Monday, January 14, 2019

APO 2019 English Language Essay Topics

Here are the topics for Stage 1 of the 2019 essay contest. The two topics are published here and nowhere else, as it says in the 2019 brochure. For Stage 1, a student contestant must submit an English essay of no more than 800 words via email that responds to one of the two philosophy topics below.

Topic 1:

"The dreams we imagine when we are asleep should not in any way make us doubt the truth of the thoughts we have when we are awake."
René Descartes, Discourse on Method and Meditations on First Philosophy

Guiding Question: Discuss the relationship between knowing for certain and the value of doubt.

Topic 2:

“Assuming that it is possible for humans to one day build a replica of ourselves and make all the necessary neural connections into which we can upload all the “data” that makes us conscious, and that this replicant would then be considered conscious, it should be considered murder to delete that replicant’s data.”
David Chalmers, 2018

Guiding Question: Is it morally permissible to terminate (kill?) a manufactured form of consciousness?

-----oOo-----

You may respond to either one of these topics in the most philosophical way you can. We will judge the essays and choose a number of finalists who will proceed to Stage 2. The instructions for Stage 2 will be given to the finalists at the appropriate time.

You may want to consult our guide to writing philosophy essays called, How To Write a Philosophy Essay, A Guide for IPO Contestants that you can find at the following URL: 
 http://www.philosophy-olympiad.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/IPO_Essay_Guide.pdf

If you don't have an APO 2019 brochure to read all about our contest, take a look at it in the previous post in this blog.

The address to which you will send your essay is on the brochure, but for your convenience I will include it here as well. You may send in your essay using one of three methods: Send it to our US mail address to Joseph A. Murphy, American Philosophy Olympiad, Ethics and Philosophy Chair, Dwight-Englewood School, 315 East Palisade Avenue, Englewood, NJ 07631 Or send it by email to philosophyapo@gmail.com (preferred address even though it – mistakenly – does not appear on the brochure). Or to joseluismurphy@gmail.com. If you email it, please write "APO and IPO" in the subject line. If you want or need to fax it, the number is 201-569-0047.

The Stage 1 Deadline for the English Essay Submission is February 4, 2019.

We'll notify finalists by February 11, 2019. Then finalists must submit a letter of recommendation from a teacher and a letter from their school administration that grants time away from school to participate in the IPO 2019 contest. The Deadline for the submission of these letters is February 20, 2019.

The Primary Online Contest Date (Stage 2 of the contest) for finalists is February 23, 2019. The Alternate Contest Date is February 24, 2019.

All contact info is the same for all stages and for the letters.

Good luck!

2019 APO -- National HS Philosophy Essay Contest

Here are photos of the brochure for the 2019 American Philosophy Olympiad's National HS Philosophy Olympiad. You have probably been directed to this blog by either reading the brochure directly or by some other means -- it may have been mailed to you or to your school, you may have seen it on our Facebook page, or it may have been shared with you. These are not very clear photos of the brochure. We might be able to upload new images soon. In any case, the topics, which you can only read in this blog will appear in the next blog post, coming immediately after this one is posted.


Friday, December 1, 2017

APO Essay Contest Stage 1 Topics

Did you know that the philosopher, Diotima, was a woman who lived at the time of Socrates? In Plato's Symposium, Socrates tells a story about one of the lessons that Diotima gave to him. I don't have my own photo of a bust of Diotima, but I do have one of her student.

A photo of a bust of Socrates by Rembrandt,
which I took at the Rembrandt House in Amsterdam

Here are the topics for Stage 1 of this essay contest. The two topics are published here and nowhere else, as it says in the 2018 brochure. For Stage 1, a student contestant must submit an English essay of no more than 800 words via email that responds to one of the two philosophy topics below.

Topic 1:

"No knowledge is intellectually respectable unless it can be put into words."

Topic 2:

Is there in fact objective reality or is your nervous system creating it?

You may respond to either one of these topics in the most philosophical way you can. We will judge the essays and choose a number of finalists who will proceed to Stage 2. The instructions for Stage 2 will be given to the finalists at the appropriate time.

You may want to consult our guide to writing philosophy essays called, How To Write a Philosophy Essay, A Guide for IPO Contestants that you can find at the following URL: http://www.philosophy-olympiad.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/IPO_Essay_Guide.pdf

If you don't have an APO 2018 brochure to read all about our contest, take a look it in the previous post in this blog.

The address to which you will send your essay is on the brochure, but for your convenience I will include it here as well. You may send in your essay using one of three methods: Send it to our US mail address to Joseph A. Murphy, American Philosophy Olympiad, Ethics and Philosophy Chair, Dwight-Englewood School, 315 East Palisade Avenue, Englewood, NJ 07631 Or send it by email to philosophyapo@gmail.com or to joseluismurphy@gmail.com. If you email it, please write "APO and IPO" in the subject line. If you want or need to fax it, the number is 201-569-0047.

Good luck!

Monday, June 12, 2017

APO Team in Rotterdam for IPO 2017

The American Delegation to the IPO in Rotterdam. From l to r, Frank Murphy, Associate Delegate, Anna Stoneman and Gustavo Berho, APO 2017 winners, and Joseph Murphy, USA Delegation Leader.
From 25 to 28 May 2017, the 25th International Philosophy Olympiad took place in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. No less than 95 competitors from 45 countries participated in this Olympiad. The Organizing Committee, as well as the local and national partners, are proud to look back on a very successful event. They have made a short film to document the events within the full Olympiad. I present it to you here with thanks to the full team of professors, teachers, professional organizers and volunteers from Rotterdam.

All footage by Rachel Visscher, music by Tom Nestelaar. This video is also available on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YbrL6FcZUmg #ipotolerance

Memories of hundreds of people from 45 nations are fresh and full of joy from the wonderful IPO2017 in Rotterdam. Stories are now being shared in the home countries of the extraordinary people who took part in the Olympiad in The Netherlands. Congratulations to our two American winners. Cheers to all my friends from the IPO! I look forward to seeing all of you again next year in Montenegro for IPO2018.


To read more about this wonderful event and about the IPO in general go to http://www.philosophy-olympiad.org/ and/or http://ipo2017.nl/

Sunday, May 21, 2017

USA Delegation To IPO Is Ready To Go

The USA delegation to the International Philosophy Olympiad will be leaving for Rotterdam, The Netherlands on Tuesday evening May 23, 2017. The two APO winners are Anna Stoneman from Wisconsin and and Gustavo Berho the State of Washington. They will be writing an original philosophical essay on Friday competing with high school students from 45 other countries. The 46 National Delegations will also attend lectures on the theme of the IPO conference; TOLERANCE. We will also be doing philosophical tours of the hometown of Desiderius Erasmus and visiting the world famous shipyard there. This is a once in a lifetime chance for students from around the world to get together to have some serious fun and share stories and perspectives of their lives.

Check out the website of the event: www.ipo2017.nl

Wish us luck.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

APO 2017 Essay Contest Results

We're Going To Rotterdam 


The choice of the two top essays this year was very difficult. But our judges have finally made their decisions and we have confirmed the APO 2017 winners. They are Gustavo Berho from Washington state and Anna Stoneman from Wisconsin.

If you are not yet a senior in High School as of the date of this post, you will be able to participate in the APO 2018. Announcements for it will be published on this blog, the first blog address given below. On that same blog spot you will be able to read about the IPO 2017. Also, the format for the APO 2018 might be a little different and the topics will be different from the APO 2017, so read the AP-CP blog to be informed about that when the time comes in the fall.

I thank all of those who participated in the APO 2017. Thank you for your efforts to write and submit a philosophical essay to the APO. Bright students like this year’s contestants need critical and philosophical thinking to see beyond the limits of your common core of subjects in high school. Philosophical training and thinking will help high school students to go into an unknown future and make it better than any of their teachers know how to now.

I encourage all of this year’s contestants and, indeed, all of my readers to keep reading and ‘doing’ philosophy. Share your thoughts with your friends and always remember that some other people always know more than we do. But through dialogue we can all learn from each other.

By the way, you may all become a members of the AP-CP blog. The more members we have, the bigger voice we have to speak up for pre-college philosophy in the USA.