I would like to have the views of colleagues about the kind of visual and textual stimuli they use in their preparation of Paper I. Also, each teacher has his or her own area of expertise on top of the thinkers whose theories they want to share and discuss with their students. It would be most interesting to see which philosophers are the most popular amongst IB Philosophy teachers, bearing in mind the liberty we enjoy compared to our A level colleagues limited to a far more constraining syllabus. Two philosophical movements tend to ‘fit’ most visual and textual stimuli, as corroborated by the guidelines (Key points and Discussion) offered by the Chief examiner, year after year. These two seemingly inescapable, if not indispensable, schools are Existentialism and Utilitarianism. I, for one, teach both of them through a systematic analysis of Mill’s On Liberty and Sartre’s Existentialism and Humanism, not to mention Peter Singer’s neo-Utilitarian Practical Ethics. Nietzsche is not touched upon before students have grasped a sufficient understanding of the history (or evolution) of Philosophy. It is, in a way, the ‘dynamite’ icing on top of the philosophical cake! Seriously, are there any Philosophy teachers out there prepared to discuss their approach to this challenging paper? I am aware that I have omitted Philosophy of Religion which can, no doubt, be brought into any constructive examination of the human condition.
April 16, 2021
April 6, 2021