ABOUT

The inaugural Irish Young Philosopher Awards Festival (IYPA) was held on Friday 18 May, 2018 at University College Dublin. Over 450 people attended the festival to view philosophy projects presented by over 180 finalists from primary and secondary schools across Ireland. President Higgins, who was guest of honor at the Festival, spoke about the importance of philosophy for all young people in Ireland. The IYPA initiative was launched by President Michael D. Higgins and Sabina Higgins at Áras an Úachtaráin on Thursday 16th November, 2017.

The idea of the Irish Young Philosopher Awards (IYPA) was created by Dr Danielle Petherbridge (UCD School of Philosophy) and the initiative founded together with Dr Áine Mahon (UCD School of Education), in the College of Social Sciences and Law. The aim behind the IYPA is for primary and secondary school students to explore philosophy through a nationwide award program and festival. The students created complex projects and were judged according to their critical and ethical thinking, creativity, collaboration, philosophical analysis and innovation.

Students submitted philosophy projects in various mediums including posters, films, essays, and podcasts. They also visualized their philosophical thinking in mind-maps or posters. Students from third to sixth class of primary school, plus all students at post-primary level, on the island of Ireland were eligible to participate.

The Grand Prize was awarded by President Higgins to transition-year student Luke Rickard for his project entitled ‘Is it Ethical for Robots to be Caregivers’? Other prizes were awarded to students from around Ireland for projects on questions including: ‘why do we hate?’, the ethics of self-driving cars, gender inequality, perception, identity, the question of free will, what is bullying and should we always follow rules.

THIRD AND FOURTH CLASS:

RUNNER-UP

Fay Leigh O’Keefe, Riana, Elena Stancea and Shalya Crotty
Canal Way Educate Together National School
Project: When Do We Become an Adult?

WINNER

Alin Doljsai and Oskar Kable
Canal Way Educate Together National School
Project: Shadows are Sneaky

Fifth and Sixth Class:

RUNNER-UP

Nina Devine
Individual Entrant
Project: A Charter of Rights for Animals

WINNER

Aidan Mulligan
Individual Entrant
Project: Morals for Machines: Thinking about the Ethics of Self-Driving Cars

First, Second and Third Year:

RUNNER-UP

Caoimhe Cronin and Emilie Badin
Jesus and Mary College, Goatstown
Project: Should We Always Follow the Rules

WINNER

Aaron Rooney, Tuan Moynihan Downes and Ebyn Girling
Individual Entrant
Project: Machine Creativity (The Difference Between Robots and Machines)

Transition, Fifth and Sixth Year:

RUNNER-UP

Sarah Oliver
Donabate Community College
Project: Do We Have Free Will in a World of Determinism

WINNER

Luke Rickard
Gonzaga College S.J.
Project: Is it Ethical for Robots to be Caregivers?

Individual:

JOINT RUNNER-UP

Aidan Mulligan
Individual Entrant
Project: Project: Morals for Machines: Thinking about the Ethics of Self-Driving Cars

Nina Devine
Individual Entrant
Project: Project: A Charter of Rights for Animals

WINNER

Luke Rickard
Gonzaga College S.J.
Project: Is it Ethical for Robots to be Caregivers?

Small Group:

RUNNER-UP

Aaron Rooney, Tuan Moynihan Downes and Ebyn Girling
Project: Machine Creativity (The Difference Between Robots and Machines)

WINNER

Cabinteely Community School
Female Empowerment Group
Project: Gender Inequality

Class:

RUNNER-UP

Class 6A
Teresian School
Project: Personality

WINNER

Class 6A St. Kilian’s German School
Project: Perception

Centre for Ethics in Public Life Prize in Ethics:

RUNNER-UP

Nina Devine
Individual Entrant
Project: A Charter of Rights for Animals

WINNER

Luke Rickard
Gonzaga College S.J.
Project: Is it Ethical for Robots to be Caregivers?

(This category includes topics related to all kinds of ethical issues and virtues, including happiness, trust, love and friendship)

Philosophy, Ethics and Technology:

RUNNER-UP

Aaron Rooney, Tuan Moynihan Downes and Ebyn Girling
Project: Machine Creativity (The Difference Between
Robots and Machines)

WINNER

Aidan Mulligan
Individual Entrant
Project: Morals for Machines: Thinking about the Ethics
of Self-Driving Cars

(This category includes topics in philosophy and ethics in relation to AI, robotics, social media, and new technologies)

Political Philosophy:

RUNNER-UP

Matthew Sharkey
St. Oliver’s College, Drogheda
Project: What is Education?

WINNER

Aisha Bolaji
Pobalscoil Iosolde
Project: Why do we Hate?

(This category includes topics about freedom, equality, hatred, fairness, power, control, capitalism, and climate change)

The Critical Horizons Prize in Social Philosophy:

RUNNER-UP

Matthew Hall Fitzsimons
Ringsend College
Project: What is Bullying?

WINNER

Alannah Bradshaw
Temple Carrig
Project: How does Gender Identity and Gender
Expression Play a Role in Society?

(This category includes issues such as self and society, identity, vulnerability, recognition, gender and identity)

Metaphysics:

RUNNER-UP

Kyra Murphy Bennett and Grace Muir
Jesus and Mary College, Goatstown
Project: Does Free Will Even Exist?

WINNER

Ailbhe Carre and Siobhan Ryan
Temple Carrig
Project: What Makes You, You?

(This category includes topics such as the nature of existence and reality, humans and nature, perception and time)

Existentialism:

RUNNER-UP

Ian MacLeod and Eva O’Leary
Individual Entrant
Project: How Can We Know if God Exists?

WINNER

Daniel Groome
Individual Entrant
Project: Stages of Atheism

(This category includes topics such as existence, freedom, the individual, authenticity, meaning, alienation, nihilism and atheism)

Aesthetics:

RUNNER-UP

Saint Columbanus N.S Springboard Project
5th and 6th Class
Project: What is Art?

WINNER

Aaron Rooney, Tuan Moynihan Downes and Ebyn Girling
Project: Machine Creativity (The Difference Between Robots and Machines)

(This category includes topics such as beauty, interpretation and taste in literature, music and art)

Grand Prize of the Irish Young Philosopher Awards:

WINNER

Luke Rickard
Gonzaga College S.J.
Project: Is it Ethical for Robots to be Caregivers?

The Young Philosopher Awards extends a special thank you to the following people:

Elizabeth O’Brien (Project Assistant/Administrator for ‘Philosophy in Schools and The Young Philosopher Awards’ SEED Funded Horizons Scanning Project)

Charlotte Blease

Suzanne D’Arcy

Assia Buono

Siobhan Doyle

Damien Lennon

Marelle Rice

Susan Andrews

Danielle Amaning

Justin Synnott

UCD Third Year Philosophy Students (Aoife Dillon, Aodhán Peelo, Bébhinn Campbell, Dermot Christophers, Natalia Burakowska, Jessica Chadwick-Cant)

Professor Colin Scott

Professor Sally Haslanger (MIT)

Professor Rowland Stout

The UCD College of Social Sciences and Law

Colleagues in the UCD School of Philosophy

Colleagues in the UCD School of Education

FUSE Graphic Design

And special thank you to the IYPA judges