Elective subject

Why Study Philosophy?

Are you interested in tackling big questions? Do you enjoy debate and discussion? Are you keen to hone your critical thinking skills? If so, Philosophy may be for you.

Philosophical thought shapes what people think, value, and how they engage with others and the world around them. Philosophy is concerned with questions of ethics, knowledge, aesthetics and reality. It seeks to shed light on life’s big issues, such as: the nature of reality, how we should live and what it means to be human. Philosophy also grapples with the problems that lie at the foundation of issues of public debate such as artificial intelligence, human rights and freedom of speech.

In this course, students are actively engaged in exploring authentic ethical, social and political dilemmas in philosophy. They are challenged to think rigorously and discuss these issues in communities of inquiry. This engagement in philosophical discussion encourages students to think creatively, critically and collaboratively.

Philosophy equips students with the skills essential for active citizenship in today’s complex global society. Through the study of philosophy, students will develop the skills to think deeply and formulate sound arguments. A study of philosophy will also encourage an open-minded disposition and a willingness to challenge existing beliefs and values.

Course Content

The Year 8 course focuses on philosophical skills: questioning, concept exploration, reason and argument. Students will take an active role in choosing from a range of questions relating to pressing personal, social and global issues. In so doing, they will learn collaboratively from great thinkers whose ideas have made history.


Topics include:

What is the best form of government?

What rights and freedoms should a government protect?

Should the government be able to force you to do things for your own good?

What does it mean to be free?

Can censorship be justified?

What are the limits to freedom of speech?

Where does morality come from?

Do we have obligations to future generations?

Is non-violence the best form of resistance?

What is art?

Is beauty in the eye of the beholder?

What do philosophers say about friendship?

What’s the point of school?

What is justice?


A varied assessment program gives students the opportunity to build their knowledge and skills and share their ideas in discussion.

  • Community of Inquiry
  • Extended response
  • Viva voce
  • Personal interest project