International Philosophy Olympiad

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

The International Philosophy Olympiad (IPO) is an International Science Olympiad, a philosophy competition for high school students. It is organized under the auspices of the FISP (Fédération Internationale des Sociétés de Philosophie) and supported by UNESCO.


The International Philosophy Olympiad was founded in 1993 by philosophy teachers from Bulgaria (Prof. Ivan Kolev), Romania (Prof. Elena Florina Otet), Poland (Prof. Władysław Krajewski), Turkey (Prof. Nuran Direk) and Germany (Prof. Gerd Gerhardt). It started with three participating countries and has now about 40 countries participating.

Format of Competition[edit]

Students competing in the Olympiad are given four hours to write a philosophical essay on one of four topics given. The topics are provided in the four official languages of the IPO - English, Spanish, French and German - and the student must choose to write one of these in a language other than his/her own; that is, a native French speaker would not be allowed to write in French.


There are five criteria of evaluation.

  1. Relevance to the topic
  2. Philosophical understanding of the topic
  3. Coherence
  4. Power of argumentation
  5. Originality

Evaluation proceeds in three stages:

  1. International Jury composed of teachers from different delegations form groups of about 4-5 to read certain number of the essays. Each member of a group reads the same 5-6 essays, then compares notes with other members of the same group and gives his mark/score on a scale of 10. Those above average score of 7.0 from being thus read make it to the next level. No teacher is allowed to read the essay of a student from his/her own country.
  2. About four members of the International Jury then individually reads those essays which are according to the criteria below:
  1. Those getting average 7.0 or above in previous stage
  2. Those having a difference in marking by two jury members of more than 3.0 point
  1. Those finally making a new average of 7.0 or above are recommended by the international jury to the steering board with five members from the FISP and the international committee. Each person in this board reads each essay individually. The steering board then decides the medals and honorable mentions to be given. They need not accept the ranking of essays as given by the international jury.

Selection and Training[edit]

The selection and training process varies from country to country.


In Estonia the selection process, which was initiated by philosopher Leo Luks, consists of two stages. At the first stage, students write an essay at home in their mother tongue. That means, Russian language for Russian minority is also accepted. The national jury (5 members) chooses 10 best essays for the next stage. In the second round (4 days long), finalists spend firstly 2 days together where they participate in different lectures and workshops. After that, the final competition begins, which consists of 4 different parts: 1. 4-hours essay in foreign language, as it is in IPO (maximum 30 points) 2. Test of informal logic (10 points) 3. Test of central philosophical notions and theories (10 points) 4. Oral 1 to 1 debate about one philosophical problem (10 points) Two best students represents the country at the IPO


In Germany there are three stages: a) The best two or three essays of a class (written in German) are sent to the jury (until December, 6th); the good essays will be honoured by a certificate. b) The best 26 essay-writers are invited to Muenster (four days in February), where they write again an essay (in English or French) and hear and discuss two philosophy lectures. c) The two best essay-writers in Muenster represent the country at the IPO (in May).


The IPO selection procedure in Hungary is closely related to and based on the National Students Competition in philosophy, which is embedded in a wide range of National high-school competitions organized under the auspices of the Ministry of Education. All the competitions (mathematics, etc.) are organized in 3 levels, over January - April. The competitions in philosophy involve 11th and mainly 12th grade students, altogether approx. 300 students nationwide. The first, school-level round is based on testing knowledge in history of philosophy (thus emphasizing the relevance of the curricula and maturity criteria). Students with sufficient score are eligible to enter the 2nd round. The second round is about writing an essay, students are free to select one topic out of four. The best papers are selected by a jury of Academics, which consists of Faculty staff members invited by the ME, who will invite the students to the finals, i.e. an oral examination. Hungarian is the only official language all through the national competition levels. The IPO Selection invites the best 30 students after the 2nd round. Under the supervision of the Hungarian Philosophical Society, a new Jury are being invited who will propose the 4 quotations, and they should evaluate all the papers. Students will take part at the IPO selection where all the IPO rules and regulations are respected: essay-writing, bi-lingual dictionary, timing, evaluation criteria, languages, etc. Usually approx. 15 students take part at the IPO selection and the authors of best 2 papers are proposed to participate at the IPO. Students receive assistance from their teachers to participate at the competitions, however the Philosophical Youth Camps and the „Philosophical tea-house” movement (inspired by IPO colleagues in Turkey) may also help students to gain and deepen their interest in philosophy.


The Olympiad is non-funded and thus a totally voluntary effort for both the teachers and students. The selection process, which is organized by Kedar Soni, is in two stages:

  1. Abhinav Philosopher - objective and subjective tasks online to primarily gauge students logical and verbal reasoning. Held around beginning of December by Abhinav Vidyalay. (school which coordinates the process) Top 20% are selected to the next stage.
  2. Indian Philosophy Olympiad - Essay round similar in format to the IPO competition. It is held online around January in a time-bound manner.

The two best from the stage 2 represent the country, provided they can fund themselves. Then the training program is held for a couple of weeks, to orient students to systematic philosophy and argumentation. It runs for about 12 hours a day and students need to be accommodated at the venue. Those clearing stage 1 are also invited in order to prepare them for next IPO. After the program, until the IPO, students meet 2-3 times weekly for about 3–4 hours in an online lecture room (video + whiteboard) to discuss essay topics and their arguments.


In 2005, the first year of Norway participating in an IPO, Thor Steinar Grødal just picked his two best philosophy students at Foss high school, in 2006 he and Olav Birkeland picked one each as Foss High School and Oslo Handelsgymnasium were the only ones in Oslo and possibly in the whole of Norway that offered a philosophy course for high school students. Since 2007 a new subject 'history&philosophy' (5 lessons per week in 2nd and 3rd grade) has been introduced to many high schools in Norway, and the selection process for IPO has been tied up to the Baltic Sea Philosophy Essay Competition. 100 Norwegian students from 14 schools participated in this competition in November 2011. In 2012 there was for the first time a 2nd round in Oslo March 23–24 for the 10 best Norwegian participants. These ten went to IPO Oslo 2012 on the extended quota of the host country.


The selection process was initiated in 2005 by Jonas Pfister, and 2006 was the first year Switzerland participated in an IPO. The selection process is organized by the association SwissPhilO, the president of which is Stephanie Pereiras Gomes, a former IPO participant for Switzerland. From 2005 to 2012, the selection process consisted of two stages, a first round and a second round. Since 2013 the selection process consists of three stages. At the first stage, students write an essay at school or at home. Out of these, the authors of the best essays are invited to a second round, a semi-final, where they participate in workshops and write a second essay in their mother tongue, that is German or French. Again, the authors of the best essays qualify for the next round, the national final, where the students again participate in workshops and write another essay. A jury of five members selects the two best who will represent the country at the IPO.

United States[edit]

The United States participated in IPO competitions four times until 2003. In 2001 the IPO was hosted by the US in Philadelphia. From 2003 until 2011, however, the US did not participate. At the 2009 December conference meeting of the American Philosophical Association (APA), Eastern Division teacher Joseph A. Murphy met with APA executive director, David Schrader, and told him about the curriculum for a course 'A History of Western Philosophy' taught in Spanish for American high school students in their last two years before university. Over the next year, the course was approved by the Curriculum Committee at Dwight-Englewood School (D-E). David Schrader and William McBride had been discussing ways to reanimate the US philosophy community to re-enter the IPO competitions. Adding Spanish as an official IPO language was seen to be a possible key to doing this. Spanish was added to English, French and German on a trial basis before IPO Vienna 2011. In order to participate in IPO Vienna 2011, Murphy chose two of his best philosophy students who also studied Spanish at D-E. Together they formed the 2011 US Delegation with the blessing of APA. Since then, there has been a national competition for high school students called the American Philosophy Olympiad, in which high school students from around the nation submit philosophy essays in either Spanish, French, or German in response to a given prompt. The two top essays are chosen, and those two students represent the United States at the IPO.

Czech Republic[edit]

The Czech philosophical competition for high school students was established by Tomáš Nejeschleba at the Department of Philosophy, Faculty of Arts, Palacký University in Olomouc in 2011.[1] Since 2012, the competition called “Nebojme se myslet“[2] consists of two stages. In the first stage, students write an essay on one of four topics in Czech language. The criteria are the same as in the International Philosophy Olympiad: relevance to the topic, philosophical understanding of the topic, coherence, power of argumentation, originality. The 20 best essays are qualified for the second stage in which students write a short essay in one of the IPO languages. The two best students are then qualified for the IPO. Since 2014 is the main organizer of Czech philosophical competition Jan Čížek from Palacký University. He is also the leader of Czech delegation at the IPO.

List of past and future Olympiads[edit]

Year No. Location Gold Silver Bronze Honorable Mention
1993 1 Smolyan, Bulgaria
1994 2 Petrich, Bulgaria
1995 3 Stara Zagora, Bulgaria
1996 4 Istanbul, Turkey
1997 5 Warsaw, Poland
1998 6 Braşov, Romania
1999 7 Budapest, Hungary
2000 8 Münster, Germany Ognyan Kassabov Bulgaria
Gianluca Rossi Italy
Boris Popivanov Bulgaria
2001 9 Philadelphia, United States Ute Scholl Germany
Laura Lapierre Venezuela
Felix von Lehmden Germany
2002 10 Tokyo, Japan Silvia Crupano Italy
Vasilescu Ion Gheorghe Romania
Akse Pettersson Finland
2003 11 Buenos Aires, Argentina Torsten Schoeneberg Germany
Sergio Barberis Argentina
Gabriel Abelof Argentina
Sarah Helduser Germany

Mete Tuczu Turkey
Hyun Lee South Korea
Francesco D'Acunto Italy
Wojciech Orowiecki Poland
Andrei Poamă Romania
Sezen Kayhan Turkey

2004 12 Seoul, South Korea Leopold Hess Poland
Joanna Kusiak Poland

Lukas Steinacher Austria
Mert Bahadir Reisoglu Turkey

Seungwon Chang South Korea

Matija Lavrinc Slovenia
German Diaz Argentina
Valeriya T. Vitkova Bulgaria
Elena Bellodi Italy
David Kovacs Hungary
Andreea Elena Simion Romania

2005 13 Warsaw, Poland Mikolaj Ratajczak Poland

Tomasz Przezdziecki Poland
Alexandru Marcoci Romania

Marta Sznajder Poland

Antti Saarilahti Finland
Nora Labo Romania

David Himler Austria

Patricio Kingston Argentina
Woo Chan Lee South Korea
Jutta Obertegger Italy
Jae Won Choi South Korea

Roberta Di Nanni Italy

Agnieszka Kurzemska Poland
Marcin Kotowski Poland

2006 14 Cosenza, Italy Efe Murat Balikcioglu Turkey
Mateusz Chaberski Poland
Saila Kakko Finland
Johann Alexander Germany

Santiago Auat Argentina
Stefano Burzo Italy
Margherita Busti Italy
Anna Drozdowicz Poland
Florin-Radu Gogianu Romania
Carmen Kautto Finland
Conrad Krausche Switzerland
Maximilian Huber Austria
Sara Musi Italy
Shapira Shiri Israel
Andras Schuller Hungary
Joseph Steinlechner Austria
Daniel Thoms Germany
Peter Ujma Hungary
Christian Danielov Vatchkov Bulgaria

2007 15 Antalya, Turkey Zeynep Pamuk Turkey Daria Cybulska Poland

Stefan Stefanovic Serbia

Alexander Johann Germany

Martin Hergouth Slovenia
Soh Hyun-Min South Korea

Elena Alexandra Corbu Romania

Matthias Hoernes Austria
Milena Alexandrova Alexandrova Bulgaria
Filip Taterka Poland
Clara Kropivsek Slovenia
Corina Cristine Lefter Romania
Heidi Meriste Estonia
Luca Vegetti Italy
Bernát Iváncsics Hungary
Christoph Schachenhofer Austria
Nanako Kurioka Japan

2008 16 Iaşi, Romania Jan Seidel Germany

Sergiu Matei Lucaci Romania
Maria Alexandra Baneu Romania

Conrad Krausche Switzerland

Heta Nuutinen Finland
Andrea Beghini Italy
Michal Godziszewski Poland

Arina Cristina Baibarac Romania

Helene Sorgner Austria
Denis Tramonte Italy
Tal Yankovitz Israel
Kristina Kashfullina Russia

Perczel János Hungary

Vallari Sawant India
Adrian Cristian Ardelean Romania
Toth Olivér István Hungary
Maria Ciurchea Romania
Antoine Vuille Switzerland
Yuval David Hananel Israel
Illia Gorbachev Russia
Lukas Paltanavicius Lithuania
Dalius Petrulionis Lithuania
Sebastian Köthe Germany

2009 17 Helsinki, Finland Sarri Nironen Finland
Eliza Tymianska Poland

Petar Penev Bulgaria

Kristina Kashfullina Russia

Luiza Pasca Romania

Hyun-Kyu KimSouth Korea

Ayse Dilek Izek Turkey
Pietari Kupiainen Finland
Patrick Mujunen Finland

2010 18 Athens, Greece Aljaž Jelenko Slovenia Kacper Kowalczyk Poland

Jaehyun Yoo South Korea

Tibor Backhausz Hungary

Valeriu Alexandru Cuc Romania
Josef Piras Italy

Erik Ramberg Norway

Ignas Rubikas Lithuania
Anita Ignatova Bulgaria
Anna Smertina Estonia
Alessio Rocca Italy
Paul Kuuse Estonia
Tae Heun Kim South Korea
Tapani Pulkkinen Finland
Platias Nikolaos Greece
Henning Rognlien Norway
Irina Horodinca Romania
Murel Leuenberger Switzerland
Chitra Adkar India
Nikolina Budan Croatia
Firat Akova Turkey
Karoliina Juulia Pulkkinen Finland[4]

2011 19 Vienna, Austria Nikolaj Møller Denmark Chang Hyun Choi South Korea

José Gusmão Rodrigues Portugal

Niklas Plaetzer Germany

Sakari Nuuttila Finland
Stavros Orfeas Zormbalas Greece

Mustafa Ayçiçegi Turkey

Tibor Backhausz Hungary
Franziska Bahl Austria
Miguel de la Riva Germany
Cristina Costina Diamant Romania
Vanessa Gstrein Austria
Milana Kostic Serbia
Jwa Seong Lee Korea
Luka Mikec Croatia
Dominykas Milašius Lithuania
Patrick Mokre Austria
Junho Oh Canada
Thierry Schütz Switzerland
Barbara Šoda Croatia
Marie Vestergaard-Thomsen Denmark

2012 20 Oslo, Norway Sarah Yoon South Korea

Tadas Kriščiūnas Lithuania

Jeff Granhøj Denmark

Aleksi Korpela Finland
Myrto Vlazaki Greece
Nishith Bharat Khandwala India

Niklas Plaetzer Germany

Abhinav Suresh Menon India
Stian Follevaag Ersvær Norway

Kasper Siim Viftrup Denmark

Vaclav Masek Sánchez Guatemala
Guy Yassor Israel
Sun Young Hwang South Korea
Justine Zepa Latvia
Michail Sklaskis Lithuania
Djuro Ilic Montenegro
Sadaf Soloukey Netherlands
Lars Borge Hellesylt Norway
Diogo José Martins Lopes Portugal
Corina Ezaru Romania
Darko Peric Serbia

2013 21 Odense, Denmark Róbert Palasik Hungary Theo Anders Austria

Abhinav Menon India
Hye Jin Lee South Korea

Petra Požgaj Croatia
Juan Nigri Argentina

Esteban van Volcem Belgium
Martin Kamenov Iliev Bulgaria
Anton Thorell Steinø Denmark
David Therkildsen Denmark
Magnus Baunsgaard Kris Denmark
Ida Mosegaard Denmark
Märt Belkin Estonia
Neal Graham Germany
Jonathan Krude Germany
Maria Oikonomoy-Makrygianni Greece
Lauris Zvirbulis Latvia
Misa Skalskis Lithuania
Dominika Pankow Poland
José Forte Portugal
Vraciu Cosmin Petru Romania
Denis Horvat Slovenia
Léonore Stangherlin Switzerland
Patrick Côté Switzerland

2014 22 Vilnius, Lithuania Vulpe dan Cristian Romania

Elina Karastie Finland
Jakob Gomolka Germany
Lukas Jonuška Lithuania

Jacob Karlsson Lagerros Sweden

Beatriz Santos Portugal
Iván György Merker Hungary
Abhishek Dedhe India
João Madeira Portugal
Tadas Temčinas Lithuania
Radosław Jurczak Poland
Chagajeg Soloukey Tbalvandany Netherlands

Benedikt Zӧchling Austria

Rafail Zoulis Greece
Maša Marić Croatia
Justinas Mickus Lithuania
Janko Zeković Montenegro
Francisco RÍOS VIÑUELA Spain
Bernt Johan Damslora Norway
Jani Patrakka Finland

Federico Aguilar Guatemala

Chan Park South Korea
Sophus Svarre Rosendahl Denmark
Viviana de Santis Italy
Yuki Kanai Japan
Martin Molan Slovenia
Marta-Liisa Talvet Estonia
Rūta Karpauskaitė Lithuania
Vraciu Cosmin Petru Romania

2015 23 Tartu, Estonia Iván György Merker Hungary

Antti Autio Finland

Chagajeg Soloukey Tbalvandany Netherlands

Eleftherios Chatzitheodorides Greece
David Gjorgoski Republic of Macedonia
Martin Molan Slovenia
Sandro Huber Austria
Neven Borak Slovenia
Abhishek Dedhe India
Öznur Hancı Turkey

Ludovico Machet Italy

Dārta Paula Šveisberga Latvia
Rosaria Caddeo Italy
Stanisław Jędrczak Poland
Teodora Groza Romania
Anda Maria Zahiu Romania

Ivona Janjic Serbia

Antonina Jamrozik Poland
Ana Bellamy Guatemala
Augustė Saladytė Lithuania
Konstantin Krasimirov Tumanov Bulgaria
Lara Gafner Switzerland
Helen Maria Raadik Estonia
Liisi Voll Estonia
Petar Soldo Croatia
Niklas Uhmeier Germany
Fredrik Johnsson Sweden
Zsolt Hegyesi Hungary
Kyu Bo Shim South Korea
Ragna Heyne Germany
Viachaslau Verashchahin Belarus
Nadal Abril Lucia Molina Argentina
Alžběta Vítková Czech Republic
Audun Rugstad Norway
Deyan Kirilov Madzharski Bulgaria

2016 24 Ghent, Belgium Ihsan Barış Gedizlioğlu Turkey

Eui Young Kim South Korea
Jungho Choi South Korea

Hana Samaržija Croatia

Teodora Groza Romania
Johanna U. Marstrander Norway
Drishtti Rawat India

Fabian Strobel Germany

Svit Komel Slovenia
Matthijs de Jong Netherlands
Sarp Çelikel Turkey
Sara Pyykölä Finland

Liwia Rogalewicz Poland

Anna Morandini Austria
Tathagat Bhatia India
Sonja Stiebahl Germany
Alexandre Eira Portugal
Uladzislau Voinich Belarus
Anna Skácelová Czech Republic
Ábrahám Horváth Hungary
Jan Brändle Switzerland
Matija Pušnik Slovenia
Roberta Del Pezzo Italy
Andreea Ioana Aelenei Romania
Matthias Verlinden Belgium
Emil Kotzev Bulgaria
Lilja Valtonen Finland
Aistė Grušnytė Lithuania
Helo Liis Soodla Estonia
Tomoki Ishikawa Japan
Daan Van Cauwenberge Belgium
Ruben Algoet Belgium
Pavel Belkevich Belarus
Polina Perova Russia
Frederico Cardoso Portugal
Sol Gigena Argentina [10]

2017 25 Rotterdam, Netherlands


Juha Savolainen, Pekka Elo, Satu Honkala, Rebecca Cingi (Hrsg.), IPO Helsinki Finland 2009, Publications of The Finnish National Commission for UNESCO no 85, 2010.


  1. ^ (, Tomáš Hruška. "Katedra filozofie". 
  2. ^ "Projekt - Nebojme se myslet". 
  3. ^ "International Philosophy Olympiad  » History". 
  4. ^ IPO 2010 page including list of medalists and honorable mentions
  5. ^ "International Philosophy Olympiad Vienna 2011 - News". 
  6. ^ "Results - IPO2012". 
  7. ^ "Microsoft Word Online - Work together on Word documents". 
  8. ^ "The results of IPO 2014 - International Philosophy Olympiad 2014". 
  9. ^ "Winners of the 23rd International Philosophy Olympiad 2015". 
  10. ^ "Results – International Philosophy Olympiad 2016". 

External links[edit]