THE ROYAL INSTITUTE OF PHILOSOPHY
2015 Philosophy Essay Prize Competition
The Royal Institute of Philosophy and Cambridge University Press are pleased to announce the 2015 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 2015 essay competition is:
‘Do Life and Living Forms present a problem for materialism?’
Old style vitalism, attributing an internal animating substance or force to living things gave way to the idea that life may yet be a property over and above physical and chemical ones. Subsequent to that it was widely thought that life is an organisational or functional feature of bodies instantiated by their physical properties. With ongoing debates about analogous issues relating to mind (especially consciousness and intentionality) still running, and renewed interest in anti-reductionist interpretations of emergence and of teleological description and explanation the question is posed: do life forms present a problem for materialism?
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.
They should be submitted electronically in Word, with PRIZE ESSAY in the subject heading, to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The closing date for receipt of entries is 1st October 2015.
Entries will be considered by a committee of the Royal Institute of Philosophy, and the winner announced by the end 2015. The winning entry will be published in Philosophy in April 2016.
See also: Why origin of life is a difficult problem for naturalism (materialism)
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