Announcement: We have our winners!

Winners, 2014 PLATO Essay Contest:

First place:  Jared Corbett – Oak Park River Forest High School, Oak Park IL
“Probabilistic Chains”

Second place:  Sydney To – Valley Christian High School, San Jose, CA
“Freedom in Degrees”

Third place:  James Drueckhammer – The Stony Brook School, Stony Brook NY
“Free Will”

Congratulations to all the winners whose essays will be published in a forthcoming issue of Questions.
Thanks to everyone who submitted essays. We enjoyed reading all the impressive entries and appreciate your participation.

The 2014-15 Essay Contest question and further requirements will be posted in October.

The PLATO High School Essay Contest awards will be given to the best philosophical essays written by high school students, in response to the year’s contest essay question.  In addition to first, second and third place prizes, there will be two honorable mention awards.

First place – $250
Second place – $150
Third place – $100

Winners will be announced by April 1. All winning essays will be published in PLATO’s journal Questions: Philosophy for Young People.

Contest Details:
Eligibility:  All high school students in the U.S. are eligible to enter.

Submission Process: Entries – including a one-paragraph bio and a cover sheet with your name, contact information (phone and email), grade and school (none of this information should appear on the essay itself) – should be emailed to:

Essay length: 2,000 words maximum

Judging:  The papers will be read and judged by a panel of high school philosophy teachers and philosophy professors.

Deadline: January 31, 2015

The PLATO Essay contest ended in 2015.

For more information or questions about the PLATO High School Essay Contest, please email:

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Divaker Mittal

I would like to ask if non – US residents can apply to the completion.

Thank you for your concern.


At this time, non-US residents cannot apply.

Amanda Grizzell

Does this essay have to be written in another language than your original ?


No, sorry about the confusion. It’s the international philosophy olympiad (IPO) that takes essays written in a non native language. For this contest please submit in english.


There have been some question about what style format essays should be written in. No one will be disqualified because for formatting or citation style. Please submit in the style and using the citation format you use for your current courses.

[…] “What is free will?” Essay Contest […]

John Smith

Would total skepticism still answer the proposed question?


You can take any position you would like to on the issue.