First prize: $250

Second prize: $150

Third prize: $100


  1. Competition restricted to papers written for IUP philosophy courses.
  2. Papers must be typed, at least six double-spaced pages in length, and written in standard font with standard margins.
  3. Paper must be prepared for blind review by removing all identifying marks (including author's name), and by providing a detachable cover sheet with author's name, email address, and the paper's title.
  4. All submissions must include a bibliography.
  5. Papers submitted during a previous competition cannot be submitted again.

2023 Winners

First Prize: Dylan Roberts McDonald "An Analysis of Jason Brennan's Epistocratic System"

Second Prize: Jordan Thomas "Compatibilism and an Objection to Susan Wolf's Sane Deep-Self View" 

Third Prize: Carly Ryan "Examining the Value of Competency in an Electorate: A Rebuttal to Brennan's Argument"

2022 Winners

First Prize: Alexander Giffen, "Material Constitution and Everyday Beliefs"

Second Prize: Audrey Ritko, "Leibniz's and Hume's Accounts of Causation and Necessary Connection"

Third Prize: Sasha Shulman, "Difference in Idealism"

2020 Winners

First Prize: Collin Hoffman, "Scheffler's Hybrid Theory: A Solution to Consequentialism and Deontology"

Second Prize: Kathryn Misiak, "A Defense of Hilary Putnam's Sociolinguistic Hypothesis"

Third Prize: Raven Roland, "A Philosophical Account of Affirmative Action"

2019 Winners

First Prize: Daniel Wethli, "The Common Escape into Kierkegaard's Aesthetic Sphere of Existence"

Second Prize: Brianna Karenbauer, "Differences Between Constructive Empiricism and Traditional Scientific Anti-Realism"

Third Prize:Wade Larison, "The Emergence of Ecstases: Heidegger's Concepts of Care and Temporality"

2018 Winners

First Prize: Daniel Wethli, "A Defense of Gigerenzer's Optimistic View of Human Rationality"


Second Prize: Lindsey Gibson, "A Critique of Aristotelian Essentialism"


Third Prize: Joseph Gregory, "The Justness of Plato's Aristocracy"

2017 Winners

First Prize: Shawn Horvath, "The Death Penalty: Can It Be Justified Without Free Will?"

Second Prize: Joseph Gregory, "The Practical Validity of Radical Responsibility"

Third Prize: Abby Jo Panek, "Universalism and the Meaning of Equality"

2016 Winners

First Prize: Olivia Wolfe, "Entitlement and Political Legitimacy: The Implications of Socially Cooperative Production"

Second Prize: Afton Herring, "On Nature, Nurture, and Universal Grammar"

Third Prize: Robert Wilt, "The Altruistic Ego"

2015 Winners

First Prize: Peter Crivellaro, "Consciousness as an Extended Capacity"

Second Prize: Aubrey Keperling, "How to Make Our Lives Seem Longer: Manipulating Our Engagement with the World from Ready-to-hand' to Present-at-hand'"

Third Prize: Joel DeMary, "Is There a Moral Obligation to Follow the Law?" and Katie Gunning "The Role of Women in Plato's Republic"

2014 Winners

First prize: Ross Newcome, "Constructive Empiricism: A Model of Reality"

Second prize: Rachel Lager, "An Analogy Fit for a Philosopher King"

Third prize: Kristen Shafer, "Realistic Realism: The Scientific Aims to Explaining Reality"

2013 Winners

First prize: Luke Piper, "Plato's Views on Akrasia: A Case for Consistency"

Second prize: Leah Keller, "To Be Sisyphus or to Escape Leveling"

Third prize: Kelly Muthler, "Distributive Justice and the Environment"

2012 Winners

First prize: Christian Minich, "Ceteris Paribus: The War Over the Constants of Immortality"

Second prize: Sophia Hosterman, "Between a Diamond and a Hard Place: Interpreting the Tractatus"

Third prize: Leah Keller, "Closed Due to Cognition: Colin McGinn's Theory of Cognitive Closure"

2011 Winners

First prize: Christian Minich, "Navigating Charybdis and Scylla: Mulligan and Heil's Account of Relations"

Second prize: Chaz McCown, "Nietzsche's Metaphysiological Aesthetics in The Birth of Tragedy"

Third prize: Sophia Hosterman, "Establishing the Untenability of Scientific Realism"

2010 Winners

First prize: Ronald Radzai, "Interpretive Method and Hume's Appendix Retration in theTreatise"

Second prize: Christian Minich, "Deficiency of Forms: Superiority of the Exact Property View in the Phaedo"

Third prize: Charles McCown, "RelationsAll In Your Head?"

2009 Winners

First prize: Tommy Hanauer, "Contra Scientific Realism"

Second prize: Carole Walker, "The Akratic Shoe-Shopper: Can We Knowingly Choose What is Bad for Us?"

Third prize: Jason Patton, "Free Will"