National Final SPO 2017


The national final of the Swiss Philosophy Olympiad 2017 took place in Lucerne from March 30 to April 2nd.


Gold (ex-aequo) :

  • Isaias Moser, Kantonsschule Zürcher Oberland (ZH)
  • Anna Sutter, Gymnasium Kirchenfeld Bern (BE)

Silver :

  • Simon Santschi, Gymnasium Neufeld Bern (BE)
  • Océane Dupont, Collège Abbaye de St-Maurice (VS)

Bronze :

  • Gaétan Herold, Collège Abbaye de St-Maurice (VS)
  • David Melillo, Kantonsschule Wettingen (AG)

Alphabetical :

  • Lara Koull, Gymnase Intercantonal de la Broye (VD/FR)
  • Mahinarangi Salzmann, Gymnasium Immensee (SZ)
  • Aline Sidler, Gymnasium Immensee (SZ)
  • Philip Tobuschat, Kantonsschule Baden (AG)
  • Marco Zanasco, Collège Voltaire Geneva (GE)
  • Henning Zhang, Kantonsschule Wettingen (AG)


  • Dr. Jürg Berthold, University of Zurich and Kantonsschule Zürcher Oberland
  • Lara Gafner, University of Bern
  • Dr. Jonas Pfister, Gymnasium Neufeld
  • Stephanie Pereiras Gomes, University of Geneva


  • Cyril Mamin (University of Luzern): Disagreement from an epistemological point of view
  • Friedemann Bieber (University of Zürich): The Veil of Ignorance


  • Nicolas Burnand, Collège Voltaire
  • Maximilian Huber, University of Geneva
  • Dr. Angela Martin, University of Fribourg
  • Dr. Peter Zimmermann, Gymnasium Neufeld and University of Fribourg
  • Future philosophy teachers, University of Fribourg


  1. “And so the probable outcome of too much freedom is only too much slavery in the individual and the state.” (Plato, Politeia, 564a)
  2. Consider the possibility of a utility monster: whatever you give him, he is able to produce more utility than any other living being. Assuming a utilitarian position the morally right thing to do would be to give everything we can to the utility monster. Do you think this refutes utilitarianism? Or can you defend utilitarianism against this objection?
  3. “Why can’t a dog simulate pain? Is he too honest? Could one teach a dog to simulate pain? Perhaps it is possible to teach him to howl on particular occasions as if he were in pain, even when he is not. But the surroundings which are necessary for this behavior to be real simulation are missing.” (Ludwig Wittgenstein, Philosophical Investigations, 250)
  4. “(1) We are sad about the tragic ending of Anna Karenina and we know that Anna Karenina is a fictional character. (2) To believe that x (that makes us sad) exists is a necessary condition for feeling an emotion towards x. (3) We do not believe in the existence of fictional characters.” (Reformulation of the paradox of fiction of Colin Radford by Carola Barbero, 2013)