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Philosophy for A2: Unit 3: Key Themes in Philosophy, 2008 AQA Syllabus Paperback – 28 Aug 2009


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Product details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge; 1 edition (28 Aug. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0415458226
  • ISBN-13: 978-0415458221
  • Product Dimensions: 18.9 x 2.2 x 24.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 37,138 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

Review

'Michael Lacewing has the rare talent of making accessible the most difficult and abstract philosophical material. Here he examines, with his characteristic academic rigour and clarity, the five themes specified in Unit 3 of the AQA specification. He presents a lucid and comprehensive discussion of each, closely following the requirements of the specification. The reader is encouraged to undertake a systematic study of the themes, making cross references and connections across the topics and themes on offer, and so to engage deeply with the material in order to develop the essential skills for critical assessment.

I highly recommend this book to all students of Philosophy.'

Dr Andrew Rowley, Head of Philosophy, Bedford Modern School

 

'This latest A level Philosophy book by Michael Lacewing introduces the content of AQA’s A2 Philosophy course in an accessible and user-friendly fashion. The introduction to the book gives a brief and clear guide to using the book which will be useful to staff and students alike.

A real strength of this book is the language and style in which it has been written; it is accessible and in a format that will be familiar to students who have used Michael Lacewing’s AS Philosophy textbook, which is also published by Routledge. One of the excellent features of the book is the fact that it presents complex and nuanced philosophical positions and debates in a lucid, comprehensive and scholarly manner. Students will find the book to be an accessible guide to studying and doing Philosophy on their A level course.

The book covers all the themes of Unit 3 of AQA specification, devoting a sizable amount of space to each theme. Within the chapters on each theme good use is made of sub-headings, side margin features and stretch and challenge boxes to both enhance and extend the reader’s learning. Each chapter addresses the specific issues raised by the content of the topic under consideration in an appealing and student-friendly fashion, such as the most helpful section on ‘Answering exam questions on practical ethics’ in the Moral Philosophy chapter, the nuanced discussion of Liberalism and Conservatism and the precise discussion of the complex relationship between philosophical positions in the Philosophy of Mind.

The final chapter of the book provides an excellent set of useful helps and tips on preparing for the examination. If followed, the advice regarding revision techniques, understanding the examination questions and examination technique will be most beneficial for students.

The accessible style of this book coupled with its nuanced and full coverage of the AQA syllabus suggests that this book will be a most important textbook for both students and teachers. The clarity of the explanations of complex philosophical debates will make this book an invaluable aid to students and teachers alike.'

Matthew Taylor, Head of Philosophy and Religious Studies, Colchester County High School for Girls

 

'Michael Lacewing has rightly established a reputation as "Mr A Level Philosophy." He is uniquely placed to fulfil this role. As a practising professional philosopher teaching and researching at Heythrop College, London University he has an up to date and thorough knowledge of the subject. As a gifted teacher and expositor with many years of experience of running conferences for 6th form students he has an enviable gift for explaining complex ideas simply and clearly.

He writes lucidly and has the unerring capacity for finding vivid and revealing examples and illustrations which make abstract ideas accessible and easy to comprehend. The material is superbly structured and set out with simple expositions followed by summaries of key points and then followed by extension passages with more developed and advanced discussions. Thus beginners are led by simple progression through an understanding of the basics to a more advanced grasp of a problem or theme. Expositions and explanations of key ideas are then supplemented with a balanced discussion of key strengths and weaknesses. The book is a model of popular philosophical writing at its very best. As a text book it is ideal: the most able students will benefit from the extended discussions and less confident students will find that the simpler introductory expositions succeed in making even challenging ideas simple and easy to comprehend. Though clearly aimed at A level students the book will serve and deserve a wider audience. Undergraduates will find it an ideal resource for authoritative and up to date summaries of the most recent philosophical literature on these themes and topics. Likewise busy teachers of Philosophy will find this a reliable and time saving resource. For clarity and reliability there is simply no better introduction to Philosophy at this level. If you are to buy only one book then look no further: this is the one!'

Geoff Willis, Head of Philosophy, City of Stoke-on-Trent Sixth Form College

About the Author

Michael Lacewing is Director of Research and Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at Heythrop College, University of London. He is founder of the company A Level Philosophy, and a consultant on philosophy at A Level for the British Philosophical Association.


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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By L. Harper on 19 Jun. 2011
Format: Paperback
I am a student just finishing my A-Level. Probably the biggest point of me writing this review is because I was felt in the unfortunate situation where I had seven teachers in one year. This led to my class having to rely on textbooks and handouts to understand the content properly.
Lacewing's textbooks was the prefered textbook of my regular teacher as she believed it was clear and easy to follow unlike the AQA Philosophy A2: Student's Book which was, for me, completely inaccessible unless you already had the foundations of the theories beforehand. However, like another review has said, this textbook is not thorough enough and feels like a summary in some places where there should be more information to get top grades. To be honest, from what I've heard, there is no perfect Philosophy textbook (they're all either too complex or too simple), especially for A2, and you just need to combine them to get what you want.
So I would recommend this textbook to anyone that is having trouble getting to grips with some of the theory and need it simplified before building up more information about them like I needed. But after you have the solid foundations from this book, it would be better to go onto a more advanced textbook (possibly AQAs).
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This rating only really applies to the political, moral and religion philosophy sections, since they are the ones I studied.
This book has a great amount of information, covers a lot of areas within the specification and sometimes digresses, which is a good thing, since it allows you to gain a more fuller knowledge of the subject. Along with teaching and some further reading, makes the course very easy. Although it may be difficult to teach yourself from the book without a teacher to guide you through the main arguments and help with understanding.
The book is well and clearly written, more direct quotes from philosophers and which arguments are supported by whom, would be better, but this can be achieved by any amount of further reading (which can be supported by the unit 4 book: Philosophy for A2: Unit 4 )
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By Zahra'a on 9 Jan. 2014
Format: Paperback
This book is amazing.

I brought this book because I was so impressed with Micheal Lacewing's 'Philosophy for AS' book which I used last year and that was the reason I got an A grade for philosophy last year. I have not been disappointed with his A2 books so far (the other one being 'Philosophical texts'). It is so simple to understand yet Lacewing goes into so much depth. I would advise anyone who is looking to boost their grade and write a more detailed and sophisticated essay to buy this book. The book doesn't just give arguments but counter arguments too and everything is linked so well. I don't think I've given this book enough justice as I'm not so good with words, just buy it and you'll understand what I mean! :D
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Guy Goodwin on 23 Nov. 2009
Format: Paperback
I have been using this textbook with my classes and it is a very effective resource. Michael Lacewing has been producing materials for A level and working with teachers and students for several years and it shows. The text is clear and addresses the issues thoroughly in language that most students can understand. The review tasks are appropriate and test the reader in exactly the same way that exam questions do. Unlike the 'official' Nelson Thornes text this one is coherent and well written, as well as addressing the key points from the specification with real rigour. Both Lacewing and his publisher deserve credit for the amount of free support material they have made available to students and teachers via the Routledge website.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Sharfa Sorwar on 27 Mar. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Needed this for A level, and I got an A overall, a very good and awesome book. Goes into a lot of exam tips as well.
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By chris grant on 4 July 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I used this text for my A" in philosophy and found it well laid out and helpful. It is well structured and allows easy revision
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