Sunday, May 22, 2011

Follow Me to Vienna

On Wednesday 25 May 2011, my students and I are leaving for Vienna at the invitation of the Austrian International Philosophy Olympiad (IPO) team. (I quote the text of the invitation below.) And here's a link for you to this year's IPO.

Professor David E. Schrader, Executive Director of the American Philosophical Association, had the initial inspiration to propose that the IPO include Spanish as one of its official languages of competition. – A student must compete in the essay writing at the IPO in a language that is not his or her own first language and which is not the main language of the country where he or she is a citizen. Before this year, the only languages sanctioned by the IPO for the competition were English, French and German. – Professor William McBride, Professor of Philosophy at Purdue University and President of the Fédération Internationale des Sociétés de Philosophie (FISP) has been of invaluable help taking David Schrader’s suggestion to the right people at the IPO. Both Professors Schrader and McBride have guided me in the steps that eventually led to our invitation to compete in the IPO.

Here's the US Delegation to the IPO Vienna 2011.

Teacher / leader

Joseph A. Murphy, Ethics (Philosophy) Department Chair, Dwight-Englewood School, Englewood NJ 


Kelly Greiss, June 2011 graduate from Dwight-Englewood School, Englewood, NJ. Kelly will be a freshman at Pitzer College in CA in 2011/2012.

Andrew Loeshelle, June 2011 graduate from Dwight-Englewood School, Englewood, NJ. Andy will be a freshman at Bucknell University in PA in 2011/2012.

Both Kelly and Andy have been studying Spanish for years. They also joined me in one of the five week academic immersion programs I lead every year to the University of Salamanca in Spain. Kelly studied there last summer. Andy studied there two years ago. Both of them have also studied Philosophy with me in courses I teach at Dwight-Englewood School: a required Ethics course for all sophomores and one or more of our major electives; Intro. to Western Philosophy, Intro. to 'Eastern' Philosophy, Bioethics, Ancient Philosophy taught in Spanish and Modern Philosophy taught in Spanish.     

I’ll be blogging about our trip throughout our stay in Vienna. You may follow us virtually to share the experience, to form questions about the IPO, to think about how to create a national American competition leading up to the IPO 2012 and beyond, and just for the fun of it.

Follow us through our days in Vienna. Come on along.

Here's the text of the IPO invitation.

"April, 18, 2011

To  Joseph Murphy

It is a great honor for us to inform you that the XIXth International Philosophy Olympiad will be held in Vienna, from May 26-29, 2011.

The Olympiad will take place in accordance with the Regulations of the IPO. (See the attached IPO Regulations.) The Vienna IPO 2011 Event will be organized by the Austrian National Organizing Committee. The website of the Vienna IPO 2011 contains more useful information. You find it at
We would like to invite Joseph Murphy and two students to participate in the Vienna IPO Event.

Each country may send a delegation which consists, at the maximum, of two upper secondary /high school students, who are selected through your National Philosophy Olympiad (or through another process consistent with the IPO Statutes), and similarly one or two teachers / professors who take responsibility for the philosophical activities of their students. So far it can be guaranteed that the costs for two students and one teacher are covered.

The Austrian National Organizing Committee will provide accommodation and meals for the official days of Vienna IPO 2011 and cover the cost for all activities in the official program of Vienna IPO 2011, while the participants from abroad will have to bear their own travel cost to Vienna, Austria. For the accommodation, see Hotel IBIS at

The day of the philosophical essay contest will be Friday, May 27. The theme of the Vienna IPO 2011 will be Power and Powerlessness of Philosophy.

All delegates are expected to arrive in Vienna no later than Thursday, May 26, 5 pm. You have already received a draft program of the Vienna IPO 2011 Event, an updated program will be sent to all delegations later.

In case you have any questions concerning the Vienna IPO 2011 Event, we kindly ask you send your queries to Barbara Conrad (

Cordially Yours,

Ms. Barbara Conrad
on behalf of  the Austrian IPO team"


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