“The State”, “freedom”, “defending one’s rights”: here are the subjects of the bac philo 2022

This is the last straight line for the 2022 baccalaureate. Some 520,000 high school students take the dreaded philosophy test on Wednesday morning, in the context of an exceptional heat wave throughout France. Since 8 a.m., final year students from general and technological high schools have been working on three subjects of their choice (two dissertations and a text commentary) provided for as part of the new formula baccalaureate, decided by

the former Minister of National Education Jean-Michel Blanquer.

France Inter,

in partnership with Philosophy Magazineunveils these formidable issues on which the candidates are working all morning.

Find in our article the answers to these topics

The subjects offered to candidates in the general stream

The two dissertation topics:

  • Do artistic practices transform the world?
  • Is it up to the state to decide what is fair?

Candidates were also offered a commentary on a text by mathematician and philosopher Antoine-Augustin Cournot, taken from “Essay on the foundations of our knowledge and on the characteristics of philosophical criticism”:

“For an observation to be qualified as scientific, it must be capable of being made and repeated in circumstances which involve an exact definition, so that at each repetition of the same circumstances one can always observe the identity of the results, at least within the limits of error which inevitably affects our empirical determinations. It is furthermore necessary that, under the circumstances defined, and between the limits of error which have just been indicated, the results must be independent of the constitution of the observer; or that, if there are exceptions, they are due to an anomaly of constitution, which manifestly renders such an individual unfit for such a kind of observation, without shaking our confidence in constancy and truth intrinsic to the observed fact. But nothing similar is found in the conditions of inner observation on which one would like to found a scientific psychology; on the one hand, it is a matter of of fleeting phenomena, elusive in their perpetual metamorphoses and in their continuous modifications; on the other hand, these phenomena are essentially variable with the individuals in whom the role of observer and that of subject of observation merge; they change, often altogether, in consequence of the varieties of constitution which have the most mobility and inconsistency, the least characteristic value or importance in the general plan of the works of nature. What do I care about the discoveries that a philosopher has made or thinks he has made in the depths of his consciousness, if I don’t read the same thing in mine or if I read something completely different there? Can this be compared to the discoveries of an astronomer, a physicist, a naturalist who invites me to see what he has seen, to feel what he has felt, and who, if I don’t I don’t have a good enough eye or a delicate enough tact, will address so many other people better gifted than I am, and who will see or feel the same thing so exactly, that I will have to go to the truth of an observation to which all those in whom are found the qualities of the witness testify?”

Subjects offered to candidates in the technology sector

The two dissertation topics:

  • Does freedom consist in obeying no one?
  • Is it right to defend your rights by all means?

The candidates were also offered a commentary on this text by Diderot, taken from “L’Encyclopédie”:

“If I could assure myself that a witness saw well, and that he wanted to tell me the truth, his testimony for me would become infallible: it is only in proportion to the degrees of this double assurance that my persuasion increases. it will never rise to a full demonstration, as long as the testimony is unique, and I consider the
particular witness; because whatever knowledge I have of the human heart, I will never know it perfectly enough to guess its various caprices, and all the mysterious springs which make it move. But what I would look for in vain in a testimony, I find it in the concurrence of several testimonies, because humanity is painted there; I can, in consequence of the laws that minds follow, affirm that the single truth has been able to bring together so many people, whose interests are so diverse, and whose passions are so opposed. Error has different forms, according to the frame of mind of men, according to the prejudices of religion and education in which they are nourished: if therefore I
see them, in spite of this prodigious variety of prejudices which differentiate nations so strongly, unite in the deposition of the same fact, I must in no way doubt its reality. The more you prove to me that the passions which govern men are bizarre, capricious, and unreasonable, the more eloquent you will be in exaggerating for me the multiplicity of errors which so many different prejudices give rise to; and the more you will confirm to me, to your great astonishment, in the persuasion in which I am, that only the truth can make so many men of an opposite character speak in the same way.

Coefficient 4 to 8 and maximum heat

Philosophy is one of the most dreaded tests by high school students, who sometimes consider it “abstract” and conducive to off-topics. It represents a coefficient of 4 for candidates for the technological baccalaureate and a coefficient of 8 for candidates for the general baccalaureate (out of a total of 100).

This year, the event takes place in a new context. An episode of high heat began all over France on Tuesday, for the whole week, with peaks that could exceed 40°C. The ministry calls on rectors and examination centers to “vigilance”.

“The State”, “freedom”, “defending one’s rights”: here are the subjects of the bac philo 2022