The Keith Whittingslow Essay Prize is awarded annually to the author of the essay deemed, by the University of Hawaii Philosophy Department’s graduate admissions committee, to excel in creativity, philosophical rigor, and the synthesis of ideas from a variety of sources. Students in the Departments Master’s and Ph.D. programs were asked to submit recent papers for consideration. The winning author is awarded $2000 and is given the chance to present the their work at a department colloquium.
Keith Whittingslow was a lifelong scholar and author. Keith’s academic passions were philosophy, poetry, and interdisciplinary consciousness. He was a prolific author in poetry and prose, including his book “The Fine Structure of Constant: Philosophical Explorations via A Poetic of Consciousness. Until his passing in 2015, Keith was a good friend of the University of Hawaii Philosophy Department and in the early 2000’s was a regular participant in a wide variety of graduate seminars. The essay prize is made possible by his wife, Pat in memory of Keith’s dedication to the disciple of Philosophy.
This year, the winning paper was submitted by Sydney Morrow titled “Ordinary Absence: Ought a Metaphysical Ontology Include Nothing?”.
Abstract: This Paper is an exploration of ‘nothing’ that draws from several sources, including analytic ontology, classical Chinese Daoism, philosophy of mathematics, and existential philosophy. Once ‘nothing’ is situated within a metaphysical ontology, it begins to proliferate into different kinds, presentations, or potentials, and it even appears on the set of ethical decision-making. All puns are non-vacuously intended.
The Runner’s up prize was awarded to Jonathan McKinney for his paper titled “Apoha and Affordances”