Philosophy: The Big Question, grade 11, University/College Preparation (HZB3M)




This course encourages exploration of philosophy’s big questions, such as: What is a meaningful life? What separates right from wrong? What constitutes knowledge? What makes something beautiful? What is a just society? Students will develop critical thinking and philosophical reasoning skills as they identify and analyse the responses of philosophers to the big questions and formulate their own responses to them. Students will explore the relevance of philosophical questions to society and to their everyday life. They will develop research and inquiry skills as they investigate various topics in philosophy.

Prerequisite : No Prerequisite

Grade : 11

Credit value : 1

Unit One

Research and Inquiry Skills

  • Exploring: explore topics related to philosophy, and formulate questions to guide their research
  • Investigating: create research plans, and locate and select information relevant to their chosen topics, using appropriate philosophical research and inquiry methods
  • Communicating and Reflecting: communicate the results of their research and inquiry clearly and effectively, and reflect on and evaluate their research, inquiry, and communication skills
  • Processing Information: assess, record, analyse, and synthesize information gathered through research and inquiry

Unit Two

Philosophical Foundations

  • Identifying the Big Questions: describe the main areas of philosophy and identify the big questions that arise in each area
  • Philosophers and Philosophical Traditions: demonstrate an understanding of how major philosophers and philosophical traditions approach some of the big questions of philosophy
  • Defining Terms and Concepts: demonstrate an understanding of terms and concepts central to discussions of the big questions of philosophy, and of how these terms and concepts are used in various philosophical traditions

Unit Three

Philosophical Skills

  • Philosophical Reasoning: demonstrate an understanding of terms, methods, and fallacies associated with philosophical reasoning
  • Evaluating Philosophical Responses to Big Questions: analyse, using their own philosophical reasoning skills as well as the arguments of other critics, the strengths and weaknesses of the responses of major philosophers or schools of philosophy to some of the big questions of philosophy
  • Developing Philosophical Responses: use philosophical reasoning and critical thinking skills to formulate responses to big questions of philosophy and to arguments encountered in everyday life

Unit Four

The Relevance of Philosophy

  • The Relevance to Everyday Life and Society: demonstrate an understanding of the relevance of philosophical questions, theories, and skills to their everyday life and to the community and broader society
  • The Relevance to Education and Careers: demonstrate an understanding of the relevance of philosophy to other subject areas and careers