Essay Prizes

At its annual meeting, the NCPS awards prizes for the best essays. Currently there are three categories: Untenured Faculty, Graduate Student, and Undergraduate. (Information on the missing years would be welcome: please send it to one of the officers.)


  • Untenured Faculty: “The Problem of Speaker Success”, Sara Copic (Davidson College)
  • Graduate Student: “Super-Explanatory Essentialism, Abduction, and Modal Epistemology”, Howard Liu (University of Miami)
  • Undergraduate: “Undesired Desired Encounters: A Speech Act Analysis of Verbal Microaggressions and Examples of Verbal Microaggressions”, Isaac Raymond (Harding University)


  • Untenured Faculty: “The Limits of Humean Thought”, Kevin Busch (Davidson College)
  • Graduate Student: “Making Things Fit”, Max Kramer (University of Arizona)
  • Undergraduate: “The Non-Liberation of Coming Out: A Foucauldian Analysis”, Emma Williams (Duke University)


  • Untenured Faculty: “Explanation and Defeat”, Jonathan Barker (Wake Forest University)
  • Graduate Student: “Counterfactual Dependence is Sufficient for Divine Causation”, Ryan Kulesa, (University of Missouri)
  • Undergraduate: “The Ethics of Non-therapeutic Infant Male Circumcision in the U.S.: An Exploration through Theory”, Ginny Coleman (Queens University of Charlotte)

2021 (no meeting)

2020 (no meeting, but prizes were awarded)

  • Untenured Faculty: “The Normative Implications of Recent Empirical Neuroethics Research on Morality”, Veljko Dubljevic (NC State)
  • Graduate Student: “The Proper Scope of Akrasia”, Cara Cummings (Johns Hopkins)
  • Undergraduate: “A Critique of Complete Patient Autonomy”, Vanya Bhat (UNC-Chapel Hill)


  • Untenured Faculty: “Do the Laws of Semantics Lie?”, Kevin Richardson (NC State University)
  • Graduate Student: “Hedonism and Life Comparisons”, Joe Nelson (Duke University)
  • Undergraduate: “Is Understanding Factive?”, James Kuhns (Appalachian State University)


  • Untenured Faculty: “Lost at Sea: A Novel Case for Metaphysical Skepticism”, Aaron Segal (Hebrew University of Jerusalem)
  • Graduate Student: “Nozick on Compensation, Consent, and the Minimal State”, Seena Eftekhari (University of Kansas)
  • Undergraduate: “The Problem of Possibility: A Modal Case for Moral Non-Naturalism”, Luke Donner (Westmont College)


  • Untenured Faculty: “A Deleuzian Oddity of Stoic Ontology”, Ryan Johnson (Elon University)
  • Graduate Student: “Berkeley’s Concrete General Ideas and the Problem of Universals”, Jonathan Vajda (Western Michigan University)
  • Undergraduate: “Non-Interference, Independence, and Status”, Riley League (Davidson College)


  • Untenured Faculty: “Making a Contribution and Making a Difference”, Neil McDonnell (Universität Hamburg)
  • Graduate Student: “Moral Realism and Reliance on Moral Testimony”, Joshua Blanchard (UNC Chapel Hill)
  • Undergraduate: “Why Rejecting DAUP is Preferable to Temporal Parts”, Illirik Smirnov (UNC Chapel Hill)


  • Untenured Professor: “Justified but Impossible to Believe: Disappearing Epistemic Defeaters”, Jeremy Morris (Ohio University)
  • Graduate Student: “A Linguistic Grounding for a Polysemy Theory of ‘Knows’”, Mark Satta (Purdue University)
  • Undergraduate: “Plato and the Tripartite Analysis of Knowledge”, Jake Rohde (UNC Chapel Hill)


  • Untenured Professor: “Doing without Believing”, Michael Brownstein (New Jersey Institute of Technology) and Eliot Michaelson (McGill University)
  • Graduate Student: “Why the Heck Would You Do Philosophy?”, Jimmy Alfonso Licon (University of Maryland)
  • Undergraduate: “Kant and the Problem of Other Minds”, Nicholas Vallone (University of Massachusetts Amherst)


  • Untenured Professor: “Transmission Failure and Factive Warrants”, Ian Schnee (Western Kentucky University)
  • Graduate Student: “Vagueness, Procrastination, and the Ass of Buridan”, Luke Elson (UNC Chapel Hill)
  • Undergraduate:  “The Causal Relevance of Maximal Properties”, Nathan Dahlberg (North Carolina State University)


  • Untenured Professor: “The Argument-Structure of Kant’s Transcendental Deduction of the Categories”, Justin Shaddock (Dominican University)
  • Graduate Student: “Fictional Exemplars”, Chris Tweedt (Baylor University)
  • Undergraduate: “Radical Empiricism and Revisability: A Defense of Rationalism from Quineanism about Justification”, Jonathan Barker (Wake Forest University)


  • Untenured Professor: “Garrett’s Defense of the Copy Principle”, David Landy (San Francisco State University)
  • Graduate Student: “Four-Dimensionalism, Spatiotemporal Coincidence, and the Grounding Problem”, Holly Kantin (University of Wisconsin, Madison)
  • Undergraduate: “Understanding the Value of Crafts through Dewey”, Adam Alexander (Viterbo University)


  • Untenured Professor: “Sorting out the Sortals: A Fregean Argument for Essentialism”, Troy Catterson (North Georgia College and State University)
  • Graduate Student: “What’s the Big Idea?”, Emily Kelahan (UNC Chapel Hill)
  • Undergraduate: “Unjustified Veridical Memory-Belief”, William Brady (UNC Chapel Hill)


  • Untenured Professor: “The Propositions We Assert”, Stavroula Glezakos (Wake Forest University)
  • Graduate Student: No prize awarded.
  • Undergraduate: “Aquinas’s Response to Smart’s Infinite Regress of Meta-Times”, Davis Kuykendall (UNC Charlotte)


  • Untenured Professor: No prize awarded.
  • Graduate Student: “A (Practical) Paradox of Narrative Well-Being”, Clair Morrissey (UNC Chapel Hill)
  • Undergraduate: “Primary Social Goods as a Vehicle for Bias in Rawls’ Theory of Justice”, Joseph LaBaw (Wake Forest University)


  • Untenured Professor: “Smith against the Externalists”, Robert Mabrito (NC State University)
  • Graduate Student: No prize awarded.
  • Undergraduate: “Biscuit Conditionals”, Mathew John Sayball (UNC Wilmington)


  • Untenured Professor: “Nothing is Immune to Revision”, Michael Veber (East Carolina University)
  • Graduate Student: “Getting Back to Nature”, Leonard Kahn (Oxford University/UNC Chapel Hill)
  • Undergraduate: No prize awarded.


  • Untenured Professor: “Temporal Externalism, Natural Kind Terms, and Scientifically Ignorant Communities”, John M. Collins (East Carolina University)
  • Graduate Student: “The Possibility of Non-Artifactive Norms”, Mark Bauer (UNC Chapel Hill)
  • Undergraduate: “A Discourse on Mary”, Mathew John Sayball (UNC Wilmington)


  • Untenured Professor: “Metaphysical Factualism: Constitution Without Identity”, Boris Kusko (Duke University)
  • Graduate Student: “Epistemic Contextualism and Epistemic Expressivism”, Matthew Chrisman (UNC Chapel Hill)
  • Undergraduate: “Wrongdoing and Forgiveness”, Douglas R. Paletta (UNC Chapel Hill)

[Information on prizes for 2003 is missing.]


  • Untenured Professor: [Information missing.]
  • Graduate Student: “Understanding Overridingness: Breaking Free From the Kantian Dichotomy of Reasons”, Lorraine Besser-Jones (UNC Chapel Hill)
  • Undergraduate: [Information missing.]

[Information on prizes for 2000-01 is missing.]


  • Untenured Professor or Graduate Student: “Aristotle’s Concept of Enchantment”, Clint Corcoran (High Point University)


  • Untenured Professor or Graduate Student: “Kant and the Moral Structure of Friendship”, Josefine Nauckhoff (Wake Forest University)


  • Untenured Professor or Graduate Student: “Individuality and Equivocation: The Problem of Biological Individuality”, Jack A. Wilson (Washington and Lee University)


  • Untenured Professor or Graduate Student: No prize awarded.


  • Graduate Student, Instructor, or Assistant Professor: “Why Reductionism? And Why a New Wave Version?”, John Bickle (East Carolina University)


  • Graduate Student, Instructor, or Assistant Professor: “Skepticism and Perceptual Content”, Umit Yalcin (East Carolina University)


  • Graduate Student, Instructor, or Assistant Professor: “Symbiotic Stories: Our Inner and Outer Lives”, Laura Duhan Kaplan (UNC Charlotte)


  • Graduate Student, Instructor, or Assistant Professor: “Akratic Action and the Analysis of the Concept of a Character Trait”, John Lemos (UNC Wilmington)

[Information on prizes for 1990-91 is missing.]


  • Graduate Student, Instructor, or Assistant Professor: [Title unknown], William Throop (St. Andrews Presbyterian College)


  • Graduate Student, Instructor, or Assistant Professor: “Demonstrative Utterances”, Paul Berckmans (UNC Chapel Hill)

[Information on prizes prior to 1988 is missing.]