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The Bertrand Russell Society

The BRS Student Essay Competition


The Bertrand Russell Society invites papers for its annual Student Essay Competition prizes. We award two prizes annually for the best new papers by an undergraduate or graduate student. Prize-winners present their papers at the Society’s annual meeting (this year June 2-4 at Central Connecticut State University), receive $200, free registration, lodging and banquet at the annual meeting, and a complimentary first-year membership in the Russell Society.

Papers can be on any aspect of Russell’s life, work, or influence. They must be suitable for presentation to a general audience, and should be designed for a presentation of 20 minutes (8 to 10 double-spaced pages of text).

Submit a complete or nearly complete paper, not an abstract, to BRS president Tim Madigan (tmadigan@rochester.rr.com). State that you would, if chosen, attend the BRS annual meeting. Those who have previously appeared on an annual meeting program are not eligible.

This year, the deadline for submissions is April 30, 2017.


Past Prize Winners


Beginning in 1993, these prizes replaced the Society’s Doctoral and Masters Grants.

2015   (no prize winner)

2014   (no prize winner)

2013   Cyril Ifeanyi Anene, All Saints Catholic Church Major Seminary, Uhiele, Ekpoma, Nigeria

2012   (no prize winner)

2011   Donovan Wishon (graduate student, Stanford University)
“Russellian Acquaintance Without Discriminating Knowledge”

2010   (no prize winner)

2009   (no prize winner)

2008   Andrew Cavallo (undergraduate, Central Connecticut State University)
“Russell’s Conception of Ethics”

2007   Chris Russell (graduate student, La Trobe University)
“Kant and Russell’s Logicism”

2006   Emilio Reyes Le Blanc (graduate student, University of Toronto)
“Russell on Acquaintance and De Dicto Belief”
Max Belaise (graduate student, University of Martinique)
“Russell on Science and Religion”

2005   Gulberk Koc (graduate student, McMaster University)
“Russell’s Behavioral Theory of Meaning”

2004   Irem Kurtsal (graduate student, Syracuse University)
“Russell on Matter and Our Knowledge of the External World”
James Connelly (graduate student, York University)
“Russell and Wittgenstein on Propositions”

2003   David Taylor (graduate student, University of Iowa)
“Causal Processes: A Realist Approach”

2002   (no prize winner)

2001   Giovanni Vianelli (graduate student, University of Bologna)
“The Centenary of the Paradox: Pythagoras and (the recently discovered) Russell”

2000   (no prize winner)

1999   Jose E. Idler (graduate student, Central University, Venezuela)
“The Human Project in Bertrand Russell”

1998   (no prize winner)

1997   (no prize winner)

1996   Brian Rookey (undergraduate, Arkansas State University)
“What Is Meaning?”
Gideon Makin (graduate student, Wolfson College, Oxford and the Bolton Institute)
“Some Prevalent Misconceptions Concerning the Theory of Descriptions”

1995   Paul O'Grady (graduate student, Trinity College, Dublin)
“The Russellian Roots of Naturalized Epistemology”
This paper was subsequently published in Russell 15.1 (1995), 53-63.

1994   Todd Hughes (undergraduate, SUNY, Geneseo)
“Russell and Pitcher on Propositions”
Jason Holt (graduate student, Dalhousie University)
“On Russell’s Construction of Mind”

1993   Tyler W. Roberts (undergraduate, SUNY, Fredonia)
“Russell, the Individual and Society”
Stefan Andersson (graduate student, University of Lund, Sweden)
“Bertrand Russell’s Search for Certainty in Religion and Mathematics”
This was from Stefan’s thesis, later published as In Quest of Certainty: Bertrand Russell’s Search for Certainty in Religion and Mathematics up to The Principles of Mathematics (1903) (Stockholm, 1994).

Chair of Program: John R. Lenz (1993-1995, 1999); John Shosky (1996-98); Alan Schwerin (2000-). Committee Members: Elizabeth R. Eames (1993-?), Marvin Kohl (1993-95), John Lenz (1993-), Tim Madigan (1993-?), John Shosky (1993-98).