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Wilfrid Sellars Junior Scholar Essay Prize

The Wilfrid Sellars Essay Prize is awarded for the best essay on any topic that demonstrates the continued relevance of Kant’s philosophy. It is the natural continuation of the existing Markus Herz Prize, which is awarded to the best graduate student submission to the NAKS study groups. The intention behind the Wilfrid Sellars Essay Prize is to help promote original Kantian or Kant-inspired philosophical work of scholars in the early stages of their careers. Submissions will be blind-reviewed and judged by members of a review committee drawn from the NAKS Executive Committee and Board of Trustees.

Eligibility rules:  

1) The essay must be written in English, single-authored, and not published (in print or online) prior to the submission deadline (typically February 28th, but in a leap year February 29th).

2) “Junior” is defined here as fewer than 10 years from receipt of the Ph.D. (or highest degree earned) on the prize submission deadline. 

3) Authors must be members of NAKS at the time of submission, and cannot already have won the Sellars Prize in a previous year (this last clause was added in 2022).

Calls for submissions will be issued in the newsletter.  The winner will be announced in the June newsletter and will receive a prize of $500. The award committee reserves the right not to award a prize if in its judgment no prize is warranted.

Prize Winners

2021 (tie) Samuel Kahn, "Reconstructing Kant's Position on Abortion and the Right to Life"

2021 (tie) Sabina V. Bremner "Kant on Autonomy as Self-Making"

2020 Andrew Stephenson, “Existence, Modality, and Imagination in Kant: Lessons from Barcan"

2019 Samuel Kahn, “Kant, an Unlucky Philosopher of Moral Luck"

2018 Robert Clewis, “Beauty and Utility in Kant’s Aesthetics: The Origins of Adherent Beauty”

2016 Erica Holberg, “The Importance of Pleasure in the Moral for Kant's Ethics"

2015 Mavis Biss, “Kantian Moral Striving”

2014 Justin Shaddock, “Kant and the Most Difficult Thing that Ever Could be Undertaken on Behalf of Metaphysics"

2013 Owen Ware, “Self-Love and Self-Conceit in Kant’s Moral Psychology"

2012 Eric Entrican Wilson, “Kant on Autonomy and the Value of Persons”

2011 Ernesto Garcia, “A New Look at Kantian Respect for Persons"

2010 Matthew C. Altman, “What Kant Has to Teach Us About Same-Sex Marriage"

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