A2 Philosophy of Religion
A2 Philosophy of Religion builds upon the AS course by developing your knowledge of theistic arguments, problems in religious belief, and philosophical debates over religious concepts. There are some fascinating and challenging questions to consider here:
Can God be known through pure reason?
Is there life after death?
Is it possible to capture religious ideas in human language?
Scroll down to look at revision material and in-depth notes below.
Two Page Summaries and Revision Powerpoints
These give you a brief overview of each Paper 3 topic and are a good place to start your revision. You should add details from the full notes, textbooks, and other sources.
These essays give you an idea of how to structure a response for each topic. Remember, AO1 and AO2 are now separate on the exam.
Below are some documents that go into more detail on each topic.
Life after Death
- You may also have articles in your files by Cole (Mind and Body), Ahluwalia (Soul) and Harvey (Rebirth).
- The text in the departmental anthology called 'Philosophy and life after death: the questions and the opinions' by Stephen Davis (2000) should also be of help
- An interesting recent case of claimed reincarnation in the United States is discussed in a news report here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5965wcH2Kx0&feature=related compare this with Davis' criticisms of 'yoga memory'.
Radio programme on the argument: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01mwx64
|Descartes Med 5.doc|
|Malcolms ont arg.doc|
|Ontol introduction example.docx|
|The Ontological Argument Part 2.doc|
|The Ontological Argument.doc|
|Biblical Examples of Religious Experiences.doc|
|evaluation of the argument from religious experience.docx|
|Example Essay Rel Exp.docx|
|Peter Vardy notes on religious experience.pdf|
|Religious Experience (Dept Notes).doc|
- You should have a lot of material in your files from last year's study of Religious Experience for AS Coursework (Unit 2: Investigations).
- The text in the departmental anthology called 'Religious Experience' by Richard Swinburne (1996) should also be of help.
|Peter Vardy notes on religious language.pdf|
|Religious language (dept notes).doc|
|Religious Language Revision.ppt|
|Religious Language summary.doc|
Critiques of Religious Belief
Below is a range of sites, updated on a regular and automatic basis, which gives you the opportunity to do some extra thinking. Enjoy.
- Adrian Moore on Bernard Williams on Ethics 23/11/2013 18:13
Bernard Williams was one of the most brilliant philosophers of his generation. In this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast Adrian Moore discusses his ideas about Ethics.
- Rom Harre on the Linguistic Turn in Philosophy 10/11/2013 17:38
- Robert Talisse on the Importance of Arguments in Politics 26/10/2013 23:24
Why is argument so important in politics? Bob Talisse, co-author of Why We Argue (and how we should), explores this issue in conversation with David Edmonds for this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast.
- John Tasioulas on Human Rights 12/10/2013 11:29
- Eric Schwitzgebel on the Ethical Behaviour of Ethics Professors 28/09/2013 10:34
- Alison Gopnik on Hume and Buddhism 14/09/2013 07:40
Many people have noticed similarities between what David Hume wrote about the self and Buddhist teaching on this subject. In this episode of the Philosophy Bites archive Alison Gopnik discusses the possibility that there was a direct route of influence.
- David Edmonds on Trolley Problems 01/09/2013 16:34
Is it ever morally acceptable to kill one person to save many? Most people agree that in some extreme circumstances this, though psychologically difficult, can be the right action to take. In this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast, Nigel Warburton interviews David Edmonds (co-creator of the Philosophy Bites podcast) about the life and death thought experiments known as Trolley Problems. David Edmonds book about Trolley Problems Would You Kill the Fat Man? will be published in Autumn 2013 by Princeton University Press.
- Jessica Moss on Weakness of Will 17/08/2013 09:48
You think you know what's best but don't do it. We've all been there. For Plato and Aristotle this weakness of will presented a philosophical problem. Jessica Moss explains their contrasting approaches to this topic in this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast.
- Michael Martin on Hume on Taste 03/08/2013 23:21
David Hume's 'Of the Standard of Taste' focuses on judgements about beauty in writing. Can we say with any authority that one writer or work is better than another? Michael Martin gives a clear analysis of Hume's essay on this topic in this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast. Reliable texts of Hume's works are available from www.davidhume.org
- Samuel Scheffler on the Afterlife 20/07/2013 13:49
What do we really care about? In this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast Samuel Scheffler suggests that most of us care a lot about what happens after our deaths, and that affects what we feel about what is happening now and how we value it.