Olympiad Regulations

International Philosophy Olympiad

(Organized under the auspices of the International Federation of Philosophical Societies and UNESCO)

Regulations concerning the organization of the International Philosophy Olympiads


The International Philosophy Olympiads (IPO), which is a competition for high-school pupils, first took place in 1993, by an initiative of the Department of Philosophy of Sofia University to invite a group of philosophers from various countries. The founding members were: Ivan Kolev (Bulgaria), Gerd Gerhardt (Germany), Katalin Havas (Hungary), Wladislaw Krajewski (Poland), Florina Otet (Romania), Nuran Direk (Turkey). These Olympiads have also been welcomed by UNESCO (see "Conclusions of the International Study Days: Philosophy and Democracy in the World", 15-16 February 1995).

Since 2001 the International Philosophy Olympiads have been organized under the auspices of FISP and with the recognition and support of UNESCO.

These Regulations were prepared in accordance with the wish of the International Committee of IPO to cooperate with FISP in the organization of the Olympiads, expressed in its letter of May 9, 1999, and in accordance with FISP Statutes (art. 2/f). They were approved, in their original version, by the IPO Organizing Committee in its meeting held in Münster on May 5, 2000, and subsequently by the Steering Committee of FISP in its meeting held in Istanbul, on September 16, 2000.

  1. Objectives

    The objectives of the IPO are:
    • to promote philosophical education at the secondary school level and increase the interest of high school pupils in philosophy;
    • to encourage the development of national, regional, and local contests in philosophy among pre-university students worldwide;
    • to contribute to the development of critical, inquisitive and creative thinking;
    • to promote philosophical reflection on science, art, and social life;
    • to cultivate the capacity for ethical reflection on the problems of the modern world; and,
    • by encouraging intellectual exchanges and securing opportunities for personal contacts between young people from different countries, to promote the culture of peace.
  2. Organization

    The IPO is organized every year in May, by one of the participating countries. It is open to pupils from every country in the world who are enrolled in a high school at the time of the competition. The National Organizing Committee of the host country may decide to adopt a leading theme of the Olympiad. Such a theme, however, will be used only for the series of lectures and workshops offered to the participants and should not be dominant in the selection of contest topics.
  3. Each country can participate with one or two pupils, with the exception of the host country, which may participate with a maximum of 10 pupils.
  4. The selection of the pupils who will participate in an International Philosophy Olympiad is made after competitions organized at the national level; but in exceptional cases other methods may be followed subject to the approval of the Steering Board. These national competitions should be organized by, or under the auspices of, the national philosophical society which is a member of FISP. If a national society does not exist or if, though it exists, it is not willing to organize the national Olympiads, or if another method has been pursued in the past, other procedures may be followed, but in all cases these procedures are subject to the approval of the Steering Board of the International Philosophy Olympiads.
  5. Administration of the IPO

    The administration of the IPO is carried out by the following bodies:
    1. The International Committee consists of the delegation leaders of all those countries that have already organized an IPO.

      The International Committee of the IPO will meet every year on the occasion of the Olympiads, and will discuss measures to be taken for the future development of IPO. It is chaired by the President of the current National Organizing Committee. Each year it chooses two of its members to represent it on the Steering Board and makes a decision concerning the country in which the next Olympiad will take place. The International Committee has the right to exclude from the IPO persons who, or delegations which, have violated IPO regulations. It is also authorized to elect two or three of its members to consider proposals for changes in these statutes and to prepare a report on these proposals in collaboration with the FISP members of the Steering Board; proposals agreed to by a 2/3 majority of the International Committee will then be submitted to the FISP Steering Committee.
    2. The Steering Board of the IPO consists of:
      1. a representative of UNESCO.
      2. three members of the FISP Steering Committee and/or representatives chosen by it.
      3. two members of the International Committee, elected each year by it.

        It is chaired by the President of FISP (or his/her representative).

        This Board collaborates with the IPO National Organizing Committee for the successful preparation and realization of the competition. In particular it helps with the diffusion of information through the FISP Newsletter and in other ways, helps the National Organizing Committee to find international financial support for the IPO, decides on the distribution of prizes, and in case of any dispute takes the final decision.
    3. The National Organizing Committee.

      The host country will establish a National Organizing Committee. The National Organizing Committee is constituted each year from June 1 to May 31 and is responsible for organizing the annual IPO. It is expected to coordinate its planning with the International Committee and to keep it informed of its decisions. After the IPO is held, the National Organizing Committee will send a full report of the competition and its outcome to the International Committee, to the Steering Board, to the FISP Steering Committee, and to the other participants.
    4. The International Jury consists of all the delegation leaders and teachers.
  6. The Competition
    1. Before March 1 of the year of the competition, each delegation leader is expected to send one proposal of a topic to the Secretary General of FISP. This proposal (a short quotation – not longer than five lines – or a question) must be submitted in at least one of the IPO languages and it must include the correct source. These proposals will be circulated among the FISP members of the Steering Board, who will select four topics from among those sent and/or other topics of their choice. The topics selected will be printed in all three IPO languages.
    2. Writing the Essays
      1. Every student writes an essay on one of the four topics given to them.
      2. The essay must be written in one of the following languages: English, German, French, Spanish; however, it must not be written in the official language(s) of the student’s state (e.g., a German does not write in German).
      3. The time of writing is 4 hours.
      4. The names of the authors of all essays are encoded and not known to the assessors until the final ranking is fixed.
    3. Grading the essays
      1. The criteria of evaluation are: relevance to the topic, philosophical understanding of the topic, persuasive power of argumentation, coherence, and originality.
      2. Each assessor gives his or her marks on a scale of 1 to 10 points, using intervals of .5.
        • 7.5-10 points means: I suggest this essay for the next stage.
        • 5.5- 7 points means: I myself don't suggest this essay, but I will agree if somebody else selects this essay.
        • 1- 5 points means: I suggest that this essay should not be accepted for the next stage.
      3. At the first stage of the grading each essay is marked by four assessors. If there are more than 3 points of difference among the individual marks, a fifth assessor will be appointed. At the end of the first stage all the essays which have received an average grade of at least 7 points are selected for the second stage.
      4. At the second stage each remaining essay is marked by two additional assessors. The average mark of an essay is calculated on the basis of all the marks it has received – both the marks of the assessors at the first stage and the marks of the two assessors at the second stage. At the end of the second stage the Jury of the IPO selects as many of the best essays as it wishes for consideration in the third stage.
      5. At the third stage the Steering Board will decide on the distribution of prizes.
    4. Awards

      Awards are symbolic “medals”: golden, silver, and bronze, and honorable mention. The Steering Committee may grant more than one medal in each category.

      Other Points
    5. The date of the International Philosophy Olympiad is announced and communicated every year by the President of the National Organizing Committee to all participating countries before October 1. He or she also sends a letter of invitation to those who express their intention to participate in the Olympiad of that year.
    6. The host country undertakes to provide, at a minimum, the accommodation (including meals) expenses of two pupils and one teacher (delegation member) from each country, as well as members of the Steering Board and the International Committee who are not otherwise covered.
    7. The National Organizing Committee decides about the value of the prizes to be offered to the winners of the competition.
    8. The public and guests are invited to the opening and closing ceremonies; admission of guests to other activities of the IPO must be approved by the International Committee.
    9. The secretariat of the International Committee of IPO is located in the Department of Philosophy of Sofia University, Bulgaria. It is charged with the task of preparing and maintaining the archival records as follows:
      1. The list of topics used at the Olympiads,
      2. The essays written by the participants,
      3. The minutes of the Olympiads,
      4. Internet resources for the Olympiads (www.philosophy-olympiad.org)
      5. All other relevant material.
It prepares the Bulletin of IPO.

These revised rules of the IPO have been adopted, in accordance with existing statutes, by consensus of a combined meeting of the Steering Board and the Organizing Committee held in Istanbul, September 4 and 5, 2006.

History of the IPO

National philosophy olympiads have been held in Bulgaria since 1988, organized by the Faculty of Philosophy of Sofia University. On the initiative of the Bulgarian Committee of the (national) philosophy olympiad, the event was opened for international participation in the early 1990ies, resulting in the:

  • International Philosophy Olympiad (IPO) held in Bulgaria in 1993.
  •  IPO: May 1994, Petric, Bulgaria. Participants: Bulgaria, Rumania, Turkey, Poland, Germany.
  •  IPO: May 1995, Stara Zagora, Bulgaria. Participants: Bulgaria, Romania, Turkey, Poland, Germany.
During the III. IPO, the “International Organizing Committee for IPO” was created with the adoption of a Letter of Intent. Its secretariat is located at Sofia University (Prof. Ivan Kolev). At a meeting of experts of philosophy education held at the UNESCO Headquarters in Paris in February 1995 in connection with UNESCO’s project on “Philosophy and Democracy in the World,” it was decided to promote the organization of national and international competitions along the lines of the philosophy olympiads with the aim of “encouraging the practice of philosophical, critical thinking and stimulating, through competition, the interest of young people in philosophy.”

IV. IPO: May 1996, Istanbul, Turkey. Participants: Turkey, Bulgaria, Romania, Poland, Hungary, Germany.

Unesco declares the IPO as “perfectly consonant with the organzation’s concerns.”

V. IPO: May 1997, Warszaw, Poland. Participants: Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, Lithuania, Germany, Turkey, Poland.

VI. IPO: April 1998, Brasov, Romania. Participants: Romania, Bulgaria, Poland, Turkey, Germany, Hungary, Ukraine, Albania.

VII. IPO: May 1999, Budapest, Hungary. Participants: Hungary, Bulgaria, Poland, Turkey, Romania, Ukraine, Germany, USA, Argentina, Italy, Slovenia.

VIII. IPO: May 2000, Münster, Germany. Participants: Argentina, Bulgaria, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovenia, Turkey, USA.

The Organizing Committee elaborates a new statute, on the basis of which the IPO will in future be organized under the auspices of the International Federation of Philosophical Societies (Fédération Internationale des Sociétés de Philosophie, FISP).

IX. IPO: May 2001, Philadelphia, USA. Participants: Argentina, Bangladesh, Bulgaria, Germany, Italy, Japan, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovenia, Turkey, Uruguay, USA, Venezuela, Zimbabwe.

X. IPO: May 12-16, 2002, Tokyo, Japan. Participants: Argentina, Bulgaria, Finland,Germany, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Korea, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovenia, Turkey, Ukraine.

XI IPO: May 7-10, 2003, Buenos Aires, Argentina. Participants: Argentina, Bulgaria, Chile, Colombia, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Korea, Lithuania, Paraguay, Poland, Romania, Slovenia, Turkey, Ukraine, Uruguay, USA. (based on information provided by Dr. Gerd Gerhardt and Prof. Katalin Havas)

XII IPO: May 19 – 23, 2004, Seoul, South Korea, Participants: Argentina, Austria, Bulgaria, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Korea, Lithuania, Paraguay, Poland, Romania, Slovenia, Turkey, Ukraine, Uruguay

XIII IPO: May 19 –23, 2005, Warsaw, Poland,

XIV IPO: May 17-19, 2006, Cosenza, Italy,

Past Essay Topics

1993 (Bulgaria):
  • Home is far more a state of mind than landscape. (G. Bachelard)
  • Children are antiquities. (G. Bachelard)
  • Everything we see could be otherwise. (Wittgenstein)
  • Without „now“ there wouldn’t be time and without time there wouldn’t be „now“. (Aristotle)
1994 (Bulgaria):
  • Der Mensch ist für den Menschen ein "Gott". (Spinoza)
  • Wo ist die Zeit geblieben? Bin ich nicht in einen tiefen Brunnen gefallen? Die Welt schläft. (Nietzsche)
  • Wenn Beine und Arme einen eigenen Willen hätten, wären sie nicht (in der Lage der) Glieder geblieben. (Pascal)
1995 (Bulgaria):
  • Everyone is someone else and no one is himself. (M. Heideg­ger)
  • Actually it is impossible for us to consider ourselves non-existent. (M. Unamuno)
  • Should we start from the premise that one is totally forbid­den to do injustice, or should we consider that under some cir­cumstances that is permitted? (Plato)
  • To be a philosopher means to travel all the time; questions in philosophy are more essential than answers. (K. Jaspers)
1996 (Turkey):
  • Nothing is true, everything is permitted... (Nietzsche)
  • The evil in the world originates always from ignorance, and good will may cause as much damage as malice, if it is not enlightened. (Camus)
  • The limits of your language are the limits of your world. (Witt­genstein)
  • So act that you treat humanity in your person, as well as in the person of every other human being, also as a goal, never as a means. (Kant)
1997 (Poland):
  • Is philosophy a science?
  • Der Künstler läßt uns durch sein Auge in die Welt blicken. (Schopenhauer)
  • Justice without force is powerless, force without justice is tyrannical. (Pascal)
  • The idea that one should seek the truth for its own sake doesn’t make sense to us pragmatists. We cannot regard the truth as the aim of an investigation. The aim of an investigation is rather to come to an agreement between people about what to do and about the intended ends as well as the means, which we can realize these ends with. [...] All the descriptions we can give of things are descriptions which conform with our ends. [...] All we have to know is whether there are competing descriptions which are more useful to our purposes. (Richard Rorty: Relativism: To discover and to invent. In: Information Philosophie 1/1997, p. 14-16)
1998 (Romania):
  • Tatsächlich haben wir zwei Arten von Moral nebeneinander: eine, die wir predigen, aber nicht praktizieren, und eine andere, die wir praktizieren, aber selten predigen. (B. Russell)
  • Wir sehen die Welt so, wie wir sie sehen wollen. (Schopenhauer)
  • Der Mensch wird durch die anderen geschaffen. (Montaigne)
  • Übrigens ist mir alles verhaßt, was mich bloß belehrt, ohne meine Tätigkeit zu vermehren oder unmittelbar zu beleben. (Goethe)
1999 (Hungary):
  • It is impossible to conceive anything at all in the world, or even out of it, which can be taken as good without qualification, except a good will. (Immanuel Kant)
  • Desire is the essence of the human being. (Benedictus Spinoza)
  • What we call ‘laws’ are hypotheses or conjectures which always form a part of some larger system of theories and which, therefore, can never be tested in isolation. (Karl R. Popper)
  • Is knowledge power?
2000 (Germany):
  • Time is not something which exists of itself [...]. Time is, therefore, a purely subjective condition of (human) intuition [...] and in itself, apart from the subject, it is nothing. (Immanuel Kant, Kritik der reinen Vernunft, B 49 A33 / B 51 A35)
  • The passing from the state of nature to civil society produces a remarkable change in man; it puts justice as a rule of conduct in the place of instinct, and gives his actions the moral quality they previously lacked. (Jean-Jacques Rousseau: The Social Contract)
  • A process which led from the amoeba to man appeared to the philosophers to be obviously a progress – though whether the amoeba would agree with this opinion is not known. (Bertrand Russell)
  • All men naturally desire knowledge. (Aristotle, The Metaphysics, Book I. 980a)
2001 (USA):
  • The laws of conscience, which we pretend to be derived from nature, proceed from custom […]. (Michel de Montaigne: Essais. 1595, chapter XXII)
  • If we extend unlimited tolerance even to those who are intolerant, if we are not prepared to defend a tolerant society against the onslaught of the intolerant, then the tolerant will be destroyed, and tolerance with them. (K.R.Popper: The Open Society and its Enemies. Vol.I. Routledge, London 1945, p. 265)
  • I just had to consult myself about what I want to do, everything I feel to be good is good, everything I feel to be bad is bad… (Rousseau)
  • Hereby it is manifest, that during the time men live without a common power to keep them all in awe, they are in that condition, which is called war; and such a war as is of every man, against every man. (Hobbes, Leviathan, Ch. XIII)
2002 (Japan):
  • So you would have us qualify our former notion of the just man by an addition. We then said it was just to do good to a friend and evil to an enemy, but now we are to add that it is just to benefit the friend if he is good and harm the enemy if he is bad? (Plato, Republic)
  • Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. ( George Santayana 1863-1952, The Life of Reason, ch.12)
  • But to be able to say that a point is black or white, I must first know under what conditions a point is called white or black; in order to be able to say: “p” is true (or false), I must have determined under what conditions I call “p” true, and thereby determine the sense of the proposition. (L. Wittgenstein, Tractatus Logico-Philosphicus)
  • It is another paradox, but God as the true absolute must be Satan too. Only then can God be said to be truly omniscient and omnipotent. […] The absolute God must include absolute negation within himself, and must be the God who descends into ultimate evil. (Nishida Kitaro,1870-1945, Last Writing – Nothingness and the Religious Worldview)
2003 (Argentina):
  • The laws of conscience, which we pretend to be derived from nature, proceed from custom. (Michel de Montaigne, Essais, 1595, chapitreXXII)
  • The maxims of the philosophers on the conditions under which public peace is possible shall be consulted by states which are armed for war (I. Kant, Perpetual Peace)
  • The existence of this inclination to aggression, which we can detect in our selves and justly assume to be present in others, is the factor which disturbs our relations with our neighbour and which forces civilisation into such a high expenditure of energy. In consequence of this primary mutual hostility of human beings, civilised society is perpetually threatened with disintegration. (Freud, Civilisation and its Discontents)
2004 (South Korea)
  • The decisive argument which is employed by common sense against freedom consists in reminding us of our impotence. Far from being able to modify our situation at our whim, we seem to be unable to change ourselves. I am not "free" either to escape the lot of my class, of my nation, of my family, or even to build up my own power or my fortune or to conquer my most insignificant appetites or habits. (Jean-Paul Sartre, Being and Nothingness)
  • The will to truth requires critique - let us define our task in this way - the value of truth must for once, by way of experiment, be called into question ...(Friedrich Nietzsche, On the Genealogy of Morals, 3-24)
  • In fact, history does not belong to us, but we belong to history. (Hans-Georg Gadamer, Truth and Method, 1989)
  •  Does science need philosophy?
2005 (Poland)
  • If I had to choose between betraying my country and betraying my friend, I hope I should have the guts to betray my country. (E.M. Forster)
  • Today, the truth is dispersed across many universes of discourse which can no longer be arranged in a hierarchy. However, in each of these discourses, we search tenaciously for insights that can convince all. (Jürgen Habermas)
  • Hedonism, pessimism, utilitarianism, eudaemonism – all these systems that measure the value of things taking into account the pleasure or pain that go along with them, that is to say, according to any non-core condition or facts, are seen as not going into depth and as naïve. Any man with his constructive faculty in place and the conscience of an artist can only regard this from a distance with irony and pity. (Friedrich Nietzsche)
  • Language is a labyrinth of paths. You approach from one side and know your way about; you approach the same place from another side and no longer know your way about. (Ludwig Wittgenstein)
2006 (Italy)
  • To know a thing we must love it, and to love a thing we must know it. (Kitaro Nishida)
  • For a large class of cases – though not for all – in which we emply the word ‘meaning’ it can be defined thus: the meaning of a word is its use in the language. (Ludwig Wittgenstein)
  • The philosophers have interpreted the world, in various ways; the point is, to change it. (Karl Marx)
  • In short, the actions of man are never free; they are always the necessary consequence of his temperament, of the received ideas, and of the notions, either true or false, which he has formed to himself of happiness; of his opinions, strengthened by example, by education, and by daily experience. (Paul-Henri Dietrich Holbach)

2007 (Turkey)

  • It follows, plainly, from the explanation given above, of the foundation of state, that the ultimate aim of government is not to rule, or restrain, by fear, nor to exact obedience, but contrariwise, to free everyman from fear, that he may live in all possible security; in other words, to strengthen his natural right to exist and work, without injury to himself and others. -- Spinoza, Theological-Political Treatise, chapter XX)
  • There are two things, that fill the mind with ever new and increasing admiration and awe... – the starry sky above me and the moral law within me. -- Immanuel Kant, Critique of Practical Reason, Conclusion
  • Space is not in the subject , nor is the world in space. -- Heidegger, Being and Time
  • And for this reason justice is regarded as the highest of all virtues,… and as the proverb has it, “In justice every virtue is summed up.” It is complete virtue and excellence in the fullest sense, because it is the practice of complete virtue. It is complete because he who possesses it can make use of his virtue not only by himself but also in his relations with his fellow men. -- Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics

2008 (Romania)

º Is the person identical with its body?

º  It is true that, in democracies, the people seems to do what it wishes; but political freedom does not at all consist in doing what one wishes. -- Montesquieu, De l'Esprit des lois XI, 3

º  Where there is no common power, there is no law; where no law, no injustice. –  Hobbes, Leviathan 1, 13

º  A free man must be able to endure it when his fellow men act and live otherwise than he considers proper. He must free himself from the habit, just as soon as something does not please him, of calling for the police.

-- Von Mises, Liberalism in the Classical Tradition

2009 (Finland)

I. "If, then, there is some end of things we do, which we desire for its own sake (everything else being desired for the sake of this), and if we do not choose everything for the sake of something else (for at that rate the process would go on to infinity, so that our desire would be empty and vain), clearly this must be the good and the chief good." -- Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics

II. "In accordance with reason there is only one way that states in relation with one another can leave the lawless condition, which involves nothing but war; it is that, like individual human beings, they give up their savage (lawless) freedom, accommodate themselves to public coercive laws, and so form an (always growing) state of nations (civitas gentium), that would finally encompass all the nations of the earth." -- Kant, Toward Perpetual Peace

III. Must a work of art be beautiful in order to be a work of art, or may a work of art be ugly as well? If the latter is possible, why should we take an interest in it?

IV. It is not just the existence of God, but rather the very coherence of the idea of God, that is problematic.

2010 (Greece)

1.      “Der Philosoph behandelt eine Frage; wie eine Krankheit.” – Ludwig Wittgenstein, Philosophische Untersuchungen §25 

“The philosopher’s treatment of a question is like the treatment of an illness.” – Philosophical Investigations 

“Le philosophe traite une question; comme une maladie.” – Recherches Philosophiques

 2.      Do the values that are called ‘human rights’ have independent and universal validity, or are they historically and culturally relative human inventions?

Les valeurs appelées « droits humains » ont-elles une validité indépendante et universelle, ou sont-elles des constructions humaines susceptibles de varier historiquement et culturellement? 

Verhalten sich die Werte die sich heissen « Menschenrechte » relativ zu den historischen oder kulturellen Verhältnisse, oder haben sie eine selbstständige und universelle Gültigkeit?

 3.      “Toute philosophie est par nature engagée. Mais elle a pour tâche de choisir un ethos plutôt qu’un autre, et non un parti plutôt qu’un autre.” – Giulio Preti, Praxis et empirisme (1936)

“Every philosophy is by nature committed. But it has as its task to choose one ethos rather than another, not one party rather than another.” 

“Jede Philosophie ist von Natur aus engagiert. Aber sie hat als ihre Aufgabe ein Ethos über ein anderes  zu wählen, und nicht eine Partei über eine andere.”  

4.       “For man, when perfected, is the best of animals; but, when separated from law and justice, he is the worst of all.” – Aristotle, Politics I, 1253a31

“Wie der Mensch in seiner Vollendung das edelste aller Geschöpfe ist, so ist er, losgerissen von Gesetz und Recht, das schlimmste von allen.” 

“Si l’homme, en effet, à son point de perfection, est le meilleur des animaux, il est aussi, quand il rompt avec la loi et la justice, le pire de tous.”

2011 (Austria)

1.„Wer lernt aber nicht denkt, ist verloren; wer denkt aber nicht lernt, ist in Gefahr."

Konfuzius, Analekten 2.15.

"He who learns but does not think is lost; he who thinks but does not learn is in danger."

Confucius, Analects 2.15.

« Celui qui apprend et ne pense pas est perdu ; celui qui pense et n'apprend pas est en

danger. »

Confucius, Entretiens 2.15

"El que aprende sin pensar está perdido. El que piensa sin aprender está en peligro."

Confucio, Analectas, 2.15.


2. „Dem Weisen steht die ganze Welt offen. Denn der Kosmos in seiner Gänze ist das

Vaterland einer guten Seele."

Demokrit aus Abdera, Fragment 247.

"To a wise man the whole world is open. For the whole cosmos is the fatherland of a good


Democritus of Abdera, fragment 247.

« À un homme sage le monde entier est ouvert, car le cosmos dans son ensemble est la patrie

d'une âme noble. »

Démocrite d'Abdère, fragment 247.

"El mundo entero se abre al sabio, ya que un alma noble tiene todo el cosmos como patria."

Demócrito de Abdera, fragmento 247.


3. "Thus the distinct boundaries and offices of reason and of taste are easily ascertained. The

former conveys the knowledge of truth and falsehood: the latter gives the sentiment of

beauty and deformity, vice and virtue. The one discovers objects as they really stand in

nature, without addition or diminution: the other has a productive faculty, and gilding or

staining all natural objects with the colours, borrowed from internal sentiment, raises in a

manner a new creation..."

David Hume, An Enquiry concerning the Principles of Morals (1751).

„So sind die unterschiedlichen Grenzen und Funktionen von Vernunft und Geschmack

leicht zu bestimmen. Die erstere liefert die Erkenntnis von Wahrheit und Falschheit; die

letztere gibt uns das Gefühl von Schönheit und Hässlichkeit, von Laster und Tugend. Die

eine entdeckt Gegenstände, wie sie sich wirklich in der Natur befinden ohne etwas

hinzuzufügen oder wegzunehmen; der andere hat ein produktives Vermögen und errichtet

auf bestimmte Weise eine neue Schöpfung, indem er alle natürlichen Gegenstände mit von

inneren Gefühlen entlehnten Farben ziert oder verunziert..."

David Hume, Eine Untersuchung über die Prinzipien der Moral (1751).

« Aussi détermine-t-on facilement les différentes limites et fonctions de la raison et du goût.

La première nous livre la connaissance de la vérité et de la fausseté, le second nous procure

le sentiment de la beauté et de la laideur ainsi que du vice et de la vertu. L'une découvre des

objets tels qu'ils se trouvent réellement dans la nature, sans rien y ajouter ou enlever, l'autre

possède une faculté productive et – en ornant ou enlaidissant tous les objets naturels par

des couleurs empruntées aux sentiments internes – érige d'une certaine façon une nouvelle

création... »

David Hume, Enquête sur les principes de la morale (1751).

"Así, las fronteras y oficios de la razón y del gusto pueden fijarse con facilidad. La primera

procura el conocimiento de la verdad y de la falsedad; éste da el sentimiento de belleza y

deformidad, de vicio y de virtud. La una descubre los objetos tal y como están realmente en

la naturaleza, sin adición ni disminución. El otro tiene una facultad productora; y

embelleciendo y tiñendo todos los objetos naturales con los colores que toma del

sentimiento interno, origina, en cierto modo, una nueva creación..."

David Hume, Investigación sobre los principios de la moral (1751).


4. "Art is not a copy of the real world. One of the damn things is enough."

Nelson Goodman, Languages of Art (1976).

"Kunst ist keine Kopie der wirklichen Welt. Eins von den verdammten Dingen reicht."

Nelson Goodman, Kunstsprache (1976).

« L'art n'est pas une copie du monde réel. C'en est assez avec l'un des deux. »

Nelson Goodman, Langages de l'art (1976).

"El arte no es una copia del mundo real. Una de esas dos malditas cosas ya es suficiente."

Nelson Goodman, Lenguajes del arte (



Framework Schedule of the IPO

The IPO takes place every year in May and lasts four to five days:

1st day: Arrival, welcoming and introduction of all delegations. Meeting of the International Committee and organizing the work of the jury

2nd day: Essay-writing (four hours). In the afternoon: sight-seeing for the students. Assessment of the essays. (1st lecture on the theme of the IPO)

3rd day: Guided tour for all participants. (2nd lecture)

4th day: Award ceremony. – Farewell party. (3rd lecture)

5th day: Departure

On the 3rd or 4th day there should be time to discuss the theme of the IPO.

Past Cooperating Institutions

  • UNESCO (e.g. in Poland, Japan /UN University/, Argentina and Korea),
  • Ministry of Education (e.g. in Poland, Romania, Hungary, Germany, Argentina, South Korea),
  • Foreign Office (e.g. in Germany),
  • Regional Councils (e.g. in Germany),
  • Universities (e.g. in Bulgaria, Poland, Germany, Japan),
  • Grammar schools and Colleges (e.g. in Romania, Turkey, USA),
  • Lions Clubs, Rotary Clubs (e.g. in Turkey, Germany),
  • Banks (e.g. in Germany).