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.)

6 thoughts on “Junior Scholar essay prize: metaphysics (w/ test)

  1. I have refereed for this competition several of the years it has been running. All of the refereeing is blind. Despite a good familiarity with work by younger people in metaphysics, I have only once suspected I knew the identity of a paper author. On that one occasion I was mistaken.

  2. Why aren’t there more women (i) working in traditional metaphysics and (ii) encouraged to work in traditional metaphysics? I for one would like to see more. This question may be worth a blog post.

  3. Thanks Anon. Good suggestion though we’ve looked quite a bit at the question of women in metaphysics; this list should give you all the posts that mention metaphysics.

    One interesting fact is that there are a lot more women doing excellent work in metaphysics than most people in the profession realize. Jenny’s post today gives some remedies for what is in effect the invisibility of women in the profession.

    A lot of factors feed into one another. If, as research certainly suggests, women are less easily remembered, they will be less likely to be cited. Consequently, their work will be seen as not having much impact. Consequently, they don’t be invited to speak. Consequently, when they do appear at conferences, they’ll be outsiders who are less easily remembered…

    One could add: with fewer models and mentors in metaphysics and with all male conferences in metaphysics, women graduate students will get the strong message that that’s not a good field for women. In fact, one is sometimes told that up front.

    One effect of this MAY BE that when young women submit entries to a contest, some of them have received much less than what one would think of as the normal amount of discussion of their work. So it may seem less polished and professional. I have NO EVIDENCE for that statement (aside from my own case), but it’s not a bad guess. Let me emphasize that it is a guess.

  4. Fritz, thanks for the perspective. Do you know if the final decisions are made without the names known?

    Do you have any idea of what proportion of the entries were women? If any, that is.

  5. After initial referee work there has been followup discussion among referees and coordinated by the editor in chief. In that followup discussion no author names have been revealed. I do not know whether the editor in chief knows them at that point.

    In my years of involvement (as I said, I haven’t refereed every year) there has never been any surprise in the winners after the blind refereeing.

    I don’t have access to the entries and so don’t know what percentage come from women in a typical year. The editor and perhaps some members of his editorial board do.

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