Alejandro Buendia wrote:The 3/3 RMP includes 1/1 Philosophy. As mentioned in the previous post, some of the philosophy answer lines will be nonstandard yet still accessible to most teams.
The 1/1 Social Science also includes civics (i.e. political science).
Almost no high schools teach philosophy (though many touch on philosophical works of importance in history classes or the occasional Socratic dialogue in English class, IB students get TOK, etc.). Very few high schoolers have an organic interest in learning philosophy, and there aren't many high school-level resources out there to help the few who are. For those reasons, there is a very limited number of philosophy topics that work well as tossups, easy parts, or middle parts in regular-difficulty high school quizbowl. Questions that stray too far beyond that limited answer space predominantly reward teams that are already studying lots of packets, and just go dead outside that select group of teams that really know what they're doing. There just isn't enough high-school-accessible material in the category to make 14/14 doable across a regular high school tournament; I can tell you this because I have tried to make 1/1 phil work in a high school tournament as recently as 2012, and it had the result I mentioned above (lots of dead tossups). I understand that accessible concept-questions can get you part of the way; I've written and edited several such concept tossups myself (e.g. "justice" in BHSAT 2012, "truth" in BHSAT 2013). I can tell you from my experience that "nonstandard" answers alone will not get you all the way there or stretch out the category enough to get you 14/14 worth of questions with good conversion among non-elite fields. Neither NAQT (0.3/0.2 per 24/24 packet) nor HSAPQ (.5/.5 per 23/21 packet) attempts to fill out this much philosophy per set, based at least in part on their experience with conversion percentages.
A similar situation is true in the social sciences. Many kids will get basic or AP-level psychology and economics (or "civics" I guess if you're counting that as a social science rather than miscellaneous), but you're quickly into much harder material beyond that small range (though some languages, basic
linguistics, basic concepts
from other discplines make it into the realm of accessibility too). That's a more detailed explanation of why I have my doubts here, and why I urge future housewriters to err on the side of caution and cut both philosophy and social science down to .5/.5. Charlie is right in the thread I linked above - in college, 1/1 of either category seems to play well, but in high school it really does not.
ex-Georgetown Day HS, ex-Yale
member emeritus, ACF