Submit to Dialexicon Wrote a philosophy essay? Publish it in our journal.
Saint Paul Writing His Epistles, by Valentin de Boulogne, 1618

What is the Dialexicon Journal?

Dialexicon is a journal that publishes exceptional philosophical essays written by high school students around the world.

We look for papers that approach current issues through a philosophical lens, as reflected in our prompts. That being said, past papers have ranged in topic from the ethics of violent protests to the nature of identity to whether free will exists.

The mission of Dialexicon is to encourage youth to critically and philosophically investigate current issues. As a result, we look for papers that express original ideas, address multiple perspectives, and produce a rigorous philosophical argument

We are looking for papers that are 1200 to 1500 words, and make a compelling, original philosophical argument. Every fall, we release prompts for students to write their papers on, but we also accept papers on any relevant topic.

If your paper has been accepted for publication, we will contact you by email. Published authors will have their essays published online, and are invited to participate in an interview with Dialexicon about their paper and interest in philosophy.

The top paper will be awarded a $100 prize, and we typically publish 5 to 7 papers each year to Dialexicon.

If you are interested in submitting, Dialexicon is currently open for submissions. Before writing, please read the following steps and guidelines to ensure that your paper is eligible for publication.

How Do I Submit My Essay?

Step 1: Read over the prompts.

You can find the prompts on our website.

Step 2: Write a 1200 - 1500 word philosophical essay on one of our prompts (or pick your own!).

Read our guidelines and see past papers for exemplars.

Step 3: Email your paper to us.

Email your paper to dialexiconjournal@gmail.com, with the subject "Dialexicon Submission" and attach this form.

Congratulations, your paper is in!

Steps image

Submission Deadline

The deadline to submit a paper to Dialexicon Vol. 4 is July 10, 2024 at 11:59 PM Pacific Time.

Guides for Writing a Philosophy Paper

We highly recommend reading the following two documents thoroughly before submitting your paper to the journal.

Prompts for Dialexicon Vol. 4

Prompt 1

In recent years, self-driving car companies such as Tesla and Cruise have been under fire for their technology leading to hundreds of car accidents, some with fatal consequences. The rising popularity of autonomous technologies has raised many ethical questions. Who should take responsibility when a self-driving car or other form of autonomous vehicle fails, often with human consequences? How should we program autonomous vehicles to approach life-or-death decisions (i.e. to spare the driver or a pedestrian, in a scenario where only one can survive), and which philosophical frameworks should inform these decisions? Justify your claims. Feel free to focus on other forms of autonomous technologies other than vehicles.

Prompt 2

Is failing to do good the moral equivalent of doing wrong? In other words, is there a moral distinction between acts of omission and acts of commission? Should one be equally liable for both, or is there a meaningful distinction between the two, or does it entirely depend on the scenario in question? Consider this question in the context of medical ethics - is removing life support morally equivalent to administering a lethal dose of a drug? Or in the context of charity, where failing to donate to a cause could be considered neglecting another's suffering. Should our actions be evaluated solely based on their consequences or do the intentions and contexts surrounding these actions hold moral significance? Justify your claims.

Prompt 3

The flawed state of prison systems around the world, from the inhumane conditions of the mega-prisons used to tame gang violence in El Salvador to the high recidivism rates and failed 'war on drugs' of the American prison system have raised questions about what the right way to punish criminals is. Often, it seems that two key pillars of justice - retribution and rehabilitiation - come into stark conflict with each other. Should the primary aim of the justice system be to prioritize retribution or rehabilitation? If both ought to be considered, how should we strike a balance between the two? And to what extent should individuals be duly punished for their actions if their upbringing has significantly influenced their choices?

Prompt 4

Most people would agree that we have greater responsibilities towards our family and friends, as opposed to say, a random stranger. For instance, in a scenario where we could only save the life of a parent or that of a stranger, perhaps even the lives of ten strangers, most children would save their parent. If you agree with the claim that we have greater obligations towards certain individuals, provide a philosophical justification for why it is morally acceptable that we would prioritize the needs of our loved ones above those of a random stranger. If you disagree with this claim, articulate your reasons for why, family or stranger, everyone deserves equal treatment and acting in a way that unduly favors our loved ones is unjustifiable.

Prompt 5

Pick any relevant current question of your choice, take a stance, and provide a rigorous philosophical argument in favor.


Frequently Asked Questions

Answers to common questions about submitting to the journal.

When will submissions open?

Dialexicon is currently open for submissions. If you are interested in submitting, be sure to check this website for updates. We will release prompts for Volume 4 on this page, so check back!

Who can submit to the Dialexicon Journal?

Dialexicon accepts submissions from any high school student (from around the world!). We require authors to attach a submission form along with their paper specifying a teacher from their high school as a point of contact for the journal.

When will I hear back about the results?

We aim to notify all authors by email of which papers we are publishing by Spring of 2025, since the deadline for submissions is usually around December. Within the next month or so, the digital journal will be published on this site!

Who will be adjudicating my paper?

Our adjudicators consist of philosophy professors and university students, including those affiliated with the Canadian Philosophical Association, the Philosophy Foundation, and University of Toronto's Philosophy Department.

Can I answer my own prompt?

Yes! Each year, we include an option to write an essay that answers an original prompt that is not one of our provided prompts. You are welcome to do this, however we would recommend considering one of our existing prompts!

Where can I ask more questions?

We would love to answer your questions, about the journal or about Dialexicon in general! Please feel free to reach out to dialexiconjournal@gmail.com with any questions you may have, and we will aim to respond as soon as possible.

Previous Authors & Honourable Mentions
Announcing the Published Authors for Dialexicon Vol. 2, 2022
Congratulations to Nick Liu of Phillips Academy Andover (USA), who is our 2022 top paper recipient, with his paper titled "Imagine Sisyphus Exploited: The Absurdity of Late Stage Capitalism."

Published Authors:
Marianna Stamatiou (Arsakeio Lykeum of Patras, Greece): "Mandatory Vaccines? The Djokovic Case"
Lucy Fan (Guildford High School, United Kingdom): "Relativism and the Death of Truth"
Jerry Zhang (Collingwood School, Canada): "Ethics of Mandatory Vaccines: Why Governments Should Take the Plunge"
Gaby Casals (Brentwood College School, Canada): "Does Identity Exist?"

Honorable Mentions:
Toth Efraim   Soma Viragh   Tilemachos Paizis   Samuel Veto

Announcing the Published Authors for Dialexicon Vol. 1, 2021
The 2021 Spring Dialexicon Journal received 85 submissions from 12 countries, including: Canada, the US, Greece, Mexico, Hungary, UK, Indonesia, Slovenia, Turkey, Thailand, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Serbia.

​Congratulations to Julia Wright (Canada), who is our 2021 top paper recipient, with her paper titled "The Animal Rights Movement in the Context of the COVID-19 Pandemic."

Published Authors:
Kiki Ajayi (England): "Does Violence have a place in Politics?"
Dimitrios Kouvaras (Greece): "COVID-19: A Lesson of Freedom and Citizenship"
Sophie Nadalini (Canada): "A Call for Nonviolent Protest"
Daniel Xu (USA): "The Rebel in Black: A Black Existentialist Approach to the George Floyd Protests"
Emma Mészáros (Hungary): "How Viktor Orban's Hungary is heading towards dictatorship during COVID-19"

Honorable Mentions:
Charles Amsellem   Benjamin Allen   Aarian Bhakoo   Eva Kamimura
*To view previous volumes of the journal, please visit our Journal page.