Year 12 pupil Adi secures 2nd Place in Philosophy Essay Competition

Posted by Sitara Bartle on 27 Feb 2024

Modified by Sitara Bartle on 27 Feb 2024

Year 12 pupil Adi secures 2nd Place in Philosophy Essay Competition

Well done to year 12 pupil Adi who emerged as the second-place winner in the prestigious Cogito Education philosophy essay competition. Adi's insightful exploration of the ontological argument, enriched by a meticulous examination of various philosophical perspectives, secured him this achievement out of thousands of entries.

Adi shared the journey of crafting the award-winning essay, stating, "Much of the preparation for my essay was done through discussions of the ontological argument with my teacher, Mr. Coffey." Drawing inspiration from these insightful conversations, Adi delved into Immanuel Kant's criticisms of the ontological argument, a key element in constructing a compelling essay on its soundness.

He continued, "Kant’s sophisticated and abstract argument led me to consult both those who agree and disagree with his assessment." Adi intertwined perspectives, incorporating Bertrand Russell's alignment with Kant, supported by Aristotle's distinction between accidental and essential predicates. Equally, he considered dissenting views from philosophers like Hartshorne and Quine, ensuring a comprehensive evaluation.

Reflecting on the importance of rigorous preparation, Adi revealed, "Reading philosophers who disagree with my point before writing forced me to evaluate which argument was more convincing." This methodical approach significantly contributed to the essay's depth and persuasiveness.

Adi's essay underwent refinement, incorporating Frege and Norman Malcom's reformulations to bolster the counter-argument. "Logic alone does not make the ontological argument sound," Adi asserted, showcasing the intricate layers of his philosophical analysis.

Taking a unique theological standpoint, Adi critiqued the ontological argument using insights gained from Kierkegaard, Aquinas' Summa Theologica, and Gaunilo. This distinctive approach, rooted in A-level RS coursework, earned praise for its originality and alignment with the school's ethos encapsulated in St. Anselm's motto, 'faith, seeking, understanding.'

However, Adi acknowledged the challenges posed by the strict 800-word limit in the competition. "Navigating this was certainly the biggest issue I encountered," he admitted. To overcome this hurdle, he meticulously planned the essay, ensuring a focused approach without sacrificing nuanced exploration. The stringent word count, while challenging, honed Adi's conciseness and avoidance of unnecessary tangents.

In conclusion, Adi expressed pride in securing 2nd place among 1500+ entrants. More importantly, he highlighted the invaluable feedback received from judges, emphasizing the need for precision in certain areas and the importance of limiting the use of multiple thinkers for in-depth exploration.




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