International Philosophy Olympiad

The International Philosophy Olympiad (IPO) is an international competition for high-school students of philosophy. The first International Philosophy Olympiad took place in 1993, by an initiative of the Department of Philosophy of Sofia University to invite a group of philosophers from various countries.

Since 2001 the International Philosophy Olympiad has been organized every year during the month of May, under the auspices of Federation Internationale des Societes de Philosophie (FISP) (International Federation of Philosophical Societies) and with the recognition and support of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), and it is open to students from all over the world.

Each country can participate with up to two pupils, with the exception of the host country, which may participate with a maximum of 10 pupils. The pupils’ selection is based on competitions organized at the national level.

The objectives of the IPO are, among others, to promote philosophical education at the secondary school level and increase the interest of high school pupils in philosophy; to promote philosophical reflection on science, art, and social life; and, by encouraging intellectual exchanges and securing opportunities for personal connections between young people from different countries, to promote the culture of peace.

During the past two decades Tokyo, Philadelphia, Buenos Aires, Seoul, Helsinki and other cities have all hosted the Olympiad. Greece had the honor of hosting the International Philosophy Olympiad for 2010.

Harvard’s Center for Hellenic Studies in Greece and the University of Patras co-organized the Olympiad in Athens (21-23 May, 2010). The Olympiad was organized under the auspices of the International Federation of Philosophical Societies and UNESCO as well as under the auspices of the Greek Ministry of Education with the support of "Doukas Schools", and it was sponsored by the Greek National Tourism Organization, Ministry of Tourism.

Annual Panhellenic Philosophical Competition

Following the organization of the IPO 2010, CHS GR worked closely with the University of Patras (Dept. of Philosophy) in establishing the ground rules for the annual Panhellenic Philosophical Competition for high school students. Since 2012, the national competition is held every year in cooperation with Greek Philosophical Society, the Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs as well as Regional Offices of Education. Every year, the final round of the competition takes place at the University of Patras in spring. Out of hundreds of participating students, who compete in the first phase of the competition taking place all over Greece, the best ones -approximately 20students- qualify in the final round, and the best students of the final round are awarded. The top two students represent Greece in the International Philosophical Competition that takes place in late spring. The annual competition progresses successfully throughout the years and the Center’s goal is to continue supporting this important initiative.

Moreover, a representative of the Center serves as a member of the Competition’s Organizing Committee, while CHS GR is also offering, every year, book prizes to the winners of the national competition.

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