As the school year is going to an end, I have a thought for all the students finishing high school and going through exams. In France, where I used to live when I was younger, Baccalaureate examinations began today with the traditional philosophy examinations. The subjects have now been made public. Do you want to take a little time to think about what you would answer to the different questions?
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For each of the different sections of the baccalaureate, students have to choose between two questions and the commentary of a given text. Students have four hours to write an essay. Each essay must have three parts: thesis, antithesis and synthesis.
Baccalaureat L (literary section)
- Is it possible to escape time?
- Why is the point of explaining a work of art?
- Commentary of a text by Hegel
Baccalaureat S (scientific section)
- Is the diversity of cultures an obstacle to the unity of humankind?
- Does recognizing your duties mean renouncing to your freedom?
- Commentary of a text by Freud
Baccalaureat ES (economics and social sciences section)
- Is morality the best policy?
- Does work divide people?
- Commentary of a text by Leibniz
Time to think…
Which subject do you find most interesting? I like the subject about the possibility to escape time because it sounds a little like science-fiction. I mean, science-fiction would probably not be the best scope to answer the question, but I can’t help thinking about time travel. As for the question about the diversity of cultures, this is currently an important topic in many countries. The question “Does work divide people?” made me laugh because a few minutes before I read it, I though how two of my colleagues quarreled about who had to do a task. In this case, the answer was definitely yes.
If you want to learn more about philosophy. a good start is the famous novel Sophie’s world by Jostein Gaarder.
Or if you speak French and have little children, the lovely books series Les P’tits Philosophes introduce philosophy to Kindergarten children.