An Introduction to Philosophy

Ref: C3741834

Over 7 sessions we will look at the ideas of the 'Great' (or at least well-known) philosophers from Ancient Greece to the 20thc. Notes will be provided for each session which you can keep and annotate during discussion. What matters is enjoyment as well as learning. Any question can be asked and for those who are cautious about speaking in class there will be an e-mail address to go further with issues raised. The context of these writers will also be examined as people's history, culture, gender and other matters affect how they can see the world.

Course aim

We will examine the basic ideas of Western Philosophy from The Ancient Greeks to the 20thc.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed

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

  • use the notes given to me to explain some of the ideas put forward by the chosen writers
  • offer some criticisms of their ideas
  • compare and contrast the ideas of some of the people studied.

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

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
  • You will be encouraged to share your work with the group and discuss your learning

What else do I need to know?

  • All materials will be provided
  • Bryan Magee's book "The Story of Philosophy" would be useful.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • Again, if you have time, a look at Magee's book would be useful. If you haven't the notes should make the course self-explanatory

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course

Download full course outline

An Introduction to 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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