PROSE Award Winners in the Philosophy Category (Updated)

[See the update, below.] The American Association of Publishers (AAP) bestows awards on publishers for books that “demonstrate exceptional scholarship and have made make a significant contribution to a field of study.” Known as the PROSE Awards, they are given for books in various disciplinary categories, including philosophy.

The 2019 PROSE winner in the philosophy category is Oxford University Press (OUP) for Down Girl: The Logic of Misogyny by Kate Manne, assistant professor of philosophy at Cornell University. Whether the book will win OUP  the PROSE Award for Excellence in Humanities, or the AAP’s R.R. Hawkins Award, which goes to the overall winner across all categories, will be announced next month.

Though the AAP has been dispensing its awards since 1976, it only recognized philosophy as a distinctive subject category for the first time in 2002 (prior to that it shared a category with religion). Here are the PROSE Award winners in the philosophy from today back to then:

2019 Oxford University Press Down Girl: The Logic of Misogyny Kate Manne
2018 MIT Press Understanding Ignorance: The Surprising Impact of What We Don’t Know Daniel DeNicola
2017 Princeton University Press The Philosopher: A History in Six Types Justin E.H. Smith
2016 Princeton University Press How Propaganda Works Jason Stanley
2015 Cambridge University Press Torture, Power, and Law David Luban
2013 Palgrave Macmillan The Problem of Political Authority: An Examination of the Right to Coerce and the Duty to Obey Michael Huemer
2012 Oxford University Press The Geometry of Desert Shelly Kagan
2011 Harvard University Press The Ethical Project Philip Kitcher
2010 Cambridge University Press Friedrich Nietzsche: A Philosophical Biography Julian Young
2009 University of Chicago Press Plato’s Philosophers: The Coherence of the Dialogues Catherine Zuckert
2008 Princeton University Press Made with Words: Hobbes on Language, Mind, & Politics Philip Pettit
2007 Princeton University Press Only a Promise of Happiness Alexander Nehamas
2006 Princeton University Press Pessimism Joshua Foa Dienstag
2005 Princeton University Press Ethics of Identity Kwame Anthony Appiah
2004 Princeton University Press The Reasons of Love Harry G. Frankfurt
2003 Princeton University Press Philosophical Analysis in the Twentieth Century, Volumes I & II Scottt Soames
2002 Princeton University Press Evil in Modern Thought: An Alternative History of Philosophy Susan Neiman

(Note: there is no 2014 listing because that was the year the AAP stopped identifying the awards with the years in which the books were published and began doing so using the year in which the awards were bestowed. Also, in some years “honorable mentions” were bestowed; those are not included on this list.)

 So, during the existence of the PROSE subject award for philosophy, Princeton University Press has won the category nine times. Oxford University Press and Cambridge University Press have each won it twice. MIT Press, Harvard University Press, and Palgrave Macmillan have each won it once.

How many times has a philosophy category winner advanced to win the overall Humanities award, which the AAP created in 2007? Just once, in 2009. That year, University of Chicago Press won both the Humanities award and the Hawkins Award for Plato’s Philosophers: The Coherence of the DialoguesThe author of that book, Catherine Zuckert, is emeritus professor of political science at Notre Dame.

UPDATE:  Oxford University Press, with Kate Manne’s Down Girl: The Logic of Misogyny, has won the 2019 PROSE Award for Excellence in Humanities. This is the first time a publisher has won the category with a book authored by someone whose primary appointment is in a philosophy department. The R.R. Hawkins Award, which goes to the overall winner across all categories, was the winner of the social sciences category: OUP, for Cyberwar: How Russian Hackers and Trolls Helped Elect a President by Kathleen Hall Jamieson (University of Pennsylvania).

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Ryan Higgins
5 years ago

This is great news. Philosphy needs to get back on the map as a culturally relevent subject of study. Furthermore, it woud be great to see more public dialogues in the media between scientists and, philosophers regarding the moral and legal dilema’s we are facing today.