arguments and methodologies to interrogate what different people think, what they value, what they consider to be true, and how they engage with others and the world around them. They analyse the purpose of philosophical investigation and develop insights into problem solving and decision making in a range of contexts in society and culture.

Using philosophical inquiry, students develop analytical and critical thinking skills and learn to question and challenge assumptions. They develop skills to communicate persuasively by presenting logical, reasoned and coherent arguments. The study of philosophy is relevant to young people as they continue to be life-long learners and reflective, creative and informed citizens in both the world of study and work. The study of philosophy is relevant to a variety of disciplines and vocational pathways.

Post-school pathways

Do you enjoy or are you good at History? (pdf, 110kb)

Workload expectation

Three hours outside of class per week to complete homework and assignments.

Course pattern

Available as a Minor or Major.

Suggested Minor course




Unit 1:   Epistemology


Unit 2:   Ethics

Suggested Major course




Unit 1:   Epistemology


Unit 2:   Ethics


Unit 3:   Metaphysics


Unit 4:   Philosophy of Language

Unit descriptions

Unit 1:  Ethics

In this unit, students will study the nature of ethics. They will explore ethical questions and reflect on what constitutes a just society and “the good life”. Students will develop a framework for understanding ethical positions.

Unit 2:  Epistemology

In this unit, students will study the nature of knowledge and the basis of knowledge claims. They will explore how we can know and the justification of knowledge. Students will develop skills to evaluate knowledge claims.

Unit 3:  Metaphysics

In this unit, students will study the nature of existence and notions of reality. They will explore the relationship between being and meaning. Students will develop insight into what may constitute truth.

Unit 4:  Philosophy of Language

In this unit, students will study the nature of language and meaning. They will explore how meaning is constructed and investigate the relationship between language, thought, and meaning. Students will develop understanding of how language works in the construction of reality.

Unit 5: Negotiated Study

In this unit, students will study an area of special interest to be decided upon by a class, group(s), or an individual student in consultation with the teacher and with the Principal’s approval. The program of learning for a Negotiated Study unit must meet all the content descriptions as appear in the unit.