École européenne de Strasbourg

Philosophy at the ESS

The 2 and 4P Philosophy courses take place over a two-year period from S6-S7. Students who opt for the 4P option will have a choice of sitting for a 4-period written exam based on a text extract or an oral presentation on a similar extract. They will be required to link themes, concepts and philosophical terminology of at least two of the four domains studied throughout the 2-year period. The four domains are: in S6, Epistemology and Ethics and in S7, Political Philosophy and Anthropology. The 2P class will similarly follow this course outline.

The Epistemology domain consists of questions like: How much should we trust opinions? Is experience the only source of knowledge? To each one his own truth? To what extent can we know things in science? What should the criteria for truth be?

The Ethical Philosophy domain explores the limits of our freedom, the pursuit of our happiness and the responsibilities we bear toward our fellow humans.

The Political Philosophy domain cracks into the world of politics, exposing our most basic presumptions and expectations of the state and our obligations to it. The unit challenges students to think about concepts of justice, equality, power and violence. It brings the external world into the realm of the classroom in a very pertinent and relevant way.

Lastly, the wide-ranging domain of Anthropology delves into questions concerning language, technology, aesthetics and personal identity. Again, referencing popular culture in this unit gives students the immediate feeling of relevancy and connection to the world around them.

A variety of teaching methods are employed including: large group discussion and debate, lecture series, presentations and personal research projects, book reviews, essaying writing and text analysis, and partner and small group work. Use of multi-media sources such as film, TV, literature, PPTs, comics, etc. are also incorporated. Students ability to construct sound arguments orally and in writing is a main objective for the course.