Wm. H. Fink Information page

William H. Fink Award

Each year the Department holds a competition for the William H. Fink award, which carries a cash prize (currently $1,000). The prize is awarded in recognition of an outstanding graduate student essay in philosophy.Papers submitted for the Fink competition are expected to be presentations of original, sustained philosophical arguments—or original, insightful criticisms of published material. The papers should exhibit the philosophical quality and polish in execution one finds in credible submissions to good philosophy journals. Awards need not be made every year.

The deadline for submissions for the Fink award this year is Sunday, 16 October, 2016 at noon. Questions regarding the competition should be addressed to Allan Silverman.

More information about William H. Fink.

Fink Award Winners

Year Fink Winner Paper Title

Evan Woods

Honorable Mention: Jerilyn Tinio

"Simple Constitution and the Explanatory Ambitions of Constitution Theory"

"The Mind’s Figurative Force: On the Compatibility of Mind-Body Interaction and Descartes’s Principle of the Conservation of Motion"


Jeremy Weiss

Honorable Mention: Andrew Kissel

"Affect, Love and Importance"

"Debunking Free Will Belief Debunkers"


John Hurst

Honorable Mention: Juan Garcia

"An Epistemic Constraint on Intention: Null Hypothesis or Genuinely Binding?"

"Kant's Schematism, Paul Guyer and the Empirical Constraint"


Owen King

Honorable Mention: Scott Brown

"Well-being and Life Improvement, Ceteris Paribus"

"Problems for Instantiation as Identity"


Kate McFarland

Honorable Mention: Keren Wilson

"De-Semanticizing the Dispute about Disputes of Taste"

"Aristotle on Continuity"

2011-2012 Daniel Pearlberg

Eric Snyder
"Modifying the Interventionist Solution to the Problem of Causal Exclusion "

"Gradability and Vagueness"
2010-2011 No prize awarded  
2009-2010 Nathan Smith "Diachronic Agency and Personal Identity"
2008-2009 Salvatore Florio

Honorable Mention: Alisa Wandzilak
"Is Two a Plural Property?"

"Why Reason Might Not Require Means-End Coherence"
2007-2008 Dai Heide "Kant's 'Rejected' Alternative"
2006-2007 Wesley Cray "Modal realism without overlap (and without counterpart theory either)"
2005-2006 Adam Podlaskowski "Rule-Following Without Idealization"
2004-2005 William Roche "In Defense of Coherentism: Against the Alternative-Systems Objection and the Isolation Objection"
2003-2004 Julian Cole "Linguistic Priority, Metaphysical Dependence and Mathematics"
2002-2003 Henry Pratt "Categorization and Interpretation of Art: Intentions or Bust!"
2001-2002 Nicholaos Jones "Unification as an Epistemic Virtue"
2000-2001 Lee Franklin "Philosophical Reflection and Recollection in the Phaedo"
1999-2000 Roy Cook "Vagueness and Mathematical Precision"
1998-1999 David Eng "Psychological Realism: A Solution to the Generality Problem"
1997-1998 David Merli "Noncognitivism and Moral Epistemology"
1996-1997 Joseph Salerno "Revising the Logic of Logical Revision"
1995-1996 Keith Korcz "Reasons for Which One Believes"
1994-1995 David Lightner "Hume on Inconceivability, Impossibility, and Adequate Ideas"
1993-1994 Jill Dieterle "Structuralism and Mathematical Realism: Causal Objections to Ontological Realism"
1992-1993 G. Michael Watkins "Dispositionalism, Ostension, and Austerity"
1991-1992 Laura Keating "Un-Locke-ing Boyle: Boyle on Primary and Secondary Qualities"
1990-1991 Norman Mooradian "False Pleasure in the Philebus"
1989-1990 Jody Graham "Room Enough for One: A Solution for Color Incompatability"
1988-1989 Dirk Baltzly
Barbara Scholz
"Content and Value"
"Semantic Anti-Realism Without Revision"
1987-1988 No prize awarded  
1986-1987 Mitch Flower "On the Doctrine of Transcendental Idealism and the Distinction Between Appearances and Things in Themselves"
1985-1986 Beth Cohen "Vagueness, Realism, and Classical Logic"
1984-1985 Erdinc Sayan Functionalism and the Mental"
1983-1984 David Drebushenko "Ideal Theories"
1982-1983 Martin Rice " Nihil veri simile nisi aliquid certum est"
1981-1982 James Rubino
Clyde Kilgore
"Leibniz and Locke on the Attribution of Innate Knowledge"
"Justice in Original Acquisition"
1980-1981 Steven Nuttall "Voluntariness: The Rationale of Criminal Responsibility"
1979-1980 Michael Costa "Arnauld, Descartes, and Ideas"