Akshath Jitendranath, a postdoctoral fellow in Philosophy and Economics at the Paris School of Economics, is the winner of the 2023 Isaac Levi Prize.
Jitendranath won the prize for his paper, “Optimization and Beyond”. Here’s its abstract:
This paper will be concerned with hard choices—that is, choice situations where an agent cannot make a rationally justified choice. Specifically, this paper asks: if an agent cannot optimize in a given situation, are they facing a hard choice? A pair of claims are defended in light of this question. First, situations where an agent cannot optimize because of incompleteness of the binary preference or value relation constitute a hard choice. Second, situations where agents cannot optimize because the binary preference or value relation violates acyclicity do not constitute a hard choice.
The prize, awarded by The Journal of Philosophy, includes $10,000 and publication of the winning essay in the journal.
The Isaac Levi Prize was created in 2019 in honor of philosopher Isaac Levi, who served as a longtime editor for The Journal of Philosophy, and is awarded to an article submitted to the Journal in the areas and themes that interested Levi, such as decision theory, epistemology, formal epistemology, pragmatism (especially as developed by Peirce), philosophy of science, social choice theory, ethics of controversy, and the relevance of philosophy in these areas to public life.
To learn more about the prize and see a list of past winners, go here.