Brian Laetz Graduate Essay Prize

Effective 2011-12, the Department will award the Brian Laetz Graduate Essay Prize (valued at $200) annually to one graduate student.

Decision Procedure:

  1. Essays will be submitted to the Award Nominations Committee chair by students. Each student can submit at most one essay, with a maximum length of 7,500 words (the footnotes but not the bibliography should be included in the word count). An email reminder will be sent out annually on May 1; essays will be due by May 15.
  2. Each student may be awarded the Laetz prize at most once during his or her studies at UBC.
  3. The prize will be awarded on the basis of overall essay quality, and may be given to a student at any stage of the program.
  4. Essays should be prepared for blind reviewing and submitted to the Department Admin Manager or the Graduate Secretary.
  5. The prize will be adjudicated by the Award Nominations Committee, and the winner will be announced by May 31.

Brian Laetz (January 18, 1977 – March 18, 2010) was a much beloved doctoral student in our graduate program. Brian specialized in aesthetics and was granted his PhD (posthumously) in November 2010 for his dissertation, Issues in the Appreciation of Art and Nature. This annual Graduate Essay Prize allows us to honour and remember Brian, who was a prolific and meticulous writer.

The Brian Laetz Essay Prize was made possible through the generous contributions of Cynthia Laetz, Susan Kay, Amanda Marshall, UBC Dean of Arts Office, UBC Faculty of Graduate Studies, faculty and students in the UBC Philosophy Department, and additional friends of Brian Laetz.

Winners of the Laetz essay prize:

2011-2012   Oisin Deery, “Is Agentive Experience Compatible with Determinism?”

2012-2013   Jamie Hellewell, “Autonomy and Liberty: A Critical Examination of Christman’s Ideal of Freedom.”

2013-2014   Tyler DesRoches, “On Aristotle’s Natural Limit.” (tie) and Joseph Frigault, “In Search of the Principles of Morals: Does Hume Make a Linguistic Analogy?” (tie)

2014-2015   Stefan Lukits, “Augustin’s Concessions: A problem for Indeterminate Credal States.”

2015-2016   Rebecca Livernois, “Regretful Decisions and Climate Change.”

2016-2017   Irwin Chan, “And you, Brutus?”