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Dr. Martin R. Lebowitz and Eve Lewellis Lebowitz Prize
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The Dr. Martin R. Lebowitz and Eve Lewellis Lebowitz Prize for philosophical achievement and contribution is awarded by the Phi Beta Kappa Society in conjunction with the American Philosophical Association. Each year, the award is presented to a pair of philosophers who hold contrasting views of an important philosophical question that is of current interest both to the field and to an educated public audience. The associated Lebowitz symposium is presented annually at a divisional meeting of the American Philosophical Association. To promote the discipline of philosophy to wider audiences, the Phi Beta Kappa Society also sponsors a public presentation featuring the prize winners. Both societies are grateful to Eve Lewellis Lebowitz for her generous bequest, honoring her late husband, Martin R. Lebowitz, and providing a significant, tangible recognition for excellence in philosophical thought. The dialogic character of the Lebowitz symposium and public presentation, supported by the Lebowitz bequest, emphasizes the historic work of philosophy as a process of inquiry.

The Lebowitz symposium program shall ordinarily consist of two annual lectures to be delivered sequentially at a divisional meeting selected by the honorees, or lacking their agreement, by the Phi Beta Kappa Society. The topic of the lectures shall ordinarily be an important philosophical issue of current interest, with the lectures offering contrasting (not necessarily opposing) views on that topic. The Phi Beta Kappa Society will arrange a second presentation by both honorees in a location and format that is accessible to a wider public audience.

Winners will be chosen by a committee appointed jointly by the Phi Beta Kappa Society and the American Philosophical Association and ratified by the Phi Beta Kappa Senate. In selecting the winners, the committee is encouraged to consider candidates who address important philosophical issues using diverse methodologies and perspectives and who, in so doing, are able to communicate important philosophical ideas to specialist and non-specialist audiences.

Honoraria for the symposiasts are funded from the endowment created by the Lebowitzes' gift of $1 million; while amounts vary from year to year, they have recently been in the range of $25,000 for each honoree. The winning submission will have the opportunity to be published in the Journal of the American Philosophical Association. Publication will be arranged by mutual agreement of the winners and the journal's editorial board. American Philosophical Association members are eligible to nominate or self-nominate. (Although prizewinners are required to be members of the American Philosophical Association, this membership may be arranged after the winners are selected.)

Nomination Process

  1. Fill out the Lebowitz nomination form at the Phi Beta Kappa Society's website. The form includes space for the full names, affiliation, and email addresses for each speaker. The nomination must consist of a pair of speakers who hold contrasting (not necessarily opposing) views on a topic of current interest and importance in philosophy. Candidates need not be members of ΦBK.

  2. Submit with the nomination form two 300-word abstracts. Each abstract should be tailored to address the specific topic to be discussed as well as the approach of the speaker.

  3. Submit complete CVs for each proposed speaker.

  4. Nominations should include at least two letters of recommendation. Ideally, letter writers will have knowledge of both proposed speakers. Letters should address the qualifications of the candidate(s), the relevance of the topic for current debates in philosophy, and the potential for the topic and the speakers to make philosophical debates accessible to interested non-specialists.

  5. Please send all materials electronically to Hadley Kelly, hkelly@pbk.org. If electronic submission is not possible, please send hard copy to:

    The Committee on the Lebowitz Prize
    The Phi Beta Kappa Society
    1606 New Hampshire Ave., NW
    Washington, D.C. 20009

The deadline for submitting the nomination form and materials is December 1, 2019.

Previous Awardees

2019

Michael Bratman and Margaret Gilbert, “What is it to Act Together?” (Pacific)

2018

Kit Fine and Stephen Yablo, “What is Meaning?” (Eastern)

2017

Nancy Cartwright and Elliott Sober, “Is there such a thing as the scientific method?” (Eastern due to snow storm in Savannah, moved to Central 2019)

2016

Ernest Sosa and Stephen Stich, "Intuition in Philosophical Methodology" (Pacific)

2015

Alvin Goldman and Jennifer Lackey, “Social Epistemology” (Eastern)

2014

Jonathan Schaffer and Jessica Wilson, "The Role of Grounding in Metaphysics” (Eastern)

2013

Anita Silvers and Eva Feder Kittay, "Expanding Justice, Including Disability” (Eastern)

Anita Silvers (Photo by Emily Lobsinger) Eva Feder Kittay
Anita Silvers
(Photo by Emily Lobsinger)
Eva Feder Kittay
The American Philosophical Association
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