What's the Big Idea? Key Concepts in Philosophy

Ref: C3741160

Join us to develop your skills in logic and philosophical argumentation. We will survey key ideas in philosophy using logical thought and by examining famous texts in the main fields of philosophical study, including ethics, politics, aesthetics, metaphysics and epistemology. You will be encouraged to apply your skills to real world issues and arguments. Classes will begin with a summary of the relevant ideas and readings for the week followed by lively and friendly discussion analyzing their plausibility and, where appropriate, applicability to the modern world. Suggested reading will enable you to take your learning further.

Course aim

To provide a brief introduction to some of the key topics in philosophy whilst teaching participants the skills needed to evaluate and discuss a formal argument.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed
  • This course is for beginners
  • This course is suitable for beginners and improvers

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of basic logic and the 'tools' of the philosopher.
  • Clearly articulate and defend an argument (philosophical position).
  • Demonstrate an understanding of some of the main theories in philosophy.
  • Apply these, where appropriate, to the real world.

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning
  • There will be weekly readings which you should complete before class. These will be fairly brief and will be optional but strongly encouraged.

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion
  • You will have opportunities to discuss your progress with your tutor
  • There will be a number of optional tasks for you to complete, which the course leader will mark, should you wish to test your progress.

What else do I need to know?

  • Yourself and a pen and paper.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading or pre course work is required
  • No pre reading is required but research on the subject on the internet or in the library may be helpful
  • Ben Dupr√©'s '50 philosophy ideas you really need to know' is worth reading either before or after the course.

What can I do next?

Download full course outline

What's the Big Idea? Key Concepts in Philosophy Course Outline


You can if you meet all of the following requirements:

  • are paying the standard fee or are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • are paying with a credit/debit card or are not paying a fee because of a qualifying benefit
  • have a valid email address
  • have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2017
  • have read and accept the standard terms and conditions
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