Prize Essay Competition in the Philosophy of History


2016 Prize Essay Competition

The Royal Institute of Philosophy and Cambridge University Press are pleased to announce the 2016 Philosophy Essay Prize. The winner of the Prize will receive £2,500 with his or her essay being published in Philosophy and identified as the essay prize winner.

The topic for the 2016 essay competition is:

Can there be a credible philosophy of history?

Many thinkers from classical times onward have seen history as having a predetermined direction. Some have seen it in terms of inevitable decline, others in terms of progress to a utopian future. The idea that history has a predetermined direction has been criticised by many, who stress the unpredictability of the future in general or the effects of human freedom, creativity and ingenuity, or other ways in which the course of events may change radically. Are these or other criticisms conclusive, or is it still possible to hold a deterministic or evolutionary view, either despite the criticisms or by refuting them directly? Even given historical unpredictability in detail, are there still trends in history which can be discerned? If history has no direction, is there anything left to be said about the philosophy of history? Authors may address the question by considering some of the issues raised above or by attempting other approaches of their own.

In assessing entries priority will be given to originality, clarity of expression, breadth of interest, and potential for advancing discussion. All entries will be deemed to be submissions to Philosophy and more than one may be published. In exceptional circumstances the prize may be awarded jointly in which case the financial component will be divided, but the aim is to select a single prize-winner.

Entries should be prepared in line with standard Philosophy guidelines for submission (see…/philosophy-informati…/). They should be submitted electronically in Word, with PRIZE ESSAY in the subject heading, to<>.

The closing date for receipt of entries is 3rd October 2016.

Entries will be considered by a committee of the Royal Institute of Philosophy, and the winner announced by the end 2016. The winning entry will be published in Philosophy in April 2017.

The Royal Institute of Philosophy is registered in the United Kingdom as a charity, number 313834, and is a company limited by guarantee, registered in England and Wales with number 205110, and with a registered office at 14 Gordon Square, London WC1H 0AR.