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World Philosophy Day 2022

CJC World Philosophy Day Essay Writing Competition - 2022

NOTE: The annual CJC philosophy essay writing competition is open to all JC1 Students promoted to JC2.                                                                                    

Organized in celebration of - World Philosophy Day, 17th November, 2022;                          

The contemporary philosopher, Anthony Grayling, believes that philosophy should play a useful role in society and public policy (not just in academia).  

A philosophy essay by its very nature involves critical thinking, logical reasoning and conceptual analysis skills – as critical thinking and rational argumentation are characteristic methods of philosophical inquiry and analysis.

Write an essay in response to ONE of the following questions:

1) Given that everyone is born into a ‘Climate of Opinion’, to what extent can one take credit for one’s beliefs?   

2) Here is a modern argument for skepticism about the external world:

            Premise 1: You can’t know you are not in a computer simulation;

            Premise 2: If you cannot know you are not in a computer simulation, you can’t                 know anything about the external world;

            Conclusion: Therefore, you can’t know anything about the external world. 

       Critically assess the plausibility of this argument.

3) Can a critical and acute observer in the modern world avoid being thoroughly deceived by deep fakes?

4) A single political model (mode of government) cannot function in all cultures. (A view also held by Lee Kuan Yew) Critically assess this perspective.


5) ‘We are moving inexorably towards a surveillance society – Everywhere.’ Can we ensure that society benefits from this seemingly unstoppable trend?


Guidelines and requirements for writing your Philosophy Essay:

Length of Essay: At least 800 to 1500 words (feel free to exceed this if need be);

Your essay is an argumentative defense of your adopted Thesis – in which the thesis is clearly stated, explained and analyzed; arguments are rationally presented in support of the thesis; possible objections (counter-arguments) are fairly considered, objectively evaluated, and rationally refuted.

Your philosophical essay thus has five component parts:

1) The effective formulation of a Thesis – stated clearly in the introduction;                                         

2) Arguments (reasons and evidence) set out in support and defense of Thesis

3) Careful critical consideration and evaluation of counter-arguments and counter-examples (objections to Thesis);

4) Refutation of Counter-Arguments i.e. Replies to Objections;

5) Effective Conclusion – final thoughts / closing remarks;


Submit your essay in hard copy as a - word document - Times New Roman, font size 12;

Indicate on the cover page: Name in full; Identity Number, and Tutorial Group;

Declaration – state: ‘This essay is my own work’ – and signature;

Submission Date: Friday 13th January, 2023.

Teacher-in-Charge: Mr. David L Fahy, English Department, CJC