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Philosophy Summer Course in Oxford Ages 16-18

Oxford Summer School 2019

Part of the BROADENING HORIZONS Programme


Study Philosophy with our Oxford Summer School 2019. This Philosophy summer course has been designed to offer our brightest learners the opportunity to study challenging topics which rarely features in the school curriculum, offering some of the most brilliant ideas of history's most brilliant thinkers, in addition to universally applicable transferable skills.

2 or 4 weeks | Available July - August 2019

  • Residential in historic buildings in Oxford
  • An inspiring Philosophy summer course taught by experts.
  • Combine this course with other options - tailor your programme
  • A truly international environment - over 135 nationalities in 2018

Course Summary

Students will be introduced to the four main branches of analytic philosophy – logic, metaphysics, epistemology, and ethics – and will have the opportunity to analyse and debate some of life’s most fundamental questions with their peers: “What makes an action right or wrong?”; “How can we trust our senses?”; “What is truth?”; “What defines the human mind?”. The class serves more as an introduction to analytic philosophy, as studied at most major English-speaking universities, although some discussion of religious systems will be encouraged under the umbrella of metaphysics. Students will also get the chance to explore the philosophy of science.

What will you get out of the Philosophy Summer Course?

The course offers transferable skills including the identification of fallacies in argument, formal debate and discussion skills, confident presentation to a group, and essay-writing. Students are encouraged to express their opinions in a clear and respectful manner, and to remain open-minded and considerate when faced with opposition. The class will be assessed by a logic exercise, a short essay and a presentation, thereby giving students the opportunity to demonstrate their particular strengths and skills acquired. All our teachers are highly qualified in Philosophy, and will be more than happy to talk through university applications, how best to pursue further studies in the subject, and the job prospects available for Philosophy graduates.

The course will focus primarily on the students’ practical implementation of philosophical thought, logic, and arguments. However, this will be informed and underpinned by a grounding in the history of Philosophy; the viewpoints of famous philosophers will be discussed and analysed alongside students’ suggestions. All classes emphasise a democratic approach in which everyone will get the chance to express and debate their opinion.

The Broadening Horizons Programme

This subject is part of the Broadening Horizons course at Oxford Royale Summer Schools’s Oxford summer school.

The Broadening Horizons course, for students aged 16 to 18, is suitable both for those who are trying to decide what to pursue in further education, and for those who simply want to learn about a variety of interesting subjects - 30+ study options are available!

Students choose two morning classes and one afternoon workshop to provide a diverse and stimulating curriculum that is tailored to their needs, allowing them to pursue areas of interest or try out something new. Students studying Broadening Horizons in Oxford get the chance to live and learn in a college of the University of Oxford or in our 17th-century manor house, Yarnton Manor.

Learn more about and apply for the Broadening Horizons Programme in Oxford

Expectations and Pre-requisites

No previous knowledge of philosophy is presumed. It is, however, essential that each student is willing to consider all arguments seriously and on their merits; to question their own beliefs and values; and to give and receive constructive criticism. Students with some prior knowledge of philosophy will be encouraged to share it with their peers in the class discussions.

Suggested Reading

Students who wish to undertake some preliminary reading are advised to read Jostein Gaarder’s book Sophie’s World, though this is not compulsory.

Choose your options and apply for Broadening Horizons

The Broadening Horizons programme - our flagship Oxford summer course - allows you to combine different subject options to enable a flexible, tailored programme that best suits your academic needs

To view other options, select your choice of options and apply, please visit the main Broadening Horizons Programme page

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