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Philosophy Essay Prize Competition 2016

Philosophy Essay Prize Competition 2016

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.

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.


“Can there be a credible philosophy of history?”

Many thinkers from classical times onwards 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 criticized 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.


The Royal Institute of Philosophy




3rd October 2016


  • Prospective authors should email their contributions as .doc files (not pdfs) to They should be submitted electronically in Word, with PRIZE ESSAY in the subject heading.
  • Contributions should on no account be longer than 10,000 words. Generally speaking far shorter is much to be preferred.
  • Authors should observe the conventions of the journal. The Editor will alter manuscripts wherever necessary to make them conform to journal style. Find information about formatting here.
  • Only corrections of typesetter’s errors can be allowed in proofs. Authors are therefore asked to send any alterations or additions to Professor O’Hear as soon as possible after receiving his letter of acceptance.
  • Authors of articles, discussion papers and review articles will receive a pdf offprint free of charge. Print offprints may be purchased from the publisher if ordered at proof stage. Authors will also receive a copy of the issue in which their article appears.
  • Books for review should be sent to the Editor at the Institute and not to Cambridge University Press. Publishers are asked to note that non-philosophical works are not reviewed in
  • Contributors of accepted articles will be asked to assign their copyright (on certain conditions) to the Royal Institute of Philosophy so that their interest may be safeguarded.
  • Authors are responsible for obtaining permission to reproduce any material in which they do not own copyright, to be used in both print and electronic media, and for ensuring that the appropriate acknowledgements are included in their manuscript.
  • Authors’ corrected proofs should be emailed to


Contact for your inquiries.


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