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IB HL Philosophy or HL History? Watch

  • View Poll Results: IB HL Philosophy or HL History?
    HL Philosophy
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    HL History
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    80.00%

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    Which would be the best subject to take at IB HL, bearing in mind the workload, difficulty of exam and how interesting the subject itself is?
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    I do both at HL :P My school decided upon splitting both the History and Philo course in half between two teachers, so we're essentially ploughing our way through two different units in both right now.

    History is definitely the most taxing and difficult of the two. There's a lot of extended reading that needs to be done outside of class; I'm pretty sure I've done more reading in History than I have in English despite the latter also being another one of my HL subjects :P However, Philo can also be quite difficult to get the hang of at first, too - there's a lot of emphasis on developing argumentative skills, so you'll basically be churning essays out very, very frequently. Both expect you to have some capability to write ~5 sides of A4 in an exam, though it's usually okay to write less dwdw.

    I personally find History more fun, though. Philo is interesting in terms of really getting you to start analysing the world critically, but there's just something about studying Dictators that appeals to me a /bit/ too much hahaha. Regardless, both provide a really good basis for Law, Journalism, and other essay-based degrees and careers, so you should be fine


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    (Original post by LeFeuilly)
    I do both at HL :P My school decided upon splitting both the History and Philo course in half between two teachers, so we're essentially ploughing our way through two different units in both right now.

    History is definitely the most taxing and difficult of the two. There's a lot of extended reading that needs to be done outside of class; I'm pretty sure I've done more reading in History than I have in English despite the latter also being another one of my HL subjects :P However, Philo can also be quite difficult to get the hang of at first, too - there's a lot of emphasis on developing argumentative skills, so you'll basically be churning essays out very, very frequently. Both expect you to have some capability to write ~5 sides of A4 in an exam, though it's usually okay to write less dwdw.

    I personally find History more fun, though. Philo is interesting in terms of really getting you to start analysing the world critically, but there's just something about studying Dictators that appeals to me a /bit/ too much hahaha. Regardless, both provide a really good basis for Law, Journalism, and other essay-based degrees and careers, so you should be fine


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    Sorry for my late response! I didn't see that you replied ><

    My teachers have also said that both subjects would provide a good foundation for Law, but apparently History is more well-regarded in Universities? Do you know anything about that?
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    (Original post by nusquam)
    Sorry for my late response! I didn't see that you replied ><

    My teachers have also said that both subjects would provide a good foundation for Law, but apparently History is more well-regarded in Universities? Do you know anything about that?
    It's fine! :P

    Yeah, that's the case for some unis. That belief is probably derived from the fact that History gets you to look at sources and derive arguments from them. It also happens to be one of the hardest subjects you could take at IB, so getting a 6 or 7 basically means that people are gonna be like:

    :O OMG

    (Okay not really haha)


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    (Original post by LeFeuilly)
    It's fine! :P

    Yeah, that's the case for some unis. That belief is probably derived from the fact that History gets you to look at sources and derive arguments from them. It also happens to be one of the hardest subjects you could take at IB, so getting a 6 or 7 basically means that people are gonna be like:

    :O OMG

    (Okay not really haha)


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    I see, I see, thank you so much! Doesn't HL Philosophy require you to write argumentatively and look at an unseen (kinda like looking at a source), though? Both subjects seem similar...
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    (Original post by nusquam)
    I see, I see, thank you so much! Doesn't HL Philosophy require you to write argumentatively and look at an unseen (kinda like looking at a source), though? Both subjects seem similar...
    Yeah, one of the first things we looked at in Philo was logical fallacies and how to argue in an essay. And we do have a couple unseen papers - they basically ask you to analyse a picture or text philosophically.

    E.g. Nov 2012's paper 1 asked us to look at a picture of buildings towering above Central Park, and you'd have to draw out themes from the first unit, Core theme, to answer it.

    Core theme basically explores what it means to be a human, so we look at things like agency v. determinism, existentialism, rationality v. irrationality, and AI.

    I think my teacher once mentioned that paper 3's another unseen, but we haven't done one of those yet *shrug* :P


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