2021 Philosopher’s Annual

Philosopher’s Annual has released its 41st volume, covering the literature from 2021.

The publication aims to “select the ten best articles published in philosophy each year—an attempt as simple to state as it is admittedly impossible to fulfill.”

Geoff Myers, “Black + White Numbers”

The selections of the editors of Philosopher’s Annual, based on suggestions from its nominating editors, are:

Louis deRosset, “Hollow Truth,” from the Philosophical Review

J. Dmitri Gallow, “A Model-Invariant Theory of Causation,” from the Philosophical Review

Alan Hájek and Wlodek Rabinowicz, “Degrees of Commensurability and the Repugnant Conclusion,” from Noûs

Tom Hurka, “Against ‘Good For’/’Well-Being’, For ‘Simply Good’,” from the Philosophical Quarterly

Matthew Mandelkern, “If P, Then P!” from the Journal of Philosophy

Stephen Menn, “Aristotle on the Many Senses of Being,” from Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy

Shyam Nair, “‘Adding Up’ Reasons: Lessons for Reductive and Nonreductive Approaches,” from Ethics

Theron Pummer, “Impermissible yet Praiseworthy,” from Ethics

Una Stojnić, “Just Words: Intentions, Tolerance and Lexical Selection,” from Philosophy and Phenomenological Research

Monique Wonderly, “Forgiving, Committing, and Un-forgiving,” from Philosophy and Phenomenological Research

The editors of Philosopher’s Annual are Patrick Grim (Center for the Study of Complex Systems, University of Michigan; Philosophy, Stony Brook), Abdulwausay Ansari, Margot Witte, and Lianghua (Glenn) Zhou (University of Michigan).

The nominating editors for this round were: Jc Beall, Ned Block, Ben Bradley, Liam Kofi Bright, Lara Buchak, Tyler Burge, Victor Caston, David Chalmers, Andrew Chignell, Roger Crisp, Cian Dorr, Adam Elga, Iskra Fileva, Branden Fitelson, Graeme Forbes, Aaron Garrett, Michael Glanzberg, Alexander Guerrero, Alan Hajek, Ned Hall, Elizabeth Harman, Gary Hatfield, Benj Hellie, Christopher Hitchcock, Des Hogan, Simon Huttegger, Simon Keller, Tom Kelly, Niko Kolodny, Jennifer Lackey, Marc Lange, Brian Leiter, Ernie Lepore, Neil Levy, Martin Lin, John Marenbon, Colin McLarty, Jeff McMahan, Shaun Nichols, Paul Noordhof, Graham Oddie, Rohit Parikh, Derk Pereboom, Richard Pettigrew, Duncan Pritchard, Theron Pummer, Greg Restall, Geoffrey Sayre-McCord, Barry Schein, Mark Schroeder, Laura Schroeter, Stewart Shapiro, Ted Sider, Scott Soames, Roy Sorensen, Quayshawn Spencer, Katie Steele, Una Stojnik, Eric Swanson, Johan van Benthem, Mark van Roojen, Sergio Tenenbaum, Peter B. M. Vranas, Eric Watkins, Danielle Wenner, Gideon Yaffe, Jose Zalabardo, and Kevin Zollman.

You can view previous editions of Philosopher’s Annual here.

(via Patrick Grim)



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1 year ago

How disappointing to find that only one of these articles is freely available to an interested general audience who don’t have the means to purchase them. I hope this will change.

Reply to  Gary
1 year ago

Many of these papers are freely available on the authors’ personal websites.

Curious Post-Doc
1 year ago

Does anyone know how or where to view what else was nominated?

tenured cishet white male
1 year ago

Congrats to the authors!

I can’t help but wonder whether this is a good use of the time of all the people involved though.

As far as I’m concerned, there is one main justification for awards like this (which I’d put in the same category as ‘best conference paper’, ‘best paper of the year in our journal’, etc.): to give the author a CV line that will impress a dean.

But all these papers appeared in prestigious journals meaning that the authors will already be able to have their (no doubt excellent) work recognized. Is the marginal benefit to an author of appearing in this list in addition to being published in Ethics, PPR, or PhilReview really worth the time spent on creating the list? I doubt it.

Robert A Gressis
Robert A Gressis
Reply to  tenured cishet white male
1 year ago

I don’t actually think that’s the main justification. I think the main justification is to draw attention to certain papers that at least a largish number of prestigious philosophers think (or at least claim to think) are very good.

Matt L
Reply to  Robert A Gressis
1 year ago

This seems right, and it’s also a case where literally everyone involved in the process is involved because they want to be, so it seems safe to think that _they_ think it’s a good enough use of their time.

And, there are some other awards that might serve some of the desired end. For example:

The APA Article Prize is for “the best published article by a younger scholar in the previous two years”.

The Essay Prize in Latin American Thought is for “the author of the best unpublished, English-language, philosophical essay in Latin American thought”.

The The Journal of Value Inquiry Prize is awarded for the best unpublished article-length work in philosophy by a non-academically affiliated philosopher.

The Routledge, Taylor & Francis Prize recognizes the scholarly work of adjunct professors.

The Frank Chapman Sharp Memorial Prize is awarded to the best unpublished essay or monograph on the philosophy of war and peace.

These are all prizes administered by the APA to one degree or another. There are probably others, too. So, it’s not clear that we’re short of prizes that do something like the requested. (And, these seem like better ideas than a “best article in a 2nd tier journal” prize.)