Justin E. H. Smith to Judge 4th Annual 3QD Philosophy Prize

UPDATE 9/24/12: The winners have been announced here.

UPDATE 9/17/12: The finalists have been announced here.

UPDATE 9/15/12: The semifinalists have been announced here.

UPDATE 9/6/12: Voting round is now open. Click here to see full list of nominees and vote.

Dear Readers, Writers, Bloggers,

JustinWe are very honored and pleased to announce that Justin E. H. Smith has agreed to be the final judge for our 4th annual prize for the best blog and online writing in the category of philosophy. (Details of the previous three philosophy prizes can be seen by clicking on the names of their respective judges here: Daniel Dennett, Akeel Bilgrami, and Patricia Churchland).

Justin E. H. Smith is professor of philosophy at Concordia University in Montreal, Canada. Beginning in 2013 he will be Professeur des Universités at the Université de Paris 7-Denis Diderot. Completing a Ph.D. from Columbia University in 2000, his primary research focus over the past 15 years has been the history of metaphysics, philosophy of science, and natural philosophy in early modern Europe, with a particular interest in the philosophy of Leibniz. This interest culminated in 2011 with a lengthy study of Leibniz's theory of the generation, structure, and motion of living beings, entitled Divine Machines: Leibniz and the Sciences of Life. He has recently completed a book on the origins of so-called 'racial science' in the 18th century out of early modern philosophical debates about species taxonomy and the problem of natural kinds. This book, Nature, Human Nature, and Human Difference: Early Modern Philosophy and the Invention of Race, will appear from Princeton University Press, in 2013. He has also recently completed a translation and critical edition, with François Duchesneau, of Georg Ernst Stahl's Negotium otiosum, seu Skiamachia (1720), to appear from Yale University Press next year. He also has longstanding metaphilosophical and methodological interests in the relationship of philosophy to its history. This interest has recently culminated in an edited volume, with Eric Schliesser and Mogens Laerke, on this topic, to appear next year from Oxford University Press. Another major research project, under contract with Princeton University Press, is a book entitled A Global History of Philosophy, to 1700, which, thankfully, he has another five years to complete. In this connection, he has a developing research interest in classical Indian philosophy, particularly the philosophy of language in the Pāṇinian tradition, as well as the theory of the composition of bodies in Vaiśeṣika atomism. Running through this recent turn to comparative and so-called 'non-Western' philosophy is a serious interest in the nature of the philosophical project, including its anthropology and sociology, and its historical relationship to other, partially overlapping domains of human activity, particularly religious ritual and applied science. He also writes for the New York Times Stone series. More about his work can be found here: www.jehsmith.com/philosophy.

As usual, this is the way it will work: the nominating period is now open, and will end at 11:59 pm EST on September 3, 2012. 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 Justin Smith.

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.)


PrizePhilosophyAnnounce2012The winners of this prize will be announced on September 24, 2012. Here's the schedule:

August 27, 2012:

  • The nominations are opened. Please nominate your favorite 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 26, 2011.
  • 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 3, 2012

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

September 14, 2012

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

September 24, 2012

  • 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!