Philosophy: Questions and Theories(HZT 4U)

Course Overview

Course Title: Philosophy: Questions and Theories
Course Code: HZT 4U
Grade: 12
Course Type: University
Credit Value: 1.0
Prerequisite: Any University or University/College(Mixed) preparation course in Social Sciences and Humanities, English or Canadian and World Studies
Department: Social Sciences and Humanities
Tuition Fee (CAD): $639

This course enables students to acquire an understanding of the nature of philosophy and philosophical reasoning skills and to develop and apply their knowledge and skills while exploring specialized branches of philosophy (the course will cover at least three of the following branches: metaphysics, ethics, epistemology, philosophy of science, social and political philosophy, aesthetics).∗ Students will develop critical thinking and philosophical reasoning skills as they formulate and evaluate arguments related to a variety of philosophical questions and theories. They will also develop research and inquiry skills related to the study and practice of philosophy.

Overall Curriculum Expectations

By the end of the course, students will gain proficiency in the following areas:

Research and Inquiry Skills
  • Exploring: explore topics related to philosophy, and formulate questions to guide their research;
  • Investigating: create research plans, and locate and select information relevant to their chosen topics, using appropriate philosophical research and inquiry methods;
  • Processing Information: assess, record, analyse, and synthesize information gathered through research and inquiry;
  • Communicating and Reflecting: communicate the results of their research and inquiry clearly and effectively, and reflect on and evaluate their research, inquiry, and communication skills.

Philosophical Foundations
  • The Nature of Philosophy: demonstrate an understanding of the main areas of philosophy, periods of philosophical development, and the differences between philosophy and other areas of inquiry;
  • Philosophical Reasoning: demonstrate an understanding of philosophical reasoning and critical thinking skills, including skills required to identify and avoid common fallacies of reasoning, and demonstrate the ability to apply these skills in various contexts.

Core Topics: Metaphysics
  • Understanding Metaphysics: demonstrate an understanding of the main questions in metaphysics, and of the positions of major philosophers and schools of philosophy with respect to some of these questions;
  • Exploring Metaphysics: demonstrate an understanding of metaphysical theories, and evaluate responses to some of the main questions in metaphysics by major philosophers and schools of philosophy;
  • Making Connections to Metaphysics: demonstrate an understanding of connections between metaphysics and other areas of philosophy, other subject areas, and various aspects of society, including everyday life;
  • Philosophical Reasoning in Metaphysics: use philosophical reasoning skills to develop, communicate, and defend their own responses to metaphysical questions.
Core Topics: Ethics
  • Understanding Ethics: demonstrate an understanding of the main questions in ethics, and of the positions of major philosophers and schools of philosophy with respect to some of these questions;
  • Exploring Ethics: demonstrate an understanding of theories in ethics, and evaluate responses to some of the main questions in ethics by major philosophers and schools of philosophy;
  • Making Connections to Ethics: demonstrate an understanding of connections between ethics and other areas of philosophy, other subject areas, and various aspects of society, including everyday life;
  • Philosophical Reasoning in Ethics: use philosophical reasoning skills to develop, communicate, and defend their own responses to philosophical questions in ethics.
Core Topic: Epistemology
  • Understanding Epistemology: demonstrate an understanding of the main questions in epistemology, and of the positions of major philosophers and schools of philosophy with respect to some of these questions;
  • Exploring Epistemology: demonstrate an understanding of epistemological theories, and evaluate responses to some of the main questions in epistemology by major philosophers and schools of philosophy;
  • Making Connections to Epistemology: demonstrate an understanding of connections between epistemology and other areas of philosophy, other subject areas, and various aspects of society, including everyday life;
  • Philosophical Reasoning in Epistemology: use philosophical reasoning skills to develop, communicate, and defend their own responses to epistemological questions.
Supplementary Topics: Philosophy of Science
  • Understanding the Philosophy of Science: demonstrate an understanding of the main questions in the philosophy of science, and of the positions of major philosophers and schools of philosophy with respect to some of these questions;
  • Exploring the Philosophy of Science: demonstrate an understanding of theories in the philosophy of science, and evaluate responses to some of the main questions in the philosophy of science by major philosophers and schools of philosophy;
  • Making Connections to the Philosophy of Science: demonstrate an understanding of connections between the philosophy of science and other areas of philosophy, other subject areas, and various aspects of society, including everyday life;
  • Philosophical Reasoning in the Philosophy of Science: use philosophical reasoning skills to develop, communicate, and defend their own responses to questions in the philosophy of science.
Supplementary Topics: Social and Political Philosophy
  • Understanding Social and Political Philosophy: demonstrate an understanding of the main questions in social and political philosophy, and of the positions of major philosophers and schools of philosophy with respect to some of these questions;
  • Exploring Social and Political Philosophy: demonstrate an understanding of theories in social and political philosophy, and evaluate responses to some of the main questions in social and political philosophy by major philosophers and schools of philosophy;
  • Making Connections to Social and Political Philosophy: demonstrate an understanding of connections between social and political philosophy and other areas of philosophy, other subject areas, and various aspects of society, including everyday life;
  • Philosophical Reasoning in Social and Political Philosophy: use philosophical reasoning skills to develop, communicate, and defend their own responses to questions in social and political philosophy.
Supplementary Topics: Aesthetics
  • Understanding Aesthetics: demonstrate an understanding of the main questions in aesthetics, and of the positions of major philosophers and schools of philosophy with respect to some of these questions;
  • Exploring Aesthetics: demonstrate an understanding of theories in aesthetics, and evaluate responses to some of the main questions in aesthetics by major philosophers and schools of philosophy;
  • Making Connections to Aesthetics: demonstrate an understanding of connections between aesthetics and other areas of philosophy, other subject areas, and various aspects of society, including everyday life;
  • Philosophical Reasoning in Aesthetics: use philosophical reasoning skills to develop, communicate, and defend their own responses to questions in aesthetics.

Unit Overview

Unit 1: Philosophical Foundations25 hours
Unit 2: Metaphysics25 hours
Unit 3: Ethics25 hours
Unit 4: Political and Social Philosophy 25 hours
Unit 5: Culminating Project10 hours
Total Hours110 hours
Teaching and Learning Strategies

Enthusiastic teachers and instructors bring unique teaching and assessment methods to the classroom because students learn best when they are engaged in a range of different learning techniques. The activities allow students to apply learned concepts to current world social, economic, and environmental issues which impact daily life. Opportunities to relate knowledge and skills to these wider contexts will motivate students to learn in a meaningful way and to become life-long learners. Instructors also inspire students to become successful problem solvers by investigating, providing alternative reasoning and solutions to problems as well as dedicating time and energy to the tasks at hand.

Effective instructional techniques utilize students’ existing knowledge and by capturing their interest and engaging in meaningful participation. Students will be engaged when they are able to see the correlation between the learned concepts and their ability to apply them to the world around them and in real-life situations. Students will have the chance to learn using a wide range of methods which include self-learning, cooperative learning as well as learning through teacher guidance as well has hands-on experiences. The methods and strategies teachers implement will be tailored to the learning requirements and the individual needs of the students. Teachers will achieve effective instruction in an online environment by using videos, interactive animations and virtual labs and discussion forums and video conferencing/live chat.

Individualized Accommodations for Students

Our methodology for student assessment follows the Growing Success Assessment, Evaluation and Reporting in Ontario Schools First Edition, Covering Grades 1 to 12 (2010) manual published by the Ontario Ministry of Education. Assessment is the process of gathering information that accurately reflects how well a student is achieving the curriculum expectations in a subject or course. Assessment tools are designed to improve student learning which includes descriptive feedback, coaching, observations and self-assessments. In addition, student can be independent and set individual goals, monitor progress against these goals, determine next steps and reflect on their thinking and learning.

For a student with special education needs who requires modified or alternative expectations, assessment and evaluation of his or her achievement will be based on the modified curriculum expectations or alternative expectations outlined in the student’s Individual Education Plan (IEP). Accommodations required to facilitate the student’s learning may be identified by the teacher, however recommendations from a School Board generated in the form of an Individual Education Plan (IEP) should be used, if available. 


For a student with special education needs who requires “accommodations only”, as described in his or her IEP, assessment and evaluation of achievement will be based on the appropriate subject/ grade/course curriculum expectations and the achievement levels outlined in the curriculum documents.

A student’s Individual Education Plan (IEP) describes his or her educational program and any accommodations that may be required. The IEP specifies whether the student requires:
accommodations only; or
modified learning expectations, with the possibility of accommodations;

Assessment accommodations are changes in procedures that enable the student to demonstrate his
or her learning. These may include:
visual supports to clarify verbal instructions, assistive devices, or some form of human support;
alternative methods for the student to demonstrate his or her achievement of expectations (e.g., allowing the student to take tests orally) or the allowance of extra time to complete the assessment;
alternative settings that may be more suitable for the student to demonstrate his or her learning.

If accommodations are required to assess and evaluate student learning, the strategies to be used are outlined in the student’s IEP.
For further details about the different types of accommodations, modified learning expectation and alternative programs please refer to Growing Success Assessment, Evaluation and Reporting in Ontario Schools First Edition, Covering Grades 1 to 12 (2010)

Materials Required

Standard Computer Requirements for all courses:
-Processor speed of 2 GHz or faster
-Memory of 4 GB RAM or greater
-A high speed internet connection with a connection speed of 10 MB/s or better.
-Monitor and video card with 1024×768 or greater resolution
-Keyboard and Mouse is recommended
-Speakers/Headphones