WEA PATHWAYS TASTER (Introduction to Philosophy)

Ref: C3744066

This session introduces how philosophy addresses the problems of how to find certainty & knowledge by illustrating the difficulties in how to achieve this and how philosophers attempt to overcome these difficulties. Firstly, optical illusions and philosophical dilemmas are used to show how certainty can be illusive and then introduces the solutions philosophers have offered for over more than 2500 years. Plato and Aristotle are introduced and discussed and the significance of their contributions emphasized before also looking at the Enlightenment thinkers Descartes and Hume. Most importantly these views on knowledge are then applied to numerous philosophical and everyday issues that are relevant to anyone with curiosity to understand more about such ideas as is there a God? What is the right way to act? to what is it to be human? and any other question that may arise in analysing and discussing this vast subject

Course aim

The session gives a general illustration of the nature of philosophy. This is done by asking what is knowledge and how difficult it is to find certainty. This will be conducted In a relaxed, discussion based environment.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

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

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

  • Learn how to question what knowledge is and how to understand it through discussion and debate as well as through listening, writing and experience
  • Develop critical skills by understanding the foundations of philosophical argument through REASON and EXPERIENCE
  • Work within a relaxed and disciplined environment that discusses and analyses moral and ethical arguments developing understanding of key social issues such as equality and diversity

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
  • You will be encouraged to consider other students work and give your opinions and suggestions

What else do I need to know?

  • Nothing else is needed
  • You need to have a curiosity for asking questions about a wide range of interesting and challenging topics from discussing what is the real world to what is a 'good' way to act, to what are the sources for belief or non belief in God? We will discuss many issues that are of interest to the students

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading or pre course work is required

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • This introductory course leads to two related courses that continue to study the very broad subject of philosophy that will focus mainly on: The Ancient Greek thinkers Plato Socrates and Aristotle and why they are still relevant today: Philosophical arguments for and against the existence of God

Download full course information sheet

WEA PATHWAYS TASTER (Introduction to Philosophy)


As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you book. Please could we ask that you check the list below to ensure you meet our basic criteria:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2018
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

Not sure or have further questions? Contact courseenquiries@wea.org.uk

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