William James Philosophical Essay Contest

The contest is named for the pragmatist, William James, who is known for his eloquent and elegant philosophical essays.

Eligibility and Requirements

  • All majors and minors in philosophy at UNLV are eligible to apply for our annual essay contest.
  • Submissions may be on any philosophical topic and from any philosophical approach.
  • Submissions may be a term paper or a revised term paper no longer than 30 pages (preferably shorter). We are particular interested in essays that contain a single sustained philosophical argument.

The winner will receive a certificate and a check for $250 and have his/her name inscribed on a plaque in the philosophy department.

Each student may submit one essay per year, and former recipients are not eligible. Please include a current mailing and email address with your submission. Essays should be submitted in person at CDC #4 to "Student Awards Committee/Essay Contest."

Past Recipients

  • 2020 - Emmanuel Yirdaw
  • 2019 - Elijah Kreutzer
  • 2018 - Catherine Galvez and J.D. Wagner
  • 2017 - Remi Richard
  • 2016 - Kristina Beske
  • 2015 - Monelyssa Montehermoso
  • 2014 - Henry Nikogosyan
  • 2012 - Steven Berghel and Kristen Hurd
  • 2011 - Brian Metzger
  • 2009 - Joseph Bray
  • 2007 - Jesse Fitts
  • 2005 - Donovan Wishon
  • 2004 - Niki Vrsnick


For more information contact:

Professor Abigail Aguilar