I have been staring in admiration over the shoulder of my 17-year-old daughter, as she embarks on a last mental rehearsal before a much-dreaded philosophy exam.
My primary thought is: Thank the Lord I was spared the torment.
I mean, can you imagine having to sit down one morning in June and spend four hours developing an exhaustive, coherent argument around the subject: Is truth preferable to peace?
Or: Does power exist without violence?
Or possibly: Can one be right in spite of the facts?
Perhaps you would prefer option B, which is to write a commentary on a text. In which case, here is a bit of Spinoza's 1670 Tractatus Theologico-Politicus. Or how about some Seneca on altruism?
I take these examples from my daughter's revision books. My heart bleeds for her, as I look at the list of themes that have to be mastered.
Ruby has chosen to take what they call a Bac Litteraire - the Literature Baccalaureat.
There are alternative, more science-biased versions of the Baccalaureat. They all include an element of philosophy.
But in the Bac Litteraire, philosophy is king.
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