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Philosophy SL

Part of the IB subject group 3, Individuals and Societies, Philosophy SL is a course that tackles questions important to humanity. For example, what is it to be a human being and how do I know what is the right thing to do?

Students learn how to think systematically, analyse arguments, and study philosophical themes. They also look at problems facing contemporary society, including those resulting from increased international interaction.

Course structure

The course covers the following topics:

Year 1

  • Course Overview
  • Introduction to Philosophy
  • Fundamentals of Ethics
  • Moral Theories: Consequentialist
  • Moral Theories: Deontological
  • Introduction to the Republic
  • Plato’s theory of knowledge
  • Political philosophy
  • Plato’s Influence of End of Year Exam

Year 2

  • Are Human’s Special?
  • What are we made of?
  • Theories on the self
  • Trial Exam
  • Freedom and Determinism
  • Revision

What is different in taking Philosophy SL online?

Students will have the opportunity to:

  • study alongside students from around the world
  • exchange ideas with people from very different philosophical backgrounds
  • access source material in a variety of media
  • learn at their own pace and in a location of their choice

Some things won’t be different though. Standards and expectations will be just as high as in a face to face classroom.

Activities and assessment

Activities include watching videos, reading notes, independent research, listening to podcasts by leading philosophers, writing personal reflections, essay writing, analysing and evaluating texts, external websites, or online discussions with classmates.

Students take quizzes and carry out activities for authentic examination preparation.

Advice from our teachers

In order to succeed in Philosophy SL, we recommend students set aside five to six hours a week.

Benefits to students

Taking Philosophy SL online will enable students to:

  • sharpen their intellectual skills
  • develop perspectives that encompass cultural pluralism and an awareness of the international context within which it unfolds
  • develop intercultural understanding which is sought by the world’s top universities
  • develop 21st century skills like time management, communication and digital literacy which are much in demand by employers

Next steps

Request further information

Talk to your school's IB DP Coordinator

Register your students

How does it work?

Watch our video to find out how IB Diploma Programme students use the Pamoja Taught learning platform on a day-to-day basis throughout the duration of their two-year courses.


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