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Edgar Jones Philosophy Essay Competition


St Peter's College has established two essay prizes in Philosophy, the top prize being to the value of £250, the second prize being to the value of £150. In addition to monetary prizes, all submitted essays which in the opinion of the judges are of a high enough standard will be commended. The prizes will be advertised annually.

The aims of the prizes are to provide for students in Year 12 or the Lower 6th an opportunity to write about a philosophical issue and thereby, it is hoped, enable them to develop their abilities for independent research and thought, and encourage them to apply for an undergraduate course with Philosophy as an element.

Criteria for Entering the Competition

Entrants must be in Year 12 (or Lower 6th year) at their school or college during the academic year 2016-17. Essays must be a maximum of 2000 words in length and should seek to answer one of the questions set for the year (see below). All essays must contain the full name of the author on the first page. Accompanying the essay entrants must submit a completed entry form, which can be downloaded here. Submissions should be sent electronically to Anne Millard, Fellows’ Secretary at St Peter’s College (, to arrive by the closing date.

Criteria for Assessment

In assessing the essays, the judges will reward clarity of thought and expression and cogency in argumentation.

Questions for the 2017 competition:

1) Could we have reason to do what we don’t want to do?

2) Could we ever see an empty space?

Closing Date

The closing date for submissions this year is 11 September 2017. It is hoped to notify winners by the beginning of November.

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