Cariana Prizes: Essay Contest


5 of the 7 Cariana Prize Winners

Five of the seven winners of the Cariana Prizes from left to right: Kyle Van Gorkom, Kevin Busch, Savannah Pearlman, Matthias Jenny and Dustin Neuman. (Kevin Craven and Vivian Pham are not pictured here.)


The Cariana Prizes in Philosophy Essay Contest was open to all students who were enrolled at Brandeis for the 2011-2012 academic year in the following three categories:

(1) an undergraduate Majoring or Minoring in Philosophy;

(2) a graduate student in the  M. A. Program in Philosophy; or

(3) an undergraduate who was neither a Major nor a Minor in Philosophy, but who had written an essay on a philosophical topic.

There were 46 submissions.  All submissions were blind-reviewed--that is, the authors' names were removed from the papers before they were read by the Selection Committees.  There were three readers who read the graduate student papers and three who read all of the undergraduate entries.

There were four winners of the "Cariana Graduate Prize in Philosophy":

  1. Kevin Busch: "Rethinking Hume v. Kant on Causation"
  2. Kevin Craven: "Self-Ascription and the Semantic Distinctness of the First Person"
  3. Matthias Jenny: "More Trouble for the Equal Weight View"
  4. Dustin Neuman: "Permanent Because Necessary? Time, Modality, and Idioms of Quantification"

And three winners of the "Cariana Undergraduate Prize in Philosophy"

  1. Savannah Pearlman: "Reconciling Pryor and Stroud: Dogmatic Justification Softens the Blow of the Skeptical Conclusion"
  2. Kyle Van Gorkom: "The Evidential Status of the Copernican-Keplerian Model at the Time of Galileo's Trial"
  3. Vivian Pham: "A Reevaluation of Truth Commissions"

The names of the prize winners were published in this year's Commencement Program, and each winner will receive $850


Donors: The Cariana Prize in Philosophy is supported by Bert and Sandra Shea '56 Fisher. Sandra is a member of the 5th class of Brandeis University, and obtained her B.A. in Music. She was an avid singer and has performed all over the world. Bert worked overseas in Venezuela for 10 years, before settling in the Washington D. C. area. They now split their time between the District and Florida, and have three children, two of whom attended Brandeis University. The Cariana Prize in Philosophy is named after their daughter, Cariana A. Fisher, '83.

Philosophy Department Faculty Members with Cariana Prize Winners:


Top row from left to right: Eli Hirsch; Palle Yourgrau; Savannah Pearlman, BA '12; Kyle Van Gorkom, BA '13; Kevin Busch, MA '12; Matthias Jenny, MA '12; Jerry Samet; Dustin Neuman, MA '12; Robert Greenberg. Seated from left to right: Jennifer Marusic (with Petra), Berislav Marusic, Brett Sherman, Marion Smiley. Not pictured are Kevin Craven, MA '13; Vivian Pham, BA '13; and Andreas Teuber ( who is taking the photo).