An Introduction to Philosophy

An online course for students thinking of applying to study philosophy at university
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  • Lectures 20
  • Length 2.5 hours
  • Skill Level All Levels
  • Languages English
  • Includes Lifetime access
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    Available on iOS and Android
    Certificate of Completion
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About This Course

Published 10/2014 English

Course Description

Course Synopsis

Philosophy is a subject that deals with the most profound questions of existence, the very nature of the world around us, and the reasons for our being here. This course will provide you with an introduction to this exciting area of study and will attempt to get you to think like a philosopher as we discuss such essential matters as morality, knowledge and truth, and existence. But, be warned, philosophy can create more questions than it actually answers!

Philosophy is one of the oldest disciplines, a subject developed in ancient Greece and which has evolved over time, concerning a diverse range of topics from religion to science, politics to morality. A study of Philosophy is not just the study of an academic subject, it is the study of thought itself, giving you the skills to think critically about everything around you. What is the difference between “wrong” and “right”? Does the material world around us exist? What is “existence” anyway? The skills acquired in learning to tackle such questions can be transferred to almost any other discipline, meaning that Philosophy can act as an excellent stepping stone into other areas.

The ORA Introduction to Philosophy is designed to offer an overview of what studying Philosophy at university is like, looking at the major areas that you would cover in a university course. This will benefit students who are keen to have a taster of the subject to help make a balanced and informed decision about whether or not they want to study Philosophy, and also students seeking to bolster their application by gaining a pool of knowledge to use in interviews and personal statements.

What's Included?

This courses consists of 4 X tutorials - audio lectures with accompanying presentation material - each taking approximately 40 minutes to complete. Regular quizzes and exams enable students to check their progress and that they are understanding the topics covered. This courses is available to start instantly online through Udemy – once you’ve chosen the course you want to take, you can get started straight away.

How Does it Work?

The course is broken down into tutorials. Each tutorial is broken down into its major topics, chapters, which are short videos of around 5-10 minutes in length. This ensures that course content is broken down into bitesized educational units that are easy to digest, and also means that content is easily navigable at the pace of the student.

Why Take this Course?

This course is ideal preparation for students thinking of studying philosophy, classics, history, or related subjects at university.

What are the requirements?

  • Intermediate/advanced level of English
  • An enthusiasm and interest in philosophy!
  • It is always helpful to take some form of notes when you are going through the course to aid your understanding of the material covered

What am I going to get from this course?

  • To gain an insight into what it means to study Philosophy
  • To look at the key methodologies of studying Philosophy
  • To gain an understanding of key Philosophers and their concepts
  • To understand more clearly what Philosophy is, and what it is not
  • To gain an understanding of the key questions Philosophy seeks to answer

Who is the target audience?

  • For students thinking of applying to study philosophy at university
  • For people who have a general interest in philosophy and would like to expand upon their pre-existing knowledge of philosophy
  • For people who are beginners in the field of philosophy and are looking for an introduction to philosophical thought
  • Please note that this is an introductory course - we offer other courses which develop the themes introduced in this course

What you get with this course?

Not for you? No problem.
30 day money back guarantee.

Forever yours.
Lifetime access.

Learn on the go.
Desktop, iOS and Android.

Get rewarded.
Certificate of completion.


Section 1: Knowledge and Truth
Introduction to Tutorial 1

This first chapter looks at defining the subject and establishing parameters for the course ahead. 


What do we mean when we say that we 'know' something? This lecture delves into questions surrounding what we can really say we know - if anything! 


This lecture looks at more complex theories surrounding knowledge, exploring the views of philosophers such as Plato - who argued that knowledge equated to 'justified true belief'. 


This final lecture in the tutorial explores Descartes and his theories of scepticism. 

Tutorial 1 Exam
5 questions
Section 2: Scepticism and Duality
Introduction to Tutorial 2

This first chapter re-examines the sceptic's argument and asks how we might respond to it. 


In this chapter we consider further responses to sceptic's argument, as well as taking a look at the 'demon' and 'matrix' scenarios.


Having discussed the sceptic's argument at some length, we now look at Descartes and his famous 'cogito' - I think therefore I am. 


In the final chapter of this tutorial we explore Descartes theories of Metaphysics and Dualism - the idea that mind and body are separate entities - more closely. 

Tutorial 2 Exam
5 questions
Section 3: Morality and Motivation
Introduction to Tutorial 3

This tutorial develops the preceding tutorials’ discussions and puts them to practical use, asking questions about morality and how we should live. 


Chapter 2 explores the story of Gyges, showing how many of our decisions come down to self interest. 


Chapter 3 looks at the views of some of the most celebrated philosophers in relation to questions of morality, including those of Jean-Paul Sartre. 


The final chapter of this tutorial continues our exploration of philosophers’ views, focusing on Mill and the theory of utilitarianism. 

Tutorial 3 Exam
5 questions
Section 4: Philosophy, Science, and Religion
Introduction to Tutorial 4

The first chapter of this final tutorial examines notions of ‘substance’ and ‘accidence’, and how these relate to the religious belief. 


Here we explore the notion of deductive validity, looking at what makes an argument ‘deductively valid


In this chapter we return to Descartes and re-examine his arguments applying additional knowledge covered in the rest of the course.


To conclude this course, we compare Philosophy to two other disciplines - Religion and Science - and ask how these three domains inter-relate. 

Tutorial 4 Exam
5 questions
Section 5: Final Exam
Final Exam
10 questions

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Instructor Biography

ORA Prep, Interactive online university preparation courses

ORA Prep offers a wide range of exciting and intellectually stimulating courses and programmes designed to offer an insight into university subjects. The aim is to support students applying to university, primarily those applying to UK institutions, though students can take our courses for general interest. 

Interactive Courses

Our e-courses consist of recorded, high quality lectures and accompanying presentation material. Regular quizzes and exams ensure that students stay on top of the material and check their progress. Our courses are short, typically composed of 4 tutorials that each take between 30-40 minutes to complete, and are available instantly online – once you’ve chosen the course you want to take, you can get started straight away.

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