The Philosophy Department awards two Essay Prizes: the Jonathan Edwards Prize—for a paper by an undergraduate philosophy major—and the Herbert Heidelberger Prize—for a paper by a graduate student. In addition to these two prizes, the Department awards the John Robison Prize for excellence in teaching by a graduate student. See below for more details about each of the prizes, as well as a list of past awardees.
The Jonathan Edwards Essay Prize
At the end of each academic year, the Philosophy Department awards the Jonathan Edwards prize for the best essay by an undergraduate philosophy major, among those nominated by philosophy department instructors. If you have an essay you would like considered, contact your instructor about nominating it.
Zoey Payne, “Evidence and Agency: The Collapse of the Sartrean Response”
Atticus Meche, "Fodor and Innate Concepts".
|2017||Zoey Payne, “Emotion and Literature”|
|2016||Haley Schilling, “Born This Way: The Search for the Cause of Same-Sex Attraction”
Haley Schilling, “Belief Forming Processes are Rationally Permissive”
|2014||Nicholas Vallone, “Kant and the Problem of Other Minds”|
Joseph Gamache, “C S Lewis and the Argument Against Naturalism”
|2012||Benny Mattis, “Meaning Like we Mean It”|
Michael Demo, “Cartesian Trialism and mind-Body Interactionism”
Nicholas Helpa, “Are Moral Reasons Practical?”
Robert Muckle, “Properties, Propositions, and Weak Gloabal Supervenience as a Dependence Relation”
|2008||Annalee Locke, “Agency and Action”|
|2007||Timothy Prisk, “Aristotle on Friendship”|
|2006||Timothy Prisk, “Shifting the Begriffsschrift: Rescontructing Frege’s Logicism in Relevant Logic”
Byron Wallace, “Responses to the “Fine-Tuning Argument”
|2005||Paul Dubois, “In Defense of Exaggeration”
Jeremy Browne, “St Augustine, The Problem of Evil, and William Shakespeare”
|2004||Christopher Nason, “Russellian Responses to Kripkean Objections to the Theory of Definite Descriptions”
Paul Dubois, “Anselm’s Devil”
Jesse Kuchin, “Eminent Containment in Descartes’ Theory of Causation”
Keira Manikoff, “Mind-Body Interation, Descartes’ Causal Principles, and the Third Substance Theory”
|2003||Thomas Kushin, “The Kalam Cosmological Argument of Al-Ghazali”
Krista Meyer, “Augustine’s Account of Signification”
The Herbert Heidelberger Prize
Herbert Heidelberger was an important member of the department from 1967 to 1982, when he died of cancer. Professor Heidelberger was an inspiring teacher and influential philosopher and colleague who played an important role in contributing to the early quality and reputation of the department.
The Heidelberger Prize is awarded in recognition of outstanding starred papers during an academic year. The prize carries an award of $200, although its main value is the recognition it confers upon a paper as an outstanding piece of philosophical writing.
Members of the reading committee for a starred paper may nominate it for the prize, as long as it received a grade of PASS. The full faculty considers nominated papers from both semesters, and a unanimous vote is required for awarding the prize.
The prize and associated monetary award may be shared, or not awarded at all. No student may win the prize more than once.
|2018||David Turon, “A New Probability-Raisers of Processes Account of Causation”|
|2017||Justis Koon, “Options Must be External”
Ryan Olsen, "Moving Through Time:The Stoics on the Division Between Past and Future"
|2016||Patrick Grafton-Cardwell, “A Solution to the Enigma of Categories”|
Cameron Gibbs, “Hume’s Dictum”
John Robison, “Skepticism about Skepticism about Moral Responsibility”
|2014||Pengbo Liu, “Higher-Order Thought and Higher-Order Misrepresentation”
Tricia Magalotti, “On The Prospects for a Social Defense of Armchair Methods”
|2013||Robert Gruber, “A Desertist Solution to a Puzzle about Justice”|
|2012||Julietta Rose, “In Bad Company: Fodor's Informational Semantics and Euthyphro's Fallacy”|
|2011||Casey Knight, “Primitive Grounding and Reduced Fundamentality”|
|2010||Matthew Gifford, “Skepticism and Elegance”|
|2009||Heidi Buetow, “Relativism and Ignorant Assessors”
Kristian Olsen, “The Imagination Model of Dreaming: Not the Complete Solution to Dreaming Skepticism”
|2008||Kristoffer Ahlstrom, “What Descartes Didn't Know”|
|2007||Ed Ferrier, “Priority Monism”
Alex Sarch, “What’s Wrong with Megalopsychia?”
|2006||Jeff Dunn, “The Obscure Act of Perception”|
|2005||Meghan Masto, “On Williamson on Evidence and Justification”
Kirk Michaelian, “(Aristotle on) What Oedipus did at the Crossroads”
|2004||Brad Chynoweth, “Descartes' Resolution of the Dreaming Doubt”|
|2003||Stephan Torre, “Identity, Time, and Change in Hume's Treatise”|
|2002||Brandt Van der Gaast, “Supervenience vs. Recombination”
Jason Raibley, “An Examination of Perfectionism”
|2001||Kris McDaniel, “Tropes and Ordinary Physical Objects”
Michael Rubin, “Aristotle on Ignorance and Involuntariness”
|2000||Marcy Lascano, “Incontinence: Does Aquinas Have It?”
Stephen Masterman, “Are We Free to Change God's Beliefs?”
The John Robison Prize For Excellence in Teaching
The Robison Prize is awarded to the graduate student(s) who, in the judgment of the Department, made the most valuable contribution to the Department's undergraduate teaching mission, as a TA or TO, during the just-completed academic year.
|2018||Molly O'Rourke-Friel& Wally Wirchnianski (TA's), Cameron Gibbs (TO)|
|2017||Justis Koon & Ryan Olsen|
|2016||Bailie Peterson & Andréa Wilson|
|2015||Tricia Magalotti & John Robison|
|2014||Josh Di Paolo & Robert Gruber|
|2011||Edward Ferrier & Kristian Olsen|
|2010||Casey Knight & Josh Moulton|
|2009||Donovan Cox & Sam Cowling|
|2008||Heidi Buetow & Dan Doviak|