Soumia Lamont and Giulia Provenzano (Year 12 students) have been short-listed in the John Locke Institute Global Essay Competition, held by the University of Oxford. 

The competition is highly competitive, with some 4,000 submissions from 101 countries. The categories have set questions and include History, Politics, Philosophy, Economics, Psychology, and Theology. There is also a Junior category for younger students. The John Locke Institute website has the details.

The John Locke Institute Global Essay Competition is highly prestigious. Students who receive a ‘Commendation’ are encouraged to include that award when they submit their university applications, and when applying for a scholarship, a job or an internship.

This is only the second year that a Somerset student has entered the competition. Last year, Clare Hong (Class of 2020) wrote a Philosophy essay and was awarded a ‘High Commendation’, placing her in the top five per cent. 

In the 2021 competition, Soumia addressed the Law question on the problem of the presumption of innocence and public censure. Soumia interpreted the problem as one of jurisprudence and an ethical dilemma, which matched her studies in the subject of Philosophy & Reason.

Giulia’s essay was an introspection on moral philosophy and delved into whether one ought to ascribe to hedonistic act utilitarianism, as proposed by Jeremy Bentham, or Immanuel Kant’s deontological ethics.

Oxford University announced that Soumia’s and Giulia’s essays were among the 400 short-listed submissions. This means their essays are in the top 10% and will be awarded some form of commendation. The short-listing also means the following.

The essays will be further assessed and is eligible for either a prize or a high commendation.

The student is eligible for a £500 scholarship for Oxford University’s prestigious Humanities Conference at Radley College, in Oxford, this August.

The short-listed student is invited to Annual Awards Ceremony & Gala Dinner, at which the prize winners will be announced. This will be held in Oxford University in September.

The grand-prize winner receives a $10,000 USD scholarship to attend one or more of the John Locke Institute’s summer schools or gap-year programmes, held at Oxford University.

Soumia’s and Giulia’s essays can be read on Schoolbox at the Dead Philosophers Club’s library of amazing essays.

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