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    Hi everyone sitting either one or both of their A2 philosophy modules this June.

    Please use this thread for exam preparation, revision help & support, as well as any chat that refers to either of the philosophy exams.

    I am sitting both Unit 3 (3rd) & Unit 4 (6th) this June

    For Unit 3: I am taking 'Philosophy of the Mind' and 'Moral Philosophy'
    For Unit 4: I am taking 'Plato'

    What are other people doing?
    Does anyone have any ideas of what the (usually dreaded) questions will be?

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    (Original post by akastudent)
    Hi everyone sitting either one or both of their A2 philosophy modules this June.

    Please use this thread for exam preparation, revision help & support, as well as any chat that refers to either of the philosophy exams.

    I am sitting both Unit 3 (3rd) & Unit 4 (6th) this June

    For Unit 3: I am taking 'Philosophy of the Mind' and 'Moral Philosophy'
    For Unit 4: I am taking 'Plato'

    What are other people doing?
    Does anyone have any ideas of what the (usually dreaded) questions will be?

    Like you, I am sitting Unit 3 (3rd) and Unit 4 (6th) this June. I am taking Political and Moral Philosophy for Unit 3 and I am taking "Descartes" for Unit 4. I couldn't really tell you the dreaded questions for your side since I'm not doing the same questions that you will be doing.
    If anyone else is doing what I am doing in either Unit 3 or 4 feel free to talk to me on this thread and answer some questions or get me to answer some questions to test our knowledge.
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    Hello! Harry here. Well, I'm taking Political and Moral Philosophy for Unit 3 and Mill's On Liberty for Unit 4. I find it all so hard! Political Philosophy is extremely complex and there is either too much or too little to write about a particular question. :/ Also, Moral Philosophy just does not click with me, and I haven't done much of Mill. Oh gosh. I need an A this year for university! Aim to do around six hours of revision a day now. My teacher says to miss out natiion states, as it came up twice last year. Human nature/political organisation, liberty and rights are reasonably straightforward, but I cannot get my head around justice. And anarchism is bloody annoying with its right-wing and left-wing elements!

    Throughout my political philosophy and Mill essays, I know I'll take the classical liberal/libertarian approach, and the rule utilitarian approach for moral philosophy. I'm very opinionated, I need AAB for Exeter, what do you guys need?
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    (Original post by HarryAlexander)
    Hello! Harry here. Well, I'm taking Political and Moral Philosophy for Unit 3 and Mill's On Liberty for Unit 4. I find it all so hard! Political Philosophy is extremely complex and there is either too much or too little to write about a particular question. :/ Also, Moral Philosophy just does not click with me, and I haven't done much of Mill. Oh gosh. I need an A this year for university! Aim to do around six hours of revision a day now. My teacher says to miss out natiion states, as it came up twice last year. Human nature/political organisation, liberty and rights are reasonably straightforward, but I cannot get my head around justice. And anarchism is bloody annoying with its right-wing and left-wing elements!

    Throughout my political philosophy and Mill essays, I know I'll take the classical liberal/libertarian approach, and the rule utilitarian approach for moral philosophy. I'm very opinionated, I need AAB for Exeter, what do you guys need?
    Can you summarise human nature/political organisation, liberty and rights?
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    I need a B for Philosophy to get into Exeter

    I'm doing philosophy of mind and philosophy of religion for Unit 3, for Unit 4: David Hume's Enquiry

    Philosophy of mind is actually really straight forward, I'm predicting a question on either AI or zombies to come up this year
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    I'm taking Religion, Morality and Descartes.

    Really need to get high B's this year to make up for my C last year :s. I really wish I had tried harder last year and was less of an arrogant prick.

    Looking for AAB to study philosophy and history at Lancaster.
    We've done sod all in political philosophy over two years so I'm excited to try it at uni. Sounds much more practical than any other philosophy (if philosophy can ever be practical)
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    Hey guys, thank you for your replies. I see that quite a few of us are taking Moral philosophy. Anyone understands Moral truth especially moral naturalism? this is the only part I am kind of confused about.
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    Naturalism is the belief that moral truths exist. So moral sentences have actual tangible meaning. Morality is an actual 'thing' or concept that exists.

    Different philosophers have different definitions of what the 'moral truth' is:
    Plato argues that morality can be known through "the form of the good"
    Bentham and Mill claim is that morality is the "greatest happiness for the greatest number" aka utilitarianism.
    Virtue ethicists such as Foot argue that what is moral can be "fixed" to certain facts about the world and that 'goodness' is to further human welfare and development.

    Naturalism has critiques from all across the board:
    Hume's fact-value gap argues that morality is based purely on our "passions and emotions" or values, there is nothing "matter of fact there." Morality is purely composed of personal human feelings or "sympathy."
    A.J Ayer claims that as moral statements are not empirical or analytic they are all meaningless.
    If you need more depth or content just ask. It's good revision for me
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    (Original post by leaky_Tap)
    Naturalism is the belief that moral truths exist. So moral sentences have actual tangible meaning. Morality is an actual 'thing' or concept that exists.

    Different philosophers have different definitions of what the 'moral truth' is:
    Plato argues that morality can be known through "the form of the good"
    Bentham and Mill claim is that morality is the "greatest happiness for the greatest number" aka utilitarianism.
    Virtue ethicists such as Foot argue that what is moral can be "fixed" to certain facts about the world and that 'goodness' is to further human welfare and development.

    Naturalism has critiques from all across the board:
    Hume's fact-value gap argues that morality is based purely on our "passions and emotions" or values, there is nothing "matter of fact there." Morality is purely composed of personal human feelings or "sympathy."
    A.J Ayer claims that as moral statements are not empirical or analytic they are all meaningless.
    If you need more depth or content just ask. It's good revision for me
    Hey, thank you for your response, i get it now and I'm glad i can help lol . I was looking at the past papers and i have a feeling something relating to how to bridge the fact value gap might come up. It is either that or something on transcendent moral truth i.e. how it can be compared to mathematical truths. I don't have a essay plan for neither of these themes . How would you structure and what would you include in such essays?
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    Hi I'm doing these exams. For unit 3 I'm doing philosophy of mind and political philosophy and for unit 4 I'm doing Descartes. I need an A to get into York but I got a B last year so really need A*s in these exams!! Absolutely dreading it as I've had awful teachers all year.

    Trying to teach myself philosophy of mind at the moment and getting a bit confused with identity theory. So there's type identity which is reductive but because of multiple realisability it leads into token identity. Now in my text book it says anomalous monism is a version of token identity theory, but this is non-reductive materialism. Does anyone understand this? Is token identity theory non-reductive? And what's the difference between token and anomalous monism?
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    (Original post by akastudent)
    Hey, thank you for your response, i get it now and I'm glad i can help lol . I was looking at the past papers and i have a feeling something relating to how to bridge the fact value gap might come up. It is either that or something on transcendent moral truth i.e. how it can be compared to mathematical truths. I don't have a essay plan for neither of these themes . How would you structure and what would you include in such essays?
    Neither my teacher nor the book has mentioned comparing moral truths to mathematical. I'm not going to worry about it too much, if it did come up I would talk about G.E Moore's open ended question how moral truths lack the tautology of mathematics.

    For the fact value gap I would introduce it then use various naturalistic positions in order to overcome it. May favorite for these sorts of essays is:
    Introduce Hume fact value gap
    Explain how Foot tries to overcome it
    Use G.E Moore's opened question, moral "facts" lack tautology.
    Williams thick thin concepts provide tautology by being more specific.*
    Then reply with cultural relativism, Williams doesn't explain which "thick" concepts respond to which "thin".

    That little chain of arugments responses then counter argumetns will get loads of analysis marks (I hope.) For more content introduce a naturalistic position first (i like Plato's form of the good) then when explaining the fact value gap illustrate it with reference to your earlier paragraph, explaining why it's values cannot be derived from facts. Or at the end offer another attempt that isn't Foot, I use Searle's Social obligations, then a quick reply.(this bits covered in the aqa book.)

    However with that in mind you need to come up with your own plans and be able to write them fluently, if you don't like or understand an essay plan but still try to write them the examiner will be able to tell you don't know what you're chatting about.

    When planning, our philosophy teachers tell us to roughly use the PACE format. Point, argument, counterargument then evaluate with at least two PACES per essay.

    For revision I'm going through all the past papers and writing fairly detailed plans, then I'll try and write all of them in timed conditions before June.

    Anyway, I hope that helped, it might seem a load of nonsense which is fair enough. Good luck

    *if you haven't studied these or understand how I use it in this context just ask
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    Can anyone doing Descartes for unit 4 outline his separate arguments for establishing mind and body as separate, and those establishing that bodies exist? There seems to be so mamy jumbled together in the last meditation...
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    (Original post by jennifere)
    Can anyone doing Descartes for unit 4 outline his separate arguments for establishing mind and body as separate, and those establishing that bodies exist? There seems to be so mamy jumbled together in the last meditation...
    The three arguments for mind and body distinction are (this is how the exam spec recognises them):
    Knowledge argument: Descartes is certain of his mind but not his body, therefore they cannot be the same
    Appeal to God's Omnipotence: What is "clearly distinctly" conceived by Descartes can be created by God as "precisely as I conceive it." Descartes has a clear and distinct idea of the mind as a "thinking thing" while the body is "extended and changeable." As they are two separate clear and distinct ideas they must be different.
    Indivisibility argument: Thought cannot be split into separate components, Descartes thinks with the "whole" mind. The body can, we can literally chop bits off. Therefore they are different.

    Descartes argues the existence of bodies differently. He proposes four different causes for our ideas of external bodies: ourselves, God, an evil Demon and the objects themselves. He then disproves all other accounts apart form the last one, that our ideas of external bodies come from the bodies themselves.

    We cannot create the ideas ourselves, through the "imagination" in Descartes terms, as they are "involuntary." As we Descartes believes we know our own minds (have "immediate access"), we would know that we created them ourselves. As it's obvious we haven't (I would voluntarily create instant A*s for all my exams) the ideas cannot come from our minds.

    We know God is not the source of this ideas as God is not a deceiver.

    A demon tricking us would just be a Deceiver by proxy.

    Therefore the source for our ideas of external bodies form the objects themselves. Even though it may seem we are being deceived God has given as the "criterion for truth" or clear and distinct reasoning to guide us when we get it wrong.

    I know for dualism those are the three arguments the spec expects. They will only ask about the material world in A questions and they did that last year so I wouldn't worry about it too much.

    Good luck
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    (Original post by leaky_Tap)
    The three arguments for mind and body distinction are (this is how the exam spec recognises them):
    Knowledge argument: Descartes is certain of his mind but not his body, therefore they cannot be the same
    Appeal to God's Omnipotence: What is "clearly distinctly" conceived by Descartes can be created by God as "precisely as I conceive it." Descartes has a clear and distinct idea of the mind as a "thinking thing" while the body is "extended and changeable." As they are two separate clear and distinct ideas they must be different.
    Indivisibility argument: Thought cannot be split into separate components, Descartes thinks with the "whole" mind. The body can, we can literally chop bits off. Therefore they are different.

    Descartes argues the existence of bodies differently. He proposes four different causes for our ideas of external bodies: ourselves, God, an evil Demon and the objects themselves. He then disproves all other accounts apart form the last one, that our ideas of external bodies come from the bodies themselves.

    We cannot create the ideas ourselves, through the "imagination" in Descartes terms, as they are "involuntary." As we Descartes believes we know our own minds (have "immediate access"), we would know that we created them ourselves. As it's obvious we haven't (I would voluntarily create instant A*s for all my exams) the ideas cannot come from our minds.

    We know God is not the source of this ideas as God is not a deceiver.

    A demon tricking us would just be a Deceiver by proxy.

    Therefore the source for our ideas of external bodies form the objects themselves. Even though it may seem we are being deceived God has given as the "criterion for truth" or clear and distinct reasoning to guide us when we get it wrong.

    I know for dualism those are the three arguments the spec expects. They will only ask about the material world in A questions and they did that last year so I wouldn't worry about it too much.

    Good luck
    Thank you, this has really cleared it up! I'm hoping for a certainty question because that's the only bit I really know... Do you reckon there'll be a part B mind and body question? It keeps coming up every year, but AQA are sneaky like that.
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    (Original post by jennifere)
    Thank you, this has really cleared it up! I'm hoping for a certainty question because that's the only bit I really know... Do you reckon there'll be a part B mind and body question? It keeps coming up every year, but AQA are sneaky like that.
    Yeah its come up two years in a row now. I'm focusing my attention on God and certainty (which is handy because I understand them better anyway.)

    Just to be on the safe side I'm gonna learn a critique then reply for each of the arguments for duality. I think that'll be a enough for a decent essay.
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    (Original post by leaky_Tap)
    Neither my teacher nor the book has mentioned comparing moral truths to mathematical. I'm not going to worry about it too much, if it did come up I would talk about G.E Moore's open ended question how moral truths lack the tautology of mathematics.

    For the fact value gap I would introduce it then use various naturalistic positions in order to overcome it. May favorite for these sorts of essays is:
    Introduce Hume fact value gap
    Explain how Foot tries to overcome it
    Use G.E Moore's opened question, moral "facts" lack tautology.
    Williams thick thin concepts provide tautology by being more specific.*
    Then reply with cultural relativism, Williams doesn't explain which "thick" concepts respond to which "thin".

    That little chain of arugments responses then counter argumetns will get loads of analysis marks (I hope.) For more content introduce a naturalistic position first (i like Plato's form of the good) then when explaining the fact value gap illustrate it with reference to your earlier paragraph, explaining why it's values cannot be derived from facts. Or at the end offer another attempt that isn't Foot, I use Searle's Social obligations, then a quick reply.(this bits covered in the aqa book.)

    However with that in mind you need to come up with your own plans and be able to write them fluently, if you don't like or understand an essay plan but still try to write them the examiner will be able to tell you don't know what you're chatting about.

    When planning, our philosophy teachers tell us to roughly use the PACE format. Point, argument, counterargument then evaluate with at least two PACES per essay.

    For revision I'm going through all the past papers and writing fairly detailed plans, then I'll try and write all of them in timed conditions before June.

    Anyway, I hope that helped, it might seem a load of nonsense which is fair enough. Good luck

    *if you haven't studied these or understand how I use it in this context just ask
    Hey, thank you for your reply once again . You are quite good at explaining this stuff - are you hoping to study philosophy at university? If you are I am sure you will be one of the best. :cool:
    The book i use (Philosophy in focus - Moral philosophy) also does not mention transcendent moral truths as an analogy to mathematical truths but i had a look at the specification and it is there so yeah - can never trust AQA. Now I am onto moral decisions, i have decided to choose euthanasia - though not sure how to structure the essay. Perhaps brief outline of the theory eg. utilitarianism and then apply it to euthanasia?
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    I'm doing political and moral for PHIL3 and Plato for PHIL4.

    I feel like I'm drowning in work, there's so much to learn.

    Does anyone have any revision tips for this exam?
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    I'm doing Political and Moral Philosophy and Mill's On Liberty. Self taught in both AS and A2.

    Really good to hear that I can 'skip' nation states. I was wondering if I could do the same with moral decisions. Past questions so far have been one on the other topics and one on moral decisions.
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    My philosophy teacher says that skipping nation states is alright. And for moral philosophy, I'm focusing on NORMATIVE ETHICS, for the pattern is usually META AND NORMATIVE. Metaethics is far too tricky.

    Human nature - essentially, this grounds each philososopher's theory of political organisation/rights/justice. So, Hobbes, with regards to political organisation, wanted an incredibly strong state BECAUSE he had such a pessimistic view of HUMAN NATURE.
    And Locke and Mill and even Nozick are for DESERT-based principles of justice because, with regards to political organisation, they want a minimal state.

    I hope I explained that okay.

    Also, with justice, I think I've got some good arguments:

    Strict equality -
    1. The 'index' problem
    2. These levels/bundles don't acknowledge our needs, preferences or our productivity.
    3. Equality at each individual time-frame is impractical or even impossible.
    4. Does not allow for freedom, so liberty in both the negative and positive senses are harmed.
    5. Bad for Mill's individual development.
    6. Bad for democracy.
    7. Will not make us happy.
    8. Will, strangely, lead to a free market.
    9. Different interpretations of equality (and need) led to the economic frameworks that existed in the USSR and Maoist China. They were both horrible places.
    There's LOADS of other arguments on my mind-map, can't remember them though.

    Need and Desert - haven't completely memorised the arguments for and against these, and I don't particularly understand the latter.

    But, I'll bring in liberty and political organisation as implications of a particular element. E.g. Question on justice, I would say that equality would lead to totalitarianism, which harms liberty.

    Still haven't done anything with Mill for UNIT 4.

    AS Unit 1 retake on Monday. :/

    Message me if you need anymore help. If anyone's in London, we can meet up and revise together?
 
 
 

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