Public Philosophy Awards

Note: Submissions are due by September 15th, 2018.

We are pleased to announce that there will be two prizes available this year, one for an unpublished essay, and one for an essay published within a year of the deadline. The deadline for both is 15 September 2018. The award for each prize is $4,500. In addition, the top three unpublished essays will be passed to the Editorial Director and a Senior Editor at Aeon and will be considered carefully for publication. Any essay which is not accepted for publication will be given a written report from the senior editor about its strengths and weaknesses, with suggestions for alternative publication venues. No more than one essay per author will be considered across the two prizes.

To be eligible for the prize for a published essay, please submit a copy of your essay, together with publication details, to publicphilosophypublishedaward@gmail.com. An article counts as ‘published’ so long as it is published between the date of 16 September 2017 and the deadline for the award, 15 September 2018. An article featured on a personal website does not count as published. However, an article on a public website may count as published; decisions will be made on a case by case basis; feel free to include any qualifying information in the body of the submission email. Long-form submissions will be preferred, but articles of any length will be considered. There is no restriction to any area of philosophy. Unlike other Marc Sanders Prizes, this prize is not restricted to junior candidates.

Please submit your unpublished essays, anonymized for blind review, to publicphilosophyaward@gmail.com. For this prize, we will only consider long-form essays (minimum 2,500 words, maximum 7,000) with significant philosophical content or method by authors with significant philosophical training. The most important condition is that essays should be written to engage the general reader. There is no restriction to any area of philosophy. For this prize, there is no restriction to junior candidates. Philosophers at any career stage are encouraged to submit. Previously published essays will not be considered for this prize.

Committee:
The Award Committee is Chaired by Susan Wolf (UNC Chapel Hill). The committee will also include Ken Taylor (Stanford University and Philosophy Talk), and Barry Maguire (Stanford University).

Deadline:
Please submit your blinded entry to publicphilosophyaward@gmail.com
by 15 September 2018. Please include the essay title in the subject line. Receipt of submissions will be acknowledged by email. Refereeing will be blind; authors should omit all remarks and references that might disclose their identities.

Any inquiries should be sent to Barry Maguire at barrymaguire@gmail.com.

You can view the criteria through which the papers will be assessed here: https://www.barrymaguire.com/public-philosophy.html.

Open letter to sign

Whatever you may think of the merits of no-platforming, it seems pretty clear that writing a petition calling for an event to be canceled should not be a reason for a student to be threatened with expulsion. If you agree, do sign this letter because that’s just what is happening at Bristol University. (Thanks, M!)

Alcoff on Junot Diaz, Me Too, and Intersectionality

A really important article.

Clearly, we need to go beyond easy binaries. The letter I signed calls on all of us to think through the important issue of how to demand individual responsibility from abusers while also being vigilant about our collective and institutional responsibility, to develop critiques of the conventions of sexual behavior that produce systemic sexual abuse. While individuals can never be absolved of responsibility by blaming structural conditions, those conditions do create opportunities, excuses, even training in the ways of domination, and these have to be radically transformed.

Read the whole thing.

Talking about Talking

There have been a few essays and commentaries of late about the difficulties in dialogues within feminism surrounding trans issues. All I’m about to say should be prefaced by acknowledging my lack of expertise or even good acquaintance in trans issues. I am not up to speed on the philosophical literature, nor am I up to speed on how all the conversational dynamics play out in less formal dialogues (e.g., I don’t use Twitter, but gather that this is a veritable hellscape of human misery where these conversations are concerned). My only reason for posting concerns the meta-level talk about talking happening as an offshoot of the core debates.Read More »

“TERFs” turf

TERFs are defined by many as feminists who argue against allowing trans-women into the category ‘women, supposing there is such a category. I saw a TERF piece getting a lot of praise. Or it might just be depressing. See what you think.

See the comments on the use of the term.

“All Translators Make Choices”

Earlier today, Channel 4 News tweeted out a wonderful little excerpt of an interview with Dr. Emily Wilson, the first woman to translate The Odyssey into English. In the interview, Dr. Wilson discusses her surprise in discovering the number of gendered words that weren’t pejorative in the original Greek, but which were translated into English by pejoratives. Watch the excerpt here.

Willingness to rape

UPDATE: I did not realise this was from 2015. Sorry!

Amongst other questions they were asked how they would act in a situation where they could have sexual intercourse with a woman against her will “if nobody would ever know and there wouldn’t be any consequences”. 31.7% of all men participating in the study would force a woman to have sexual intercourse in such a “consequence-free situation” – which is rape.

Worryingly, most men who indicated that they would commit rape did not even recognise their actions as such.

When explicitly asked whether they would rape a woman if there were no consequences, only 13.6% of participants said they would do so, a marked fall on those who had described that they would commit rape.

From here.