Bingham Award

Each Spring the Philosophy Department awards the Bingham Prize to a deserving undergraduate. This award is designed to recognize and award undergraduate excellence in Philosophy. The Philosophy Department will present the prize of $750 and an engraved medal to the winner.

Qualifications for Submissions

  • You must have taken an undergraduate philosophy course at OSU during the current school year or during spring term of the previous year.
  • You must have written the essay since spring break the previous year.
  • You must have your essay endorsed by a faculty member or graduate teaching associate in the Philosophy Department. For that purpose please use the following:

Download a PDF icon nomination form [pdf]

Deadline for Submission: Friday, March 29, 2019 - 4:00 p.m.

Length: maximum page length for Bingham submissions is 20 pages
(double spaced, no smaller than 12-pt type, with reasonable margins.)

Submission Instructions

  1. Fill out the nomination form and have your faculty/TA supporter sign it. Have a hard copy of the form delivered to Michelle Brown, Department of Philosophy, 350 University Hall, no later than the advertised deadline.
  2. To permit a blind review, prepare an electronic manuscript of the paper, in which your name does not appear anywhere. The full title of the paper should appear at the top of the first page (i.e., there is no title page) Save this manuscript as a .doc or .pdf file. When you create the file, be sure that the author-box in the information on the file is left blank. Name the file ‘Bingham XX’, when ‘XX’ is the first two words of the title of your paper.
  3. By the advertised deadline, email this manuscript to Michelle Brown at (
  4. In the subject line of the email message write ‘a Bingham submission’.
  5. In the body of the message write:
    1. 'The title of the paper hereby submitted to the Bingham Competition: XXX', when 'XXX' is replaced by the full title that is also at the top of your manuscript, and
    2. 'Author: YYY', when 'YYY' is replaced by your name

REMEMBER TO ATTACH THE MANUSCRIPT (prepared for blind review)

Submissions received after the advertised deadline will be invalid and will not enter the competition. You will receive an acknowledgement within one business day of your submission.

A Brief History

William E. Bingham was born in England in 1884. He was compelled to terminate his formal education at the age of 14, and five years later he emigrated to Canada, where he assiduously prepared himself for enrollment in college. He studied philosophy at Ohio State University from 1914 to 1916 and upon graduation proceeded to Cornell University to pursue a graduate degree. However, in April 1917, with the threat of world war looming on the horizon, William Bingham enlisted in the United States Navy and a year later graduated from Annapolis as an ensign. In November of 1918 he married. Within a month after returning to duty he drowned when a boatload of sailors on patrol near Gibraltar capsized in heavy seas. His remains are located in the Arlington National Cemetery.

The post-war philosophy students here at Ohio State reacted to the untimely death of William Bingham first by producing a memorial issue of their yearbook, The Thinker, and then by deciding to create a memorial award to commemorate his bravery and memory. By 1921 a medal was commissioned by a famous French medalist and for a number of years this was offered as the award. In 1936 there was no medal available for the recipient, and during the Second World War the dies were lost. In 1944 an again in 1958, unsuccessful efforts were made to replace the cast. It appears that during some of this time the department awarded a picture of the medal to the winners of the prize. In addition, books were frequently awarded as well, and in 1950 an award of $25 was offered for the purchase of books. In the 1960's, a new medal was commissioned by the department, but it was not considered as attractive as the original. Finally, in 1981, the Department secured one of the original medals and had a new mold for this medal made. Current winners receive a copy of the original medal (shown below) and a cash prize of $500.00. The undergraduate scholar is then invited to present the winning paper to the faculty and fellow students at an award ceremony.

See the nomination form for further requirements and the submission deadline. Contact the Department for more information concerning the contest.

Front of Bingham Medal Back of Bingham Medal

Note: While there have been some years in which a Bingham Medal was not awarded, we know that the following list has significant omissions. We regret these omissions and ask your assistance in correcting them. If you, or someone you know, received a Bingham Medal that is not indicated below, or if you can help us with the titles of winning papers where they are missing, please contact Michelle Brown.

Past Bingham Award Winners
YearBingham WinnerPaper title
2018Garrett Patterson"Avoiding a Collective Action Objection to Norm-Expressivism"
2017Zhiyuan LiNot "Never Better to Have Been": The Position of Moderate Anti-Natalism
2016Katelyn Aberl"Embracing Counterintuitiveness in Haslanger's View for Feminist Action"
2016Troy Seagraves"Boghossian and Rule-Circularity"
2015Brad Griggs“Hume on Practical Reason: How Skeptical Is He?”
2014Brandon Sadowsky“Irrational Blame: A Problem for Scanlon”
2013Not AwardedNot Awarded
2012Kirun K. Sankaran"Inferentialism and Indeterminacy: Kripke, Brandom and Wilson"
2011Dan Giglio“The Price of Fictional Realism”
2011Gabbrielle M. Johnson“Reference Magnetism and Macro-Naturalism”
2010James Kinkaid"Nietzche, The Scientific Spiritualist"
2010Benjamin W. Priest"Towards Unifying Logical Harmony"
2009Timothy J. Leffel"Should an Intuitionist Accept Church's Thesis?"
2008John Wasserman"On Death"
2007Not AwardedNot Awarded
2006Michael Ondrick"The Moral Status of Lies with Regard to Consequentialism and Deontology -- or -- Chuck Meets an Untimely Demise Once Again"
2005Neil Lall"Montague's Justice-Based Self-Defense Against Innocent Attackers"
2004Whitney Gegg-Harrison"An Examination of Kripke's "A Puzzle About Belief"
2003Andy Chupick"Justification and Religious Belief: God and the Given"
2002Jason Allan Miller"The Metaphysical Status of Modal Property Attributions"
2001Benjamin Beebe"Between Gauthier and the Sensible Knave: A Possible Reconciliation"
2000John Glass"Kant and the Transcendental Unity of Apperception"
1999Mary Madia"Objections to the Nature of Railton's Evaluative Facts"
1998Elizabeth Tropman"Externalism, Vernacular Explanation and Explanatory Relevance"
1997Stephanie Partridge"God Endures"
1995Steven Blatti"Locke on Extension in Atoms"
1994Natalie Slavens"Maimonides on Creation"
1993James Okapal"Morals By Accident"
1991John Sarefield"Berkeley and the Problem of Other Minds"
1990Maria Dawn Senediar"Lawyers for Indigents"
1989Todd Lekan"Dostoevsky and Sartre on Freedom"
1987Scott Davison"Could God Foreknow Human Free Actions?"
1986Barry Wacksman"Some Old Problems for the New Materialism"
1985Jonathan Kandell 
1984Mark Svede 
1982Mark Lance"Reference Without Causation"
1981Kenneth Rose"Theoria: Participatory Metaphysics"
1980Mark Lance"Observation Sentences and Aesthetic Perception"
1979Nancy Peters
Christopher Wilson
"On Austin and the Star-speck"
"Some Relevant Reflections on Goldman's Analysis of Knowledge"
1968Nancy Weber 
1967Jim Blue 
1966Alexander Mosley 
1965Jeffrey Parker 
1964Lyle Angene 
1963James Child 
1946George Little Williams 
1939Eugene P. Drucker 
1935Raymond Mikesell 
1934Nathan Grundstein 
1932Francis McPeak 
1931Mary Sabine 
1930Robert Gunning 
1929J. B. Rieker, Jr. 
1928Thomal A Faulhaber"Justice"
1924Kenneth Smoke 
1923Florence Everhard"Evolutionism and Ethics"
1922Eugene Derby 

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