What is a philosophy degree like?

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    Im thinking of applying to a joint donors degree in both english and philosophy. However, id like to know, is philosospy similar to religious studies Alevel? I do RS and love it, and in our exam board, ccea, our course consists of ethics/ philosophy modules about aristotle, natural law, virtue ethics etc... will a degree be similar? Will i be out of my depths?
    btw.. I'm predicted and A* in RS if that helps
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    (Original post by Amelia488)
    Im thinking of applying to a joint donors degree in both english and philosophy. However, id like to know, is philosospy similar to religious studies Alevel? I do RS and love it, and in our exam board, ccea, our course consists of ethics/ philosophy modules about aristotle, natural law, virtue ethics etc... will a degree be similar? Will i be out of my depths?
    btw.. I'm predicted and A* in RS if that helps
    Will differ from uni to uni.

    Pick a uni, go through their courses, find Philosophy and look at the structure and there'll you'll be able to browse through the modules . If you're doing dual honours you'll no doubt only be able to do the core modules so I'd disregard any "optional" ones.
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    RobML What's it like?
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    If you enjoy Aristotle, natural law and virtue ethics, then the chances are you'll enjoy a philosophy degree. It will probably feel like a big step up to start with but there's no particular reason given what you've said to think that you'll be out of your depth.

    The main difference with philosophy at degree level will most likely be the rigour and depth of analysis that you have to apply to what you read. It's a while since I did RS A-level but I think it was true then and still is that you only have to have a superficial command of arguments (a 'tick-box' approach) in order to do well. That isn't the case at degree level. You have to think carefully for yourself rather than remembering a rather regimented system of claims and counter-claims. But that means that philosophy at degree level is much better than at A-level!
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    (Original post by Amelia488)
    Im thinking of applying to a joint donors degree in both english and philosophy. However, id like to know, is philosospy similar to religious studies Alevel? I do RS and love it, and in our exam board, ccea, our course consists of ethics/ philosophy modules about aristotle, natural law, virtue ethics etc... will a degree be similar? Will i be out of my depths?
    btw.. I'm predicted and A* in RS if that helps
    As a colleague of mine said, it will depend on the unis. Like, my uni and it's philosophy dept. specialise in natural philosophy - or scientific philosophy - so our modules have in Philosophy of Science, Philosophy of Mind, Philosophy of Language, Metaphysics and etc. So it really depends. Of course we have the bog-standard topics like Religion and Medieval Philosophy. But yeah, as it goes each uni has their own interested and own teaching course.

    It's a lot different 'cause with RS you basically study arguments or at least always referencing something relating to religion or what religious thinkers would say about, suicide, war, abortion, miracles, etc etc. But with Philosophy on it's own it's a lot more varied and wide. It just depends on what your course is like. Some unis offer module in Medical Ethics, Philosophy of Time and Space, Philosophy of Psychiatry, The Problem of Evil! The list is quite possibly endless when it comes to Philosophy. For instance, Uni of Hull offers modules like Philosophy of Animals (animal cognition and etc) Philosophy of Love, Philosophy of Magic, etc etc.

    So pick some unis and see what modules they have in store!
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    I just want to make a minor addition to the above post, which is very helpful but I think slightly misleading.

    In professional philosophy (i.e. the research done by the people who'll teach you at university), mediaeval philosophy and philosophy of religion are both very marginal interests. You'd be able to study both at most universities (religion more than mediaeval), but they're not 'bog standard' in the sense of being mainstream.

    Also, metaphysics, philosophy of mind, and philosophy of language are not really 'scientific' philosophy. Contemporary scientific knowledge is very relevant to the philosophy of mind (philosophers differ in opinion as to how relevant), and arguably to metaphysics (that is particularly controversial), but in neither case would you necessarily have to engage directly with empirical work. Philosophy of language is certainly technical, and often involves a certain amount of mathematical logic, but again that doesn't really make it 'scientific'. Plus, a philosophy department could easily have specialisms in philosophy of language and metaphysics (mind perhaps less so) without having any recognizable 'scientific' or 'naturalistic' bent.
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    (Original post by Estreth)
    I just want to make a minor addition to the above post, which is very helpful but I think slightly misleading.

    In professional philosophy (i.e. the research done by the people who'll teach you at university), mediaeval philosophy and philosophy of religion are both very marginal interests. You'd be able to study both at most universities (religion more than mediaeval), but they're not 'bog standard' in the sense of being mainstream.

    Also, metaphysics, philosophy of mind, and philosophy of language are not really 'scientific' philosophy. Contemporary scientific knowledge is very relevant to the philosophy of mind (philosophers differ in opinion as to how relevant), and arguably to metaphysics (that is particularly controversial), but in neither case would you necessarily have to engage directly with empirical work. Philosophy of language is certainly technical, and often involves a certain amount of mathematical logic, but again that doesn't really make it 'scientific'. Plus, a philosophy department could easily have specialisms in philosophy of language and metaphysics (mind perhaps less so) without having any recognizable 'scientific' or 'naturalistic' bent.
    Both philosohy of religion and mediaeval philosophy are quite common within their discipline. For example Augustine and Aquinas and etc. Both are quite mainstream have a look on at least 20 philosophy courses.

    That's how my uni defines those types of philosophy so i will stick by that regardless of what you define it as. Thats how my philosopher's describe their dept which is exactly what I said. I never said it was a universal thing.
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    (Original post by The Empire Odyssey)
    Both philosohy of religion and mediaeval philosophy are quite common within their discipline. For example Augustine and Aquinas and etc. Both are quite mainstream have a look on at least 20 philosophy courses.

    That's how my uni defines those types of philosophy so i will stick by that regardless of what you define it as. Thats how my philosopher's describe their dept which is exactly what I said. I never said it was a universal thing.
    Sorry, maybe we're talking at crossed purposes here. What I meant was that philosophy of religion and mediaeval philosophy are minority interests within philosophy (i.e. amongst professional philosophers). They are both widely available in university courses, but the number of academics who research and teach in those areas are very few compared to other areas of philosophy. I don't mean to imply anything beyond that.
 
 
 
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