Monday, April 4, 2011

Philosophy in Spanish

The following is taken directly from the Dwight Englewood School website (

Students Chosen as US Delegation to Int'l. Philosophy Olympiad

Dwight-Englewood School (D-E) proudly announces that two Upper School seniors will represent the U.S. at the International Philosophy Olympiad (IPO), scheduled to take place in Vienna, Austria, May 26-29, 2011.

Joseph Murphy, Chair of the D-E Ethics Department, confirmed recently that Kelly Greiss ’11 and Andrew Loeshelle ’11 have been accepted to participate in the 2011 IPO, through the Olympiad’s sponsoring organizations, the American Philosophical Association (APA), and the International Federation of Philosophical Societies (FISP).

The IPO was founded in 1993 and is associated with the international organization UNESCO, receiving funding in part by corporate sponsors such as Coca Cola and Generali. Open to all high school students globally who study philosophy, the IPO entails a competition in which students must compose an essay on one of 4 topics given to them at the competition. The main theme of the 2011 Olympiad is “The Power and Powerlessness of Philosophy.” The topics are submitted by philosophy teachers and professors worldwide. Students are required to write their essays in a language that is not the primary language of their country or their own mother tongue; English, French, German and Spanish are the languages allowed for the essay writing.

Students Greiss and Loeshelle were chosen to participate in the contest due to their dedicated study of philosophy at Dwight-Englewood, their approaching fluency in Spanish and for having participated in the School’s “D-E in Spain” summer language immersion program at the Universidad de Salamanca.

In addition to the essay writing competition, the IPO entails multiple collaborative discussions and ‘philosophical walks’ between students, teachers, and professors. All participants will also attend a Mayor’s reception hosted in their honor at the Vienna Town Hall, and a closing ceremony at the University of Vienna.

Murphy noted, “Hundreds of students compete in the IPO; and dozens of countries participate. Many countries have philosophy as a required aspect of their curriculum, so this is a very prestigious and highly competitive event. Our students are the very first team from the US to participate in the IPO using Spanish, which is an incredible honor for our School. Right now we are in training to prepare for the competition. We are finishing a reading of Brian David Mogck’s Writing to Reason and Historia de la Filosofia by Fernando Savater. In April and May we will be writing practice essays every week."

Murphy continues: “In a time when critical thinking is profoundly needed in our society, beyond our school, and where communications and collaboration are essential, where reflection and deep thinking are imperative, I hope that our School’s standing as the US Delegation to the IPO will inspire more students to think more deeply, philosophically, creatively, and reflectively. This can inform everything else they do, in ways that they cannot imagine yet. Suffice to say, we are quite thrilled to have this opportunity to participate in this unique international academic event.”

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