New College of Humanities essay finalist

Posted on: July 7th 2022School News

Oscar Mowatt

Congratulations to year 12 pupil Oscar who has been listed as a finalist in the New College of Humanities essay competition for his philosophy essay.

He spoke about his experiences: "This year, the prize essay question, ‘ How should we (including social media companies and governments) respond to the fact that misinformation (e.g. about coronavirus) can be harmful and even cost lives whilst recognising the value of free expression (including online)?’ was particularly topical. Whilst the topical nature of the question provoked my interests, it also forced me to be weary of modern sources and instead focus on classical philosophical texts. Ultimately, I used J.S Mill’s harm principle in conjunction with recent research into social media algorithms to advocate for consumer-controlled misinformation policy".

He added: "A more active role ought to be taken on by governments when it comes to education; potentially emulating the Finnish system which includes ‘web-source evaluation’ on the curriculum from primary school. The essay was extremely useful in teaching me how to balance and evaluate sources as part of a consistent philosophical argument and think more broadly about the implications of philosophical ideas".