Religious Language-Twentieth Century Perspectives: A2 Philosophy

Preview of Lesson Plans:

“Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.” Marcus Aurelius
Agree/ Disagree

  1. What does it mean to say something is true or false?
  2. How can we prove something is true/ false?

Go through the table worksheet answering whether the statements are true/ false or have empirical evidence to support. Discuss answers

Ppt: Slides 1-7 covering the Logical Positivists, Ayer’s Verification and how this goes against the meaningfulness of religious language.

Students write an introduction for:

“Only Cognitive language is meaningful. Discuss”

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Religious Language- Apophatic and Cataphatic Ways: A2 Philosophy

Preview of Lesson Plans:

Via Negativa:

Students pick three things in room and describe it by 10 things it is not

Write on board:
E.g:

  • Not heavy
  • Not on the floor
  • Not universally known
  • Not moving
  • Not mental
  • Not black or purple
  • Not hot
  • Not absent from me (Aimee/ teacher)

= dream catcher (I have a dream catcher tattoo on my ankle)

Students share one thing with partner – guess – share with class

Write a short paragraph:

  1. I think it was (clear/ unclear) to describe items by what they are not because…

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First Year Exam Paper Breakdown: Philosophy Soul Question

Here’s a breakdown of a student’s answer for the question on the Soul, Mind, Body unit from the new spec exams 2016 (first years).

‘There is no such thing as a soul’ Discuss (30)

OCR marks given for student’s answer:
A01 9/15
A02 8/15

I used this answer as part of my lesson on essay writing for this unit. I gave the students 3 highlighters: critical words (purple) , use of ‘no/ such thing’ (blue) and every time a new name is used (green). What was clear very quickly is that this student used multiple critical words, wide selection of scholarly names and linked points back to the question.

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First Year Exam Paper Breakdown: Philosophy POE Question

I love deliveries from new spec text books to stationery. Today’s delivery: philosophy exam papers from the new spec exams (first years). Here’s a break down of a student’s answer for the question on Problem of Evil.

Assess the claim that natural evil has a purpose (30)

OCR marks given for student’s answer:
A01 15/15
A02 14/15

From reading the student’s answer there are a few noticeable points:

The structure is very clear and simple with an introduction, four main paragraphs and a conclusion.

intro aug 1.jpg

There are three simple things that make this introduction work. The first is the student uses the word ‘natural’ 3 times and ‘purpose’ twice. This shows that they are directly linking their essay to the question immediately (it is also a good way for the student to really clarify what the question is asking of them). Secondly the quote grabs the reader’s attention immediately. It is a short yet relevant quote from Augustine which the student then links into the question with a ‘this means’. Thirdly the student introduces the other key names involved Hick and Irenaeus. This makes it clear to the reader that they will be involved in this answer.

The four main paragraphs have a very clear theme and structure

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Nature of God: A2 Philosophy

Preview of lesson plans:

  • A3 bubble: Attributes of God
  • Go round class get an answer from everyone
  • Pick 5 attributes and define them (add simple/ immutable)

Answer:

  1. Is it hard to define God
  2. Which attributes conflict? Why?
  3. Does God need all of these to be God, which one can he lack?

Demonstration one: all students stand in a line (past, present, future) God stands back and sees all line (time) in one glance. Emphasize Boethius ideas on eternal

Can you see any potential problems with this?

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Panic “My Exam is Tomorrow!” Must Read for New Spec Philosophy

This morning was my last lesson with my students before the first external exam. What was my lesson plan? Hammer out as many points for the philosophy exam as possible. What was the result? Well put it this way I think I must have sweated off a stone! Here is a summary of what I can see as the final pointers to remember for the exam tomorrow:

Evaluation panic you can always use:

  • God of Gaps: Having a gap in knowledge and filling it with God. This could even be used more creatively with Plato and Aristotle e.g. what sustains the four causes (potential to actual) = Prime Mover. Prime Mover is used to fill a gap in knowledge
  • Leap of Logic: Drawing conclusions with limited or no logic/ evidence
  • Reductio ad Absurdum: reducing logical statements to illogical conclusions (e.g. design in world = God designer)
  • Burden of Proof: whoever is making the claim must back up with proof. So does Plato provide enough proof for WOF – yes/ no discuss in answer
  • Ockham’s razor: go with the simplest solution E.g. St Theresa had a vision or was it just caused by malaria? What is the simplest solution?

Evaluation:

  • You must use critical words throughout your answer to emphasize your evaluation (see to help: “But how can I tell the difference between description and evaluation?”). If you don’t use critical words you are only stating perspectives not evaluating them. And you cannot ‘name dump’ e.g. “Stephen Fry questions how can God exist when he allows children to die of cancer. This is a convincing argument.” This is not evaluation! You must use the special word of ‘because’.
  • I recommend that my students do not use ‘I think’ as it does not read academically. Instead channel your views/arguments but use other language such as ‘one might argue’
  • Don’t forget you get a lot of marks for evaluation (around 14 marks). Have you put 14 different evaluative points in your essay using critical words with ‘because’? Have you defended against the criticism and then weighed up whether the original criticism or defence is stronger?

General:

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