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Philosophy Department Essay Contest

2017 Philosophy and Religion Essay Award Competition

The Department of Philosophy and Religion is pleased to announce our annual essay award competition. Awards will be given in two categories: Philosophy and Religion. Details for each are below:

Philosophy Paper

An award will be given for the best paper defending a substantive thesis in any area of philosophy (theoretical or applied). Papers may be on any topic but should be self-contained. Papers will be judged by a committee of faculty from the department. The committee will assess the paper on a number of dimensions including: clarity, rigor, creativity, insight, originality, breadth and depth of research, accuracy, and comprehension.

Papers need not defend a broad positive thesis (for example, that scientific realism is true/false, that abortion is permissible/impermissible, or that Utilitarianism is true/false). While these topics are appropriate, papers may defend much narrower theses (e.g., we should adopt opt-in organ donation policies to address current organ need, the demandingness objection to Utilitarianism fails/succeeds, the personhood argument endorsed by so and so is unsound, a particular version of the no-miracles argument for scientific realism is open to objection…).

Religion Paper

An award will be given for the best critical analysis of a topic in religious studies. Given that religious studies is a multi-disciplinary field, papers may address religious phenomena from a variety of methodological and theoretical perspectives. Papers may be on any topic but should be self-contained. Papers will be judged by a committee of faculty from the department. The committee will assess the paper on a number of dimensions including: originality, rigor, appropriate use of materials, appropriate choice and application of theory and methodology, accuracy of content, clarity of prose and argumentation.

Papers should not be theological, expressing personal views about religious phenomena.

Prizes

The top three papers in each category will be recognized and a prize valued at approximately $300 will be given to the best paper in each category. The prize is still to be determined.

Submission and Other Information

Published On: March 13, 2017 |
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