Group 3: Individuals and Societies
Philosophy HL /SL
What is Philosophy?
Philosophy deals with issues that are profound, complex, challenging and important for
humanity. The IB Philosophy course allows students to explore fundamental questions that
people have asked throughout human history, such as “What does it mean to be a human?”
and “How do I know what is the right thing to do?”
The emphasis is very much on doing philosophy rather than just studying the history of it.
The course requires a willingness to attempt an understanding of alternative views by
applying intellectual rigour and cultivating an open and critical mind.
What does the IB Philosophy course include?
1. Philosophical Themes
 'What is a 'human' being?' – Could animals or machines be persons? Do we really
have freewill? What is the relationship between mind and body?
 Political Philosophy
 Philosophy of Religion
 Theories and Problems of Ethics
2. Philosophical Texts
You will be studying a text from one of the following philosophers:
Plato, Rene Descartes, John Stuart Mill, Friedrich Nietzsche, Bertrand Russell
3. Internal assessment
You will produce a piece of written philosophical analysis of non-philosophical material of
your own choosing.
4. HL only: Unseen Text
You will respond to a piece of philosophical writing under examination conditions.
Standard Level
Higher Level
Standard Level
Higher Level
70% from 2 examinations papers
80% from 2 examination papers
30% from the personal study
20% from the personal study