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.
- Shelly Kagan on Speciesism 01/08/2015 06:00
The philosopher Peter Singer is famous for his attack on speciesism, the alleged prejudice that many exhibit in favour of human interests when compared with the interests of other animals. Here Shelly Kagan outlines Singer's position and takes issue with it. In the process he makes some interesting points about prejudices in general.
- Susan James on Foucault and Knowledge 22/07/2015 19:48
Michel Foucault's work explores a wide range of topics; it includes histories of both punishment and sex. He also wrote more abstractly about philosophical topics. One theme to which he kept returning, whatever the topic, was the nature of our knowledge. Susan James discusses this thread in his work in this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast.
- Larry Temkin on Transitivity 06/07/2015 06:40
How do you choose which course of action is best? It seems reasonable that if A is better than B, and B is better than C, A must be better than C. But is it? Larry Temkin challenges this idea, known as the axiom of transitivity.
- William B. Irvine on Living Stoically 21/06/2015 10:24
- Steven Lukes on Power 06/06/2015 13:28
- Theodore Zeldin on Philosophy and History 06/06/2015 13:22
- Jesse Prinz on Art and Emotion 22/05/2015 22:16
What part do emotions play in our appreciation of art? Jesse Prinz explores the sense of wonder at artworks in this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast.
- Cassim Quassam on Conspiracy Theories 10/05/2015 23:50
- Tim Williamson on the Appeal of Relativism 28/04/2015 09:32
Are all truths relative? That's an attractive idea for many people. Tim Williamson, Wykeham Professor of Logic at Oxford University discusses why and attempts to immunise us against sloppy thinking in this area.
- Shaun Nichols on Death and the Self 15/04/2015 00:02
How does your view of the self affect your attitude to your own death? Shaun Nichols discusses this question in this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast.