Philosophy: Questions and Theories, Grade 12, University Prep. (HZT4U)

This course addresses three (or more) of these main areas of philosophy: metaphysics, logic, epistemology, ethics, social and political philosophy, and aesthetics. Students will learn critical-thinking skills, the main ideas expressed by philosophers from a variety of the world’s traditions, how to develop and explain their own philosophical ideas, and how to apply those ideas to contemporary social issues and personal experiences.

This course is a natural fit for a course in which to deliver the IB Theory of Knowledge component inasmuch as it focuses on some of the great questions of our age, such as: What is reality? What makes your life meaningful? What is a person? What are good and evil? What is human knowledge? How do we know what is beautiful in art, music and literature? These questions fit well with the TOK Ways of Knowing and will be explored by examining each (and other questions) in relation to the Areas of Knowledge.

At the centre of this course is the student as knower. In Theory of Knowledge (“TOK”), students have the opportunity to step back and consider knowledge issues as well as their place in the world. TOK activities and discussions aim to help students discover and express their views on knowledge issues, to share ideas with others and to listen and learn from what others think. In this process, students’ thinking and understanding of knowledge as a human construct are shaped, enriched and deepened. Connections may be made between knowledge encountered in different Diploma Programme subjects, in CAS experience or in extended essay research; distinctions between different kinds of knowledge may be clarified.

Note: This course is spread over Grades 11 & 12.

Prerequisite: Any university or university/college preparation course in social sciences and humanities, English, or Canadian and world studies.