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Philosophical perspectives

Applied philosophy

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Learning objective 8-1: Inquiry

Students will gain knowledge, skills, and experience to:

  • analyse and compare philosophical ideas.


  • Analyses and questions important philosophical ideas.
  • Compares and criticises different philosophical ideas.

Possible context elaborations

Students will be able to analyse, question, and compare important philosophical ideas, for example:

  • What is time? What is space? What do we mean by ‘possible’? Is time travel possible?

    Discussion could make use of ideas sourced from time-travel fiction such as Dr Who, Back to the Future, Harry Potter, and Star Trek and scientific theory (zero point field, relativity theory, the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle). Identify different theories of time travel.

Other important philosophical ideas that could be explored include:

  • Is the universe intelligible, and/or intelligent?
  • Do beauty and ugliness exist only in the eye of the beholder or are they somehow objective? (Show painting The Ugly Duchess.)
  • To be a responsible person, do you need to be free to choose how to act?
  • Is democracy the best political system for a just society?

Assessment for qualifications

See NCEA assessment: level 3 for suggestions of achievement standards and unit standards that could be used to assess this learning.

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Last updated October 24, 2011