From Observation To Knowledge

Two weeks ago, 718,890 French 18-year olds spent four hours writing philosophical essays as part of the Bac nationwide exam they must pass to graduate High School. Among the topics offered to the humanities students was “Is observing enough to know?” They must elaborate on the meaning of the terms, argue for and against an answer, quote the philosophers they were taught, and draw conclusions. And it is written long-hand, without any illustrations or hyperlinks. I couldn’t compete with them, but this particular topic resonates with me because of my time observing factories.

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