Royal Institute Of Philosophy Essay Competition


The Royal Institute of Philosophy is a charity dedicated to the advancement of philosophy in all its branches through the organisation and promotion of teaching, discussion and research of all things philosophical. The Institute is not committed to any particular philosophical school or method or, of course, any ideology.

DEBATES AND LECTURES: The Institute arranges free philosophy lectures, debates, joint talks, and discussions at 26 branches all over the country.

FUNDING AND EDUCATION: The Institute offers funding to philosophy postgraduates and brings free ten-week introductory philosophy courses to children in up to 50 schools across the UK each year. We also offer funding for conferences, award an annual essay prize, and produce philosophy teaching guides.

PUBLICATIONS: The Institute publishes two journals each year — Philosophyand Think — as well books based on our lectures and conferences.  We also produce videos of our events. Membership is open to anyone and includes a subscription to Philosophy.


In 1926, the journal Philosophy was founded to build bridges between specialist philosophers and a wider, educated public.

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Think  is ideal for use by students and teachers following courses in philosophy, religious studies, and critical thinking.

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2017 Essay Prize: Philosophy and Education

Philosophy and Education

The 1960s saw the birth of philosophy of education, in contrast to earlier studies of educational philosophies. While it soon became a specialist sub-field its origins are due to the interest taken by mainstream philosophers in issues about teaching and learning. A. Flew, D. Hamlyn, R. Hepburn, J. Hospers, M. Oakeshott, R. Peters, I. Scheffler and others brought social and political philosophy, philosophical psychology, epistemology, and aesthetics to bear on educational topics and thereby established a new nexus of theoretical and practical philosophy. Fifty years on what can contemporary philosophy offer to thinking about aspects of education? Essays addressing this question are invited from a variety of perspectives. Topics might include the development of knowledge, the nature of learning, the formation of character, the aims of education, the social role of educational institutions, and schooling and social engineering.

In assessing entries priority will be given to originality, clarity of expression, breadth of interest, and potential for advancing discussion. All entries will be deemed to be submissions to Philosophy and more than one may be published. In exceptional circumstances the prize may be awarded jointly in which case the financial component will be divided, but the aim is to select a single prize-winner.

Entries should be prepared in line with standard Philosophy guidelines for submission (see They should be submitted electronically in Word, with PRIZE ESSAY in the subject heading, to

The closing date for receipt of entries is 2nd October 2017. 

Entries will be considered by a committee of the Royal Institute of Philosophy, and the winner announced by the end 2017.  The winning entry will be published in Philosophyin April 2018.

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