Ariel Melamedoff is the the winner of this year’s Martha Lile Love Essay Award. His paper, “Atomistic Time and Simultaneous Causation in Hume’s Treatise”, examines Hume’s claim that the possibility of simultaneous causation would entail the “utter annihilation of time.” The paper engages at a very high level with Hume scholarship and historical figures such as Kant, Aristotle and Aquinas, and also stakes out an interesting position in contemporary debates about time and succession.
Ariel was a student in the MA program last year, and is currently enjoying a year off working and traveling, after which time he plans to return to philosophy.
Honourable Mentions go to Nir Av-Gay and Jared Riggs. Nir’s paper, “Gradability in Discourse”, advances the literature on gradable adjectives by explaining an account of incommensurable sub-comparatives—sentences which compare individuals along two distinct measures (e.g., “Sarah is more intelligent than Aaron is kind”). Jared’s paper, “Moral Theory Without Metaphysics”, offers a novel argument for the metaethical conclusion that there are no moral reasons, an argument based not on metaphysical considerations but on the premise that making moral judgments is, on the whole, bad for us.
The award was adjudicated by Waheed Hussain and Michael Miller, who judged the nominees for the award to comprise an excellent field of candidates. Many thanks to Waheed and Michael, and warm congratulations to the nominees on their excellent work.
This award was founded 38 years ago to honour the memory of a Toronto graduate student, Martha Lile Love, who had herself won an essay prize at Smith College, where she did her undergraduate degree in philosophy. Past winners of the Martha Lile Love Essay Award include Denis Klimchuk, Jane Friedman, Achille Varzi, and Evan Thompson.