Junior Scholar essay prize: metaphysics (w/ test)

Oxford Studies in Metaphysics

 In keeping with our mission to encourage research and publishing on topics of traditional metaphysics, The Ammonius Foundation acknowledges the importance of ongoing support for the work of younger scholars.  As part of this commitment, The Foundation has dedicated resources to a competition award program, designed to recognize and promote excellent research and writing in metaphysics by younger scholars.

Sponsored by The Ammonius Foundation and administered by the editorial board of Oxford Studies in Metaphysics, this essay competition is open to scholars who are within ten (10) years of receiving a Ph.D. or students who are currently enrolled in a graduate program.  (Independent scholars should inquire with the Editor to determine eligibility.)  Awarded annually, the prize amount has been recently raised to $8,000. Winning essays will also appear in Oxford Studies in Metaphysics.

For a further glimpse into this unique Program, now entering its sixth year, please visit our listing of past winners of the Younger Scholars Prize, which is accompanied by titles and hosted links to the texts of winning essays. 

Younger scholars working in metaphysics who are interested in this Program should familiarize themselves with the current competition details, and address further inquiries to the Editor of Oxford Studies in Metaphysics, Dean Zimmerman, at dwzimmer@rci.rutgers.edu, or by regular mail at the postal address provided on the competition-details page.

And now the really hard test question:  Have the prize winners so far been (a) all male or (b) all female or (c) some admixture?  (Don’t just go look; present your best guess plus your reasons, if any.)

“The Psychology of Beauty”

It is hard to say what is more to dislike about some evolutionary psychologists’ declarations about beauty:  their stark simplicity or their ignoring the possibilities of cultural influence.  One result of these factors is that the connection between their dictates and one’s own experience can be slight.  One is left with the uneasy feeling that philosophy professors just aren’t the sort of being anyone would have thought worth studying.  Nor are their friends.  All with some notable exceptions, of course.

The blog named in the  title of this post is an antidote to the simplifying confidence one too often finds.  The poster, Wayne Hooke,  picks up on topics that do show the issues to be more complicated.  For example, are judgments of attractiveness really just based on facial symmetry?  Isn’t smell suppose to be important?  He also seems to have a good eye for the latest research:  for example, hip to waiste ratio  has a competitor: adominal depth.

The research discussed is also assessed in terms of  its internal integrity, and so on.

There’s lots more; see what you think!

What are you thinking about?

Do you have any plans for changes in the New Year?


Changes you’ve already chosen or that are happening to you?


Are you at the Eastern APA?  Any news?  Anything exciting out at the book exhibit?  Are you going to other seasonal conferences?  The MLA?

Are there new directions/topics you’d like to see this blog undertake?

Anecdotes or Antidotes?


Improve your career prospects: pretend to be a man?

A link from the Jender-Parents:

Previously a struggling single mother trying to make ends meet, James claimed she worked at a variety of online and work from home situations. It was only once she began working under an assumed male identity, though, that the real money started coming in.
“Taking a man’s name opened up a new world. It helped me earn double and triple the income of my true name, with the same work and service. No hassles. Higher acceptance. And gratifying respect for my talents and round-the-clock work ethic. Business opportunities fell into my lap. People asked for my advice, and they thanked me for it, too. Did I quit promoting my own name? Hell yeah.”

Surprisingly enough, it could definitely be worse

At least female philosophers are not competing with very clever cats and dogs.

From Feministing:

It’s the end of the year, aka the merry season of top ten lists. The Associated Press recently published the vote tallies for its Female Athlete of the Year, in which 158 sports editors around the country weigh in on which of these ten female athletes deserves the title.

Serena Williams 66
Zenyatta 18
Kim Clijsters 16
Lindsey Vonn 15
Diana Taurasi 14
Maya Moore 13
Rachel Alexandra 10
Bridget Sloan 3
Jiyai Shin 2
Erin Hamlin 1
We love Serena, too! One minor problem withe the award, though: Zenyatta and Rachel Alexandra are horses. Was it really so hard to find ten athletes who are women? Writes Mark Goldberg,

That’s right. We live in a world in which animals are eligable to win “Female Athlete of the Year” from one of the most important global news agencies. That’s some shameful stuff. And for the record, none of the male atheltes of the year were anything but human.

It’s our language skills that save us, I suppose, though if philosophy today connected with a genuine love of wisdom, it might be close.  Yo Meow Ma’s wise observations  include:        

Live each of your nine lives as though you have just one.

When standing on sand, bury your waste, not your head.

Fellowship: Open Rank

Early modern + the problem of evil:

Early Modern Fellowships

The University of Notre Dame, the Center for the Philosophy of Religion and The John Templeton Foundation, are pleased to announce the “Templeton Research Fellowships in Early Modern Philosophy of Religion and Theology” program for 2010-2011. The Problem of Evil in Modern and Contemporary Thought project invites project invites recent Ph.D.’s and seasoned experts in the fields of early modern philosophy, early modern theology, or early modern philosophy of religion to apply for a year-long residential fellowship. The fellowship allows scholars to pursue independent research in residence as a fellow of the Center for Philosophy of Religion at the University of Notre Dame. We will award at least two fellowships, open rank.

The Templeton Research Fellowships in Early Modern Philosophy of Religion and Theology will offer at least two fellowships devoted to inquiry into the problem of evil as it is treated in early modern philosophy of religion or theology. Fellowships are aimed at research which provides new insights into the way in which the nature and reality of evil were treated in the distinctive intellectual culture of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, characterized as it was by distinctive intellectual trends including the maturation of the Reformation, the rise of modern science, etc.

The application deadline is January 15, 2010. Fellowships begin in July 2010 and conclude in June 2011. Further description is available here.

The Sunday Cat thinks about logos

Not, of course, that one would oneself deserve a logo or anything.  Still, there are a lot of cat icons.



And we do not approve of all of these.  Are some exploiting in offensive ways tropes of disability? Perhaps we could discuss this. Still, they might make one think…

Bette Bourne and an alternative Queen’s speech

It’s after 1 pm Central Time and the Queen’s Christmas Speech is already up on youtube.  I assume our British friends and colleagues are now stuffed, with Christmas pud and the wisdom of the royalty.  Fortunately, the Guardian has an alternative Queen’s Speech, but unfortunately it is not yet in a form WordPress accepts.   Still it is given by Bette Bourne and I  found an interview with BB.  I hope you enjoy it, but don’t miss the one the Guardian has.


Bette Bourne is a leading UK performer and a lengendary drag Queen.