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Philosophers are interested in questions such as: how should we live? Can we really know the nature of reality? Does God exist? Are you a physical thing or do you have a soul? If you enjoy debating such questions, then you will enjoy philosophy. Students at Westminster Tutors have ample opportunity to delve deeply into all the philosophical arguments and ideas they encounter, to develop their knowledge and their own independent thoughts. There can often be lively discussions between students and tutors, and lessons can turn out to be quite unpredictable!

Course outline


1.1 What is knowledge

  • The tripartite view

1.2 Perception as a source of knowledge

  • Assessment on two of the themes B1-B3
  • Direct realism
  • Indirect realism
  • Berkeley’s Idealism

1.3 Reason as a source of knowledge

  • Innatism
  • The intuition and deduction thesis

1.4 The limits of knowledge

Moral Philosophy

2.1 Normative ethical theories

  • Utilitarianism
  • Kantian deontological ethics
  • Aristotelian virtue ethics

2.2 Applied Ethics

2.3 Meta-ethics

  • Moral realsim
  • Moral anti-realism

Metaphysics of God

3.1 The concept and nature of ‘God’

3.2 Arguments relating to the existence of God

  • Ontological arguments
  • Teological/design arguments
  • Cosmological arguments
  • The Problem of Evil

3.3 Religious language

    Metaphysics of mind

    4.1 What do we mean by ‘mind’?

    Dualist theories

    • Substance dualism
    • Property dualism
    • Issue

    4.3 Physicalist theories

    • Physicalism
    • Mind-brain type identity theory
    • Eliminative materialism

    4.4 Functionalism


    AS Level

    Paper 1: Epistemology and moral philosophy

    • Assessment of sections 1 and 2
    • 80 marks
    • 3 hours written paper
    • 100% of total AS level

    A Level

    Paper 1: Epistemology and moral philosophy

    • Assessment of sections 1 and 2
    • 100 marks
    • 3 hours written paper
    • 50% of total A level

    Paper 2: The metaphysics of God and the metaphysics of the mind

    • Assessment of sections 3 and 4
    • 100 marks
    • 3 hours written paper
    • 50% of total A level

    Set Texts

    Reading List

    Two lively introductions to philosophical problems are:

    • The Philosophy Gym by Stephen Law
    • The Pig that Wants to be Eaten by Julian Baggini

    Many novelists are insightful on philosophical issues. The following is a list of some novelists who are famous for their philosophical sophistication:

    • Voltaire, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Jean-Paul Satre, Albert Camus, Iris Murdoch, Franz Kafka, Aldous Huxley, Oscar Wilde, George Eliot, Umberto Eco, Milan Kundera

    Podcasts are another good introduction to philosophy:


    Although we offer all exam boards as our courses are individually designed, our chosen specification is AQA Philosophy (7171 and 7172).


    William Bynoe
    BA (King’s), PhD (King’s), PGCE (Instit. Education, London)

    Why Choose Westminster Tutors?

    • Top independent sixth form college
    • In 2020 A levels 68% A*-A and 92% A*-B
    • In 2020 72% placed at Russell Group unis
    • Ofsted ‘Outstanding’ across the board
    • Superbly qualified teachers who care
    • Average A level retake improvement is 2.4 grades
    Student studying for her A-Levels

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