Key concepts in philosophy
Key concepts are the big ideas and understandings that we hope will remain with our students long after they have left school.
Reality and illusion
- What is, and what might be?
- What is the relationship between appearance and reality?
- Is there more to reality than what we experience?
- Can there be truth in myths and legends?
- Did Māui really pull Aotearoa out of the sea?
Truth, beauty, and justice
- What is truth?
- Do beauty and justice have a universal aspect, or are they different for every community?
- What is justice in Aotearoa New Zealand?
- Is the legal system interested in the truth?
Freedom and responsibility
- Am I free to live in whatever way I wish? If not, how should I live?
- Am I responsible for my actions?
- Do I have any responsibility for historical decisions that have impacted negatively on the freedom of others?
- What role does the Treaty of Waitangi have in defining our freedoms and responsibilities?
Value, goodness, and happiness
- What makes something valuable?
- Does anything have intrinsic value?
- Should I aim to be good?
- Are there different goods?
- Is happiness the highest good?
- What is happiness?
- How do we know if we are happy?
Rationality and meaning
- What is it to be rational?
- Why not be irrational?
- How do we know the meaning of words?
- How can I tell you what I really mean?
- Are rationality, thinking, and meaning equally relevant to all cultures? Why or why not?
Last updated October 6, 2011