Patricia Churchland to Judge 3rd Annual 3QD Philosophy Prize

UPDATE 9/19/11: The winners have been announced here.

UPDATE 9/13/11: The list of finalists can be seen here.

UPDATE 9/12/11: The list of semifinalists can be seen here.

UPDATE 9/6/11: Voting round now open. Click here to see full list of nominees and vote.

Dear Readers, Writers, Bloggers,

Patricia-churchland-258x258 We are very honored and pleased to announce that Professor Patricia Churchland has agreed to be the final judge for our 3rd annual prize for the best blog writing in philosophy. (Details of the inaugural prize, judged by Daniel C. Dennett, can be found here, and more about last year's prize, judged by Akeel Bilgrami can be found here.)

The following biographical sketch is from Professor Churchland's Wikipedia entry:

Patricia Smith Churchland (born July 16, 1943 in Oliver, British Columbia, Canada) is a Canadian-American philosopher noted for her contributions to neurophilosophy and the philosophy of mind. She has been a Professor at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) since 1984. Since 1999 she has been UC President's Professor of Philosophy at UCSD, and has held an adjunct professorship at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies since 1989. Educated at the University of British Columbia, the University of Pittsburgh, and the University of Oxford (B.Phil.). She taught philosophy at the University of Manitoba from 1969 to 1984 and is the wife of philosopher Paul Churchland.

9780262530859-f30 On her own website, Professor Churchland describes her work as follows:

The central focus of my research has been the exploration and development of the hypothesis that the mind is the brain. My first book, Neurophilosophy (1986), argued in detail for a co-evolution of psychology, philosophy and neuroscience to answer questions about how the mind represents, reasons, decides and perceives. A major unanswered question in Neurophilosophy concerned the theoretical apparatus needed to bridge the gap between lower and higher levels of brain organization. I turned to this task in 1987, and began to collaborate with Terry Sejnowski on the book The Computational Brain (MIT 1992).

Patricia Churchland won a MacArthur (“Genius”) Award in 1991. She has also served as president of the American Philosophical Association (Pacific Division) and the Society for Philosophy and Psychology.

As usual, this is the way it will work: the nominating period is now open, and will end at 11:59 pm EDT on Spetember 5, 2011. There will then be a round of voting by our readers which will narrow down the entries to the top twenty semi-finalists. After this, we will take these top twenty voted-for nominees, and the four main editors of 3 Quarks Daily (Abbas Raza, Robin Varghese, Morgan Meis, and Azra Raza) will select six finalists from these, plus they may also add up to three wildcard entries of their own choosing. The three winners will be chosen from these by Professor Churchland.

The first place award, called the “Top Quark,” will include a cash prize of one thousand dollars; the second place prize, the “Strange Quark,” will include a cash prize of three hundred dollars; and the third place winner will get the honor of winning the “Charm Quark,” along with a two hundred dollar prize.

(Welcome to those coming here for the first time. Learn more about who we are and what we do here, and do check out the full site here. Bookmark us and come back regularly, or sign up for the RSS feed.)


PrizePhilosophyAnnounce2011 The winners of this philosophy prize will be announced on September 19, 2011. Here's the schedule:

August 29, 2011:

  • The nominations are opened. Please nominate your favorite philosophy blog entry by placing the URL for the blog post (the permalink) in the comments section of this post. You may also add a brief comment describing the entry and saying why you think it should win. (Do NOT nominate a whole blog, just one individual blog post.)
  • Blog posts longer than 4,000 words are strongly discouraged, but we might make an exception if there is something truly extraordinary.
  • Each person can only nominate one blog post.
  • Entries must be in English.
  • The editors of 3QD reserve the right to reject entries that we feel are not appropriate.
  • The blog entry may not be more than a year old. In other words, it must have been written after August 28, 2010.
  • You may also nominate your own entry from your own or a group blog (and we encourage you to).
  • Guest columnists at 3 Quarks Daily are also eligible to be nominated, and may also nominate themselves if they wish.
  • Nominations are limited to the first 200 entries.
  • Prize money must be claimed within a month of the announcement of winners.

September 5, 2011

  • The nominating process will end at 11:59 PM (NYC time) of this date.
  • The public voting will be opened soon afterwards.

September 11, 2011

  • Public voting ends at 11:59 PM (NYC time).

September 19, 2011

  • The winners are announced.

One Final and Important Request

If you have a blog or website, please help us spread the word about our prizes by linking to this post. Otherwise, post a link on your Facebook profile, Tweet it, or just email your friends and tell them about it! I really look forward to reading some very good material, and think this should be a lot of fun for all of us.

Best of luck and thanks for your attention!