Philosophy and Ethics Bridging Work

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“I am extremely pleased that I chose to study Philosophy as one of my A Levels. The lessons are so enjoyable and the content is extremely interesting. I decided to choose Philosophy as I enjoyed Religious Studies at GCSE, especially in terms of having debates and finding out about different perspectives – A Level Philosophy really allows you to do this. When approaching a subject we always have class discussions and learn lots about different views, both for and against the topic at hand. Having these debates throughout Year 12 was definitely the highlight of our lessons – it was so interesting to hear different class members’ views on a subject and add to them or challenge them. The content is also very interesting with some topics studied being especially relevant in the media which made them more engaging when learning about them in class. The lessons were always made extremely interactive by my teachers. This allowed all of us in the class to be comfortable with each other, and I definitely made a lot of friends at the start of Year 12 through this class in particular. If I had the chance to do things differently, I’d definitely make sure to keep all of my notes thoroughly organised as soon as I started the year. It was a bit more challenging to do this later once we had already learnt lots of content. It would also be useful to note down different sides of an argument whilst having debates as these are really useful to revise and bring up in an essay.” – Lucy

This bridging work will establish two crucial foundations for the A-Level Philosophy (Religious Studies) course;

Relativist and Absolute Morality

  1. Read the two papers on Relative and Absolute Morality.
  2. Outline the meaning of Relative and Absolute Morality.
  3. In no more than 500 words for each, summarise the content of the Relative and Absolute Morality papers above by answering both of these questions:
    1. “Why might someone agree with Relative Morality?”
    2. “Why might someone disagree with Absolute Morality?”
  4. Create a glossary of all the words in bold in the two articles. This might be in the form of bullet points or a mindmap. You will need to research many of them beyond they reference in these articles. Ensure the definition you outline puts the term in a philosophical context, i.e. the term ‘relative’ could mean ‘family member’ in the context of households. Not so here.
  5. Finally, add a paragraph or more on whether you think you are more of a Relativist or more of an Absolutist. Refer to examples from one or more areas of applied/practical ethics to illustrate your points. Make sure you give your reasons.

Going Further

Recommended Watching:

Crash Course Philosophy on YouTube:

Recommended Listening:

The Panpsycast Philosophy Podcast

A superb, in depth exploration of philosophical themes and issues.

Episodes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 are an ideal place to start.

Going Deeper

If you’ve got enough time to dig even deeper…

Craig, E. (2002) Philosophy: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford University Press. ISBN: 9780192854216