IPO 2015 Estonia

The International Philosophy Olympiad 2015 took place in Tartu, Estonia, from May 14 to 18. Switzerland was represented by:

  • Lara Gafner, Gymnasium Neufeld, HONORABLE MENTION
  • Elias Meile, Kantonsschule am Burggraben

Congratulations to both of them!



  1. “The adversaries of philosophical literature argue, rightly, that the signification of a novel or a play, or of a poem for that matter, cannot be translated into abstract concepts. Otherwise, why construct a fictional apparatus around ideas that one could express more economically and clearly in more direct language? The novel is justified only if it is a mode of communication irreducible to any other. While the philosopher and the essayist give the reader an intellectual reconstruction of their experience, the novelist claims to reconstruct on an imaginary plane this experience itself as it appears prior to any elucidation.” Margaret Simons
  2. “Death and life, survival and perishing, success and failure, poverty and wealth, superiority and inferiority, disgrace and honor, hunger and thirst, cold and heat–these are the transformations of events, the proceedings of fate. […] So there is no need to let them disrupt our harmony.” Zhuangzi
  3. “Thoughts are neither things of the external world nor representations. A third domain has to be recognized. What belongs to this domain has in common with representations the fact that it cannot be perceived by the senses, but with things the fact that it needs no supporting subject, on the consciousness of which it depends.” Gottlob Frege
  4. Some philosophers and theologians since Plato have claimed that the human body is a kind of prison of the soul. Michel Foucault has recently suggested that “the soul is a prison of the body” (Surveiller et punir, p. 34). Consider some of the conceptions and arguments that might support these opposing views.