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. (via BBC News - Why does France insist school pupils master philosophy?)
- It means eight hours a week of classes, and in the exams it has the top coefficient of seven. In other words, in the calculation of your overall mark at the Bac, it is philosophy which counts the most.
- It also means having to master a host of what they call notions - notions, or themes.
- Here are some of them from Ruby’s books - consciousness, the other, art, existence and time, matter and spirit, society, law, duty, happiness.
- And among the writers you need to refer to are Plato, William of Ockham, Kant, Hegel, Schopenhauer, Heidegger, Sartre.
- Why this emphasis on philosophy in France?
- Other countries have school-leaving exams which cover the history of ideas and religion and so on. But the French are very clear that that is not what theirs is.
- The purpose of the philosophy Bac is not to understand the history of human thought but to leap into the stream that is the actuality of human thought.
- If you learn about what Kant or Spinoza once said, it is not so much to understand their argument as to use their argument.
- Napoleon launched the Baccalaureat in 1809, and philosophy was one of the subjects in the first ever exam (though back then it was oral, and in Latin, and only 31 males took it).