TheCondor_
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Can I start an A-Level in Philosophy if I never did any GCSE in Philosophy? Would it be very hard for me ?
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blackdiamond97
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I don't study philosophy but I have quite a few friends who do. It seems like you don't need to study philosophy at GCSE although doing GCSE RE helps. As long as you're good at essays and remembering lots of information then you should be fine.

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TheCondor_
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(Original post by blackdiamond97)
I don't study philosophy but I have quite a few friends who do. It seems like you don't need to study philosophy at GCSE although doing GCSE RE helps. As long as you're good at essays and remembering lots of information then you should be fine.

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Well, I did not write essays for quite a while, since I left school like 7 years ago. But it is no nuklear-physics to look up how to write an essay.

Yeah, I can remember information, especially when it is interesting.
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sleepysnooze
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I didn't take philosophy before a level and I found it fine - it was difficult because they threw 1000 philosophers at you and you had to remember a lot of their ideas and what they said, but it was interesting enough to remember. if you want to get started with philosophy, I'll sound like a broken record saying it, but plato (and maybe aristotle), machiavelli, hobbes (and locke) kant, bentham(and mill), hegel, nietzsche, satre, rand, rawls, nozick etc would be the best philosophers to begin with.
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The Arsonist
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Even universities don't expect GCSE or A Level philosophy to be studied before taking it at degree level. The answer is no. Essay subjects will serve you well, but mostly be ready for some rigorous, abstract thinking. I read a study that showed mathematics performance in school correlated well with performance in philosophy. There's a big 'logic' aspect to it which probably has a big impact.
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The Arsonist
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(Original post by sleepysnooze)
I didn't take philosophy before a level and I found it fine - it was difficult because they threw 1000 philosophers at you and you had to remember a lot of their ideas and what they said, but it was interesting enough to remember. if you want to get started with philosophy, I'll sound like a broken record saying it, but plato (and maybe aristotle), machiavelli, hobbes (and locke) kant, bentham(and mill), hegel, nietzsche, satre, rand, rawls, nozick etc would be the best philosophers to begin with.
Starting with a particular philosopher is generally advised against in the academic community. It's certainly not 'wrong' but so much of a philosopher's work is in response to those before them so you really need a good overview before delving into a particular person or subject.

A good solution: First, start with Sophie's Choice. It's a novel that introduces major themes in philosophical thought. Light and probing but also insightful. Definitely nice to break into such a 'dry' topic with a text that isn't too heavy.

After that, the first 'proper' introduction into philosophy generally recommended is either 'The Great Conversation' or 'History of Western Philosophy' (B Russell).

Next, you'll probably have an idea of what interests you so go for that. Plato, ethics.. .whatever.
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sleepysnooze
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(Original post by The Arsonist)
Starting with a particular philosopher is generally advised against in the academic community. It's certainly not 'wrong' but so much of a philosopher's work is in response to those before them so you really need a good overview before delving into a particular person or subject.

A good solution: First, start with Sophie's Choice. It's a novel that introduces major themes in philosophical thought. Light and probing but also insightful. Definitely nice to break into such a 'dry' topic with a text that isn't too heavy.

After that, the first 'proper' introduction into philosophy generally recommended is either 'The Great Conversation' or 'History of Western Philosophy' (B Russell).

Next, you'll probably have an idea of what interests you so go for that. Plato, ethics.. .whatever.
I wasn't tell them to read their entire works or books - I was implying that they should do a quick google search for their core ideas or something like that
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Asolare
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Yes you can, GCSE Philosophy is not a requirement.

You will need to double check if you need any English Language grade to get onto the course though. My college demands a B in English Language and I think a B in maths, and it's understandable why (the essay writing is very hard).
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TheCondor_
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(Original post by Inexorably)
Yes you can, GCSE Philosophy is not a requirement.

You will need to double check if you need any English Language grade to get onto the course though. My college demands a B in English Language and I think a B in maths, and it's understandable why (the essay writing is very hard).
I would do it via online college, and they don't require anything. I am just asking in matters of difficulty.
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Asolare
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(Original post by TheCondor_)
I would do it via online college, and they don't require anything. I am just asking in matters of difficulty.
Oh I see. Well in that case, you should be fine then. I did RS Philosophy & Ethics at school and the only bits of knowledge I used from GCSE were the teleological argument and 1 version of the cosmological argument at A Level - but it is by no means necessary required for you to have learnt it beforehand.
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TheCondor_
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(Original post by Inexorably)
Oh I see. Well in that case, you should be fine then. I did RS Philosophy & Ethics at school and the only bits of knowledge I used from GCSE were the teleological argument and 1 version of the cosmological argument at A Level - but it is by no means necessary required for you to have learnt it beforehand.
Thanks a lot, you guys were a big help !
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username1208193
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In my first year of AS. It's demanding and it's going to be hard. I hope your English skills are well developed as well as your essay writing technique, you're gonna need it! But yeah if you're interested in it, do it because it's a valued A level.
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