2013 Winner: Gregory Furmaniuk

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Greg Furmaniuk
is in the fourth and final year of his Honours Bachelor of Arts in Political Science at the University of Winnipeg. His focus for the time being includes critical theory, virtue ethics, interpreting the world and maybe trying to change it. After completing his undergraduate degree, Greg intends to apply for law school and / or graduate programs in political theory. Download his winning paper Prometheus and the Owl of Minerva and comment on it below.

Prometheus and the Owl of Minerva

Abstract: This essay is an investigation into the moral and political theories of Alasdair MacIntyre and Charles Taylor, often grouped together under the “communitarian” label in the liberal-communitarian debate. My definition of a communitarian is one who believes that humans are fundamentally social and political animals, and sees human life as embodied in context, in the community and in human interaction. Examining the dynamics between MacIntyre and Taylor, two of the debate’s most prominent thinkers, is crucial to our understanding of this tradition, along with its grandeur and misère. The first section of this paper describes MacIntyre and Taylor’s criticism of modernity. The second aims at capturing both MacIntyre and Taylor’s method of forging a renewed human agency. The final section reveals my critique of Taylor and MacIntyre, with the conclusion that the communitarian project remains unfinished.

2013 Short List

Congratulations to the the following applicants whose papers were short listed for the Keenan Prize for 2013!

  • Robert Mason from the University of Waterloo – Liberal Neutrality and the Problem of Persons
  • Jonathan Wald from McGill University – Two Models of Culture, Two Models of Toleration
  • Emma Byrnes from Queen’s University – Marxism vs. Liberal Egalitarianism: The implications of the debate, and a possible way forward
  • Vincent Hanlon from Queen’s University – Is Freedom the Absence of Constraints?