Schock Prize Awarded to Prawitz and Martin-Löf

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 14/03/2020 - 3:39am in


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The 2020 Rolf Schock Prize for Logic and Philosophy has been awarded to two philosophers from Stockholm University, Dag Prawitz and Per Martin-Löf.

Dag Prawitz and Per Martin-Löf

Dr. Prawitz was recognized for “proof-theoretical normalization in natural deduction,” and Dr. Martin-Löf was recognized for “the creation of constructive type theory.” From the prize announcement:

Logic is the study of what makes some arguments or inferences valid and others not. Dag Prawitz and Per Martin-Löf, from Stockholm University, are emeritus professors in theoretical philosophy and logic, respectively, specialising in proof theory and constructivist philosophy of mathematics. They are both members of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences and have been nominated by scholars all over the world.

Dag Prawitz’ doctoral thesis, from 1965, in which he presented reduction to normal form in natural deduction, quickly became a classic that is still viable today. A proof in normal form has a clear structure, which makes it possible to determine important properties of proofs. Natural deduction is a system of simple rules for how to arrive at a particular conclusion from given premises, and now plays a central role in modern verificationist philosophy of language.

Initially, Per Martin-Löf also worked in proof theory, cooperating closely with Prawitz. In the 1970s, he created a constructive version of type theory, a formal language in which it is possible to express constructive mathematics. Here, a proof of a mathematical statement can be regarded as a program for verifying the statement. Constructive type theory also functions as a powerful programming language and has had an enormous impact in logic, computer science and, recently, mathematics.

The prize is 400,000 Swedish Kroners (approximately $41,000), which will be split between the two winners.

Schock Prizes are awarded in four categories: Logic and Philosophy, Mathematics, Visual Arts, and Musical Arts. They were established by bequest of Rolf Schock, a philosopher and artist, and awarded by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.

Previous winners of the Schock Prize in Logic and Philosophy include Saharon Shelah (2018), Ruth Millikan (2017), Derek Parfit (2014), Hilary Putnam (2011), Thomas Nagel (2008), Jaako Hintikka (2005), Solomon Feferman (2003), Saul Kripke (2001), John Rawls (1999), Dana Scott (1997), Michael Dummettt (1995), and Willard Van Orman Quine (1993).

(via Erik Angner)

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Reed-Sandoval’s “Philosophy for Children in the Borderlands Field School” Wins Major Grant

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 29/02/2020 - 12:30am in

Amy Reed-Sandoval, assistant professor of philosophy  and participating faculty in the Latinx and Latin American Studies Program at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, has won a Whiting Public Engagement Fellowship to support her Philosophy for Children in the Borderlands Field School.

Amy Reed-Sandoval

The Whiting Public Engagement Fellowships support “faculty in the humanities who embrace public engagement as part of the scholarly vocation.” Each fellow receives $50,000 for a public-facing project.

Here’s a description of Professor Reed-Sandoval’s project, which continues work she began while she was at the University of Texas, El Paso (see this previous post):

Children in the U.S.-Mexico borderlands contend with a range of challenging questions in their day-to-day lives. What are borders? Why do some people get to be citizens of the country where I live, and not others? What’s the difference between being Mexican and being American? Can you be both, and what am I?

In 2014, Amy Reed-Sandoval founded the Philosophy for Children (P4C) in the Borderlands program to guide children in thinking through these fundamental questions using the tools and methods of philosophy. The program has since reached hundreds of children in the El Paso-Juárez region and has trained a legion of teachers to lead P4C sessions, many of whom have gone on to start their own P4C programs. Reed-Sandoval will use the Fellowship to expand the program to three community centers—two in Ciudad Juárez and one in El Paso—while launching a new field school to train a cohort of K-12 teachers, childcare workers, and philosophy students to teach P4C classes with special attention to the needs of young people in border areas.

Participants in the field school will draw from pedagogical literature and their experiences in the classroom to create and disseminate open-access lesson plans designed to inspire similar P4C initiatives in bilingual, bicultural environments. With local community leaders working increasingly hard to lift up children’s voices in the U.S.-Mexico borderlands, Reed-Sandoval intends to use the field school to support these efforts while growing the program’s reach throughout the region.

Only six Whiting fellowships are awarded annually.

To learn more about Professor Reed-Sandoval’s project, visit the Philosophy for Children in the Borderlands site.

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International Journal of Philosophical Studies Prizes

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 25/02/2020 - 11:31pm in


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The International Journal of Philosophical Studies (IJPS) has selected the winner of its 2019 Robert Papazian Essay Competition.

The theme of the 2019 competition was “the ethics and politics of vulnerability”.

[Janaina Melo Landini, “Ciclotrama 115 (writing)”]

The essay that won is “Matters of Trust as Matters of Attachment Security” by Andrew Kirton (University of Leeds). Here’s an abstract of the paper:

I argue for an account of the vulnerability of trust, as a product of our need for secure social attachments to individuals and to a group. This account seeks to explain why it is true that, when we trust or distrust someone, we are susceptible to being betrayed by them, rather than merely disappointed or frustrated in our goals. What we are concerned about in matters of trust is, at the basic level, whether we matter, in a non-instrumental way, to that individual, or to the group of which they are a member. We have this concern as a result of a drive to form secure social attachments. This makes us vulnerable in the characteristic way of being susceptible to betrayal, because how the other acts in such matters can demonstrate our lack of worth to them, or to the group, thereby threatening the security of our attachment, and eliciting the reactive attitudes characteristic of betrayal.

For winning the competition, Dr. Kirton will receive a prize of €1,500 (approximately $1,629), provided by the Papazian family.

Robert Papazian, for whom the prize is named, was a political prisoner in Iran who was executed in 1982. You can learn more about him and the prize here.

As part of the competition, another prize of the same amount, sponsored by the H2020 Project Policy, Expertise and Trust in Action (PEriTia), was awarded to the co-authors of “Vulnerability in Social Epistemic Networks”: Emily Sullivan (EU Eindhoven), Max Sondag (TU Eindhoven), Ignaz Rutter (Universität Passau), Wouter Meulemans (TU Eindhoven), Scott Cunningham (University of Strathclyde), Bettina Speckmann (TU Eindhoven), and Mark Alfano (Macquarie University & Delft University of Technology). Here’s that paper’s abstract:

Social epistemologists should be well-equipped to explain and evaluate the growing vulnerabilities associated with filter bubbles, echo chambers, and group polarization in social media. However, almost all social epistemology has been built for social contexts that involve merely a speaker-hearer dyad. Filter bubbles, echo chambers, and group polarization all presuppose much larger and more complex network structures. In this paper, we lay the groundwork for a properly social epistemology that gives the role and structure of networks their due. In particular, we formally define epistemic constructs that quantify the structural epistemic position of each node within an interconnected network. We argue for the epistemic value of a structure that we call the (m,k)-observer. We then present empirical evidence that (m,k)- observers are rare in social media discussions of controversial topics, which suggests that people suffer from serious problems of epistemic vulnerability. We conclude by arguing that social epistemologists and computer scientists should work together to develop minimal interventions that improve the structure of epistemic networks.

A special commendation and a prize of €500 euro, made available by UCD Centre for Ethics in Public Life, was awarded to Paul Giladi (Manchester Metropolitan University) for his essay “The Agent in Pain: Alienation and Discursive Abuse”.

Other finalist entries in the competition were

  • “Epistemic Vulnerability” by Casey Rebecca Johnson (University of Idaho)
  • “From Vulnerability to Precarity: Examining the Moral Foundations of Care Ethics” by Sarah Clark Miller (Penn State University)
  • “Expressive Vulnerabilities” by Joe Larios (Emory University)

The winning and finalist essays, as well as a small number of papers commissioned by the editors, will be published in a special issue of IJPS, on vulnerability, in December.

(via Maria Baghramian and Mark Alfano)

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Eva Feder Kittay’s Recent Book Wins 2020 Prose Award for Philosophy

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 21/02/2020 - 1:10am in

The Association of American Publishers has announced the Subject Category winners of its Professional and Scholarly Excellence (PROSE) Awards. 

In the Philosophy Category, the winning book is Learning from My Daughter: The Value and Care of Disabled Minds by Eva Feder Kittay, Distinguished Professor of Philosophy (Emerita) at Stony Brook University, published by Oxford University Press.

Eva Feder Kittay and Sesha Kittay

The PROSE awards are aimed at recognizing “publishers who produce books, journals, and digital products of extraordinary merit that make a significant contribution to a field of study in the humanities, biological and physical sciences, reference and social sciences.”

The shortlist of finalists in the philosophy category also included:

You can see the list of winners in other categories here. An overall humanities prize, and then a prize across all categories, will be announced over the next several weeks.

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British Journal for the History of Philosophy Awards Best Article Prize

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 20/02/2020 - 4:04pm in



The British Journal for the History of Philosophy has announced the recipient of the 2019 Rogers Prize, its annual best article prize.

Nicholaos Jones

The prize winner is Nicholaos Jones, professor of philosophy at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, for his article, “The Architecture of Fazang’s Six Characteristics,” (volume 27, issue 3). (You can access an ungated version of the paper here).

Here’s the abstract of Professor Jones’ article:

This paper examines the Huayan teaching of the six characteristics as presented in the Rafter Dialogue from Fazang’s Treatise on the Five Teachings. The goal is to make the teaching accessible to those with minimal training in Buddhist philosophy, and especially for those who aim to engage with the extensive question-and-answer section of the Rafter Dialogue. The method for achieving this goal is threefold: first, contextualizing Fazang’s account of the characteristics with earlier Buddhist attempts to theorize the relationships between wholes and their parts; second, explicating the meaning Fazang likely attributes to each of the six characteristics; third, situating the characteristics as explicated within Fazang’s broader metaphysical framework. 

The runner-up for the prize is Jing Huang, a doctoral student at Freie Universität Berlin, for her paper “Did Nietzsche Want His Notes Burned? Some Reflections on the Nachlass Problem” (Vol. 27, no. 6).

Here’s the abstract of Ms. Huang’s article:

The issue of the use of the Nachlass material has been much debated in Nietzsche scholarship in recent decades. Some insist on the absolute interpretative priority of his published writings over those unpublished and suggest that an extensive engagement with the Nachlass is harmful because it is something Nietzsche rejected. To verify this claim, they appeal to the story of Nietzsche asking his landlord in Sils-Maria to burn some of his notes. Since the notes that were ultimately retrieved are purportedly incorporated into the compilation The Will to Power, the story also leads some to conclude that Nietzsche rejected his project on the will to power. However, the reliability of this story has been questioned. In this manuscript I first present the decisive piece of evidence that will settle the controversy over the story’s authenticity. After showing that it is true that in 1888 Nietzsche wanted some of his notes burned, I address the question of what we can conclude from this story. I argue that it neither suggests the abandonment of the will to power project, nor warrants a devaluation of the Nachlass. Finally, I will discuss the methodological problem of the use of Nietzsche’s Nachlass in general.

The winner of the Rogers Prize receives £1,000 (approximately $1,290). The prize was established in 2012 in honor of John Rogers, the founding editor of the journal.

(via Alix Cohen)

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Sarah Moss Wins Sanders Epistemology Prize

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 20/12/2019 - 4:56am in


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Sarah Moss, professor of philosophy at the University of Michigan, has won the 2019 Sanders Prize in Epistemology.

The Sanders Prize in Epistemology is awarded for the best submitted essay of original research in epistemology by either a scholar who is within fifteen years of receiving a Ph.D. or a current graduate student.

    Sarah Moss

Professor Moss won the prize for her essay, “Knowledge and Legal Proof.” Here’s the paper’s abstract:

Contemporary legal scholarship on evidence and proof addresses a host of apparently disparate questions: What does it take to prove a fact beyond a reasonable doubt? Why is the reasonable doubt standard notoriously elusive, even sometimes considered by courts to be impossible to define? Can the standard of proof by a preponderance of the evidence be defined in terms of probability thresholds? Why is merely statistical evidence often insufficient to meet the burden of proof?

This paper defends an account of proof that addresses each of these questions. Where existing theories take a piecemeal approach to these puzzles, my theory develops a core insight that unifies them—namely, the thesis that legal proof requires knowledge. Although this thesis may seem radical at first, I argue that it is in fact highly intuitive; in fact, the knowledge account of legal proof does better than several competing accounts when it comes to making sense of our intuitive judgments about what legal proof requires.

The prize is $5,000 and publication of the essay in Oxford Studies in Epistemology.

Professor Moss recently received honorable mention for the American Philosophical Association’s 2019 Book Prize for her book, Probabilistic Knowledge.

Honorable mention for the Sanders Epistemology Prize went to Thi Nguyen, associate professor of philosophy at Utah Valley University for his paper,  “Trust as an Unquestioning Attitude.” Here’s the abstract of the paper:

Most theories of trust presume that trust is a conscious attitude that can be directed at only other agents. I sketch a different form of trust: the unquestioning attitude. What it is to trust, in this sense, is not simply to rely on something, but to rely on it unquestioningly. It is to rely on a resource while suspending deliberation over its reliability. To trust, then, is to set up open pipelines between yourself and parts of the external world—to permit external resources to have a similar relationship to one as one’s internal cognitive faculties. This creates efficiency, but at the price of exquisite vulnerability. We must trust in this way because we are cognitively limited beings in a cognitively overwhelming world. Crucially, we can hold the unquestioning attitude towards objects. When I trust my climbing rope, I climb while putting questions of its reliability out of mind. Many people now trust, in this sense, complex technologies such as search algorithms and online calendars. But, one might worry, how could one ever hold such a normatively loaded attitude as trust towards mere objects? How could it ever make sense to feel betrayed by an object? Such betrayal is grounded, not in considerations of inter-agential cooperation, but in considerations of functional integration. Trust is our engine for expanding and outsourcing our agency—for binding external processes into our practical selves. Thus, we can be betrayed by our smartphones in the same way that we can be betrayed by our memory. When we trust, we try to make something a part of our agency, and we are betrayed when our part lets us down. This suggests a new form of gullibility: agential gullibility, which occurs when agents too hastily and carelessly integrate external resources into their own agency.

The prize is awarded and funded by the Marc Sanders Foundation, and administered by Tamar Szabó Gendler, Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences and Vincent J. Scully Professor of Philosophy and Professor of Psychology and Cognitive Science at Yale University.

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Chalmers Chosen to Deliver 2020 Sanders Lecture

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 20/12/2019 - 3:04am in


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The American Philosophical Association (APA) has selected David Chalmers, University Professor of Philosophy and Neural Science at New York University, to deliver the 2020 Sanders Lecture.

The Sanders Lectureship is an honor awarded to “a distinguished scholar in philosophy of mind, metaphysics, or epistemology who engages the analytic tradition.” It is sponsored by the Marc Sanders Foundation.

David Chalmers

The award announcement notes that Professor Chalmers

is best known for his work on consciousness, including his formulation of the “hard problem” of consciousness. Also well-known is his work on “the extended mind,” the idea that the technology we use (e.g. smartphones and the internet) can literally become part of our minds. His work on language, metaphysics, computation, and artificial intelligence has also attracted much interest. He is co-founder and past president of the Association for the Scientific Study of Consciousness, and is co-director of the PhilPapers Foundation. He has published three books: The Conscious MindThe Character of Consciousness, and Constructing the World

In addition to lecture itself, which Professor Chalmers will deliver at the 2020 Pacific Division Meeting of the APA in April, the award includes a $3,500 prize and the coverage of expenses related to attending the meeting.

You can view a list of previous winners of the Sanders Lecture here.

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Sandra Dwyer & Claire Katz Recognized for Excellence in Teaching

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 19/12/2019 - 2:45am in


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Sandra Dwyer, principal senior lecturer in the Department of Philosophy at Georgia State University, and Claire Katz, Associate Dean of Faculties, the Murray and Celeste Fasken Chair in Distinguished Teaching in the Liberal Arts, and a Professor of Philosophy at Texas A&M University, are the winners of the 2019 Prize for Excellence in Philosophy Teaching.

The Prize for Excellence in Philosophy Teaching is sponsored by the American Philosophical Association (APA), the American Association of Philosophy Teachers (AAPT), and the Teaching Philosophy Association (which puts out the journal Teaching Philosophy). The prize was created in 2017 to recognize members of the APA who have had “a profound impact on the student learning of philosophy in undergraduate and/or pre-college settings.”

Sandra Dwyer and Claire Katz

The prize is $1,000 and a plaque.

The APA’s announcement of the prize is here. Unfortunately, it does not (yet) include quotes from or links to the nomination letters for Professors Dwyer and Katz; I will update this post if they become available. Previous winners of the prize are listed here.

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Boden Wins Barwise Prize

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 19/12/2019 - 2:12am in



Margaret “Maggie” Boden, Research Professor of Cognitive Science at the University of Sussex, has won the 2019 K. Jon Barwise Prize from the American Philosophical Association (APA).

The Barwise Prize is awarded annually for “significant and sustained contributions to areas relevant to philosophy and computing by an APA member.”

Margaret Boden

Professor Boden helped develop the world’s first academic program in cognitive science (at Sussex). According to her biographical note at The British Academy:

She holds degrees in medical sciences, philosophy, and psychology (including a Harvard PhD, Cambridge ScD, and three honorary doctorates), and integrates these disciplines with AI in her research. She is a past vice-president of the British Academy and past Chair of Council of the Royal Institution, and an elected Fellow of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (and of its British and European equivalents). Her work has been translated into twenty languages, and she has lectured widely, to specialist and general audiences, around the world. She was the subject of BBC Radio-4’s The Life Scientific in October 2014. Her recent books include The Creative Mind: Myths and Mechanisms (1990/2004); Mind as Machine: A History of Cognitive Science (2006); and Creativity and Art: Three Roads to Surprise (2010)… She has two children and four grandchildren, and lives in Brighton.

Her latest book is AI: Its Nature and Future (2016).

The Barwise Prize includes a plaque and the honor of delivering a keynote talk at a computing and philosophy conference as well as a talk at one of the divisional APA meetings. You can see a list of previous winners of the prize here. For more about Jon Barwise, for whom the prize is named, see this obituary.


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“Corrupt the Youth” Wins Prize for Excellence & Innovation in Philosophy Programs

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 18/12/2019 - 12:54am in

Corrupt the Youth, an organization that brings philosophy to high school students and others, has won the 2019 Prize for Excellence and Innovation in Philosophy Programs, awarded jointly by the American Philosophical Association (APA) and the Philosophy Documentation Center (PDC).

The prize “recognizes philosophy departments, research centers, institutes, societies, publishers, and other organizations for creating programs that risk undertaking new initiatives in philosophy and do so with excellence and success” in the hopes of publicizing the programs “so they may inspire and influence others to follow their lead.”

Corrupt the Youth, named for one of the charges brought against Socrates, runs philosophy programs mainly for students at schools with high numbers of children from low-income families (Title 1 schools), training graduate students in philosophy to “provide exciting and rigorous philosophical content to the students who need it most.” It currently runs programs in five cities. The organization’s founder and executive director is Briana Toole, assistant professor of philosophy at Claremont-McKenna College.

The prize includes a plaque and over $3,000 worth of electronic access to a bundle of philosophy resources for an entire year. You can learn more about the prize and see a list of previous winners here.

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