Introduction to Philosophy

Ref: C3744217

This course will study the very nature of what we think and know. This will include an Introduction to the great Greek thinkers Plato & Aristotle and how they used reason and science to show how we gain knowledge. The course will also study some of the justifications for belief in the Judaeo-Christian-Islamic God (Monotheism) including those based on reason and from observing the natural world. Furthermore, we will cover and introduce the basic views that underpin the modern world; The Enlightenment thinkers Descartes and Hume and discuss their influences and significance in today's world.

Course aim

Introduction to Philosophy. A general introduction to the foundations of western philosophical thinking based on 3 themes. 1. Plato and Aristotle. 2. Does God exist? 3. A basic overview of the Enlightenment philosophy through Descartes and Hume.

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:

  • Understand the basic principles of western thinking and how it has influenced all areas of life including the developments and ideas in different religions and science.
  • Develop confidence to argue and debate in most areas of life referring and relating to the areas discussed on the course.
  • To discuss in a relaxed atmosphere some of the most important issues in western culture such as what is beauty? What is good?
  • To develop a knowledge base that will allow further general study in any related subjects students wish to pursue

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
  • You may be asked to undertake additional work in your own time to support 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
  • A file of work will be kept which will help to record your progress

What else do I need to know?

  • Nothing else is needed
  • All materials will be provided
  • A selection of materials and basic equipment will be provided but you are welcome to bring additional materials with you
  • It would be helpful if you had access to the internet (Mobile phone, tablet or computer at home or through a library etc.)

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

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • You could progress to Higher Education courses. Follow link to the PEARL website for information

Download full course information sheet

Introduction to Philosophy

Is this course right for me? Request more information

This course has been cancelled.


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 2019
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

Not sure or have further questions? Contact

Visa Credit payments supported by RBS WorldPay Visa Debit payments supported by RBS WorldPay Visa Electron payments supported by RBS WorldPay Mastercard payments supported by RBS WorldPay Maestro payments supported by RBS WorldPay JCB payments supported by RBS WorldPay Solo payments supported by RBS WorldPay
RBS WorldPay Payments Processing