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William James Prize
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William James
William James
The Eastern Division awards the William James Prize to the best paper in the area of American philosophy that is both (a) written by a philosopher who received the Ph.D. within five years of the beginning of the calendar year in which the paper is submitted, or is a graduate student, and (b) accepted for inclusion in the Eastern Division program by the program committee through the normal process of anonymous-reviewing. Thanks to a generous gift from Professor and Mrs. John Lachs, the James Prize carries with it an honorarium of $300. For purposes of competition for the James Prize, American philosophy is to be construed broadly as including not only studies of the work of significant thinkers in the history of American philosophy but also creative extensions or applications of the ideas, methods, or results of traditional American philosophy to philosophical issues of current interest or lasting importance.


A paper may be submitted for the competition for the James Prize either as a colloquium paper or as a symposium paper. Authors who are willing to have a shortened version of a symposium paper considered as a colloquium paper should submit the shortened version, along with a shortened abstract, simultaneously with the submission of the symposium paper. Authors must comply with all rules, including those intended to ensure the integrity of the anonymous-review process, that govern normal submissions to the program committee (see the APA Paper Submission Guidelines). In addition, each submission for the competition for the James Prize must be accompanied by a letter from its author both (a) stating either the date on which the author's Ph.D. was granted if the author has already received the Ph.D., or the fact that the author is a graduate student if that is the case, and (b) expressing the author's wish to have the paper considered for the James Prize.

In the event that no entrant marked specifically for the William James Prize competition is accepted by the program committee, the program committee will survey the graduate student travel stipend recipients to see whether any of those papers qualifies by topic for the James Prize. If one (or more) does so qualify, it (or the best one) will receive the William James Prize instead of a graduate student travel stipend.

Simultaneous receipt of both the William James Prize and a graduate student travel stipend is not permitted.

Previous Awardees


Justin Humphreys (University of Pittsburgh) “Disjunctivism and the Stream of Consciousness”


Simon Truwant (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven) “Transcendental Philosophy as Phenomenological Ontology: Heidegger’s Phenomenological Interpretation of Kant’s ‘Transcendental Analytic’”


Adam Blincoe (University of Virginia) “Forcing Nozick Beyond the Minimal State: The Lockean Proviso and Compensatory Welfare”


Kyle Bromhall (University of Guelph, Canada) “Is There More to Rationality than Its Sentiment?”


David Miguel Gray (Vanderbilt University) “Racial Norms: A Reinterpretation of Du Bois’ ‘The Conservation of Races’”


Co-Winner: Daniel Hicks (University of Notre Dame) “Rawls’ Rationalist Conception of Personhood”

Co-Winner: Jennifer Szende (Queen's University-Ontario) “Beitz and the Problem with a State-Focused Approach to Human Rights”


Nicholas Guardiano (Southern Illinois University- Carbondale) “Peirce’s Metaphysics of Objective Idealism”


Co-Winner: Shane Ralston (Pennsylvania State University) “In Defense of Democracy as a Way of Life: A Reply to Talisse’s Pluralist Objection”

Co-Winner: Colin Koopman (University of California- Santa Cruz) “Statism, Pluralism and Global Justice”


Melissa Bergeron (US Military Academy-West Point) “Cliffordian Knights of the Razor and the Jamesian Spiritual Sphere: Evidence and an Unseen Realm”


Vincent Chiao (Northwestern University) “Moran on Agency, Judgment, and Self-Knowledge”


Alexander Klein (Indiana University) “Empiricism’s American Rebound”


Bernardo Cantens (Barry University) “Overcoming the Evidentialist’s Challenge: Peirce’s Conjectures of Instinctive Reason and the Reality of God”

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