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2012 Winner: Andrew Molas

Andrew Molas is a recent graduate from the University of Toronto, where he received his Honours Bachelor of Arts in English and Philosophy. He is currently in the process of applying to graduate programs to study Philosophy, and his philosophical strengths/areas of interests include political philosophy, ethics and morality, and bioethics. Download his winning paper Discussing the Sufficiency Condition in Locke’s Second Treatise of Government and comment on it below.

Discussing the Sufficiency Condition in Locke’s Second Treatise of Government

Abstract: This paper examines the sufficiency condition discussed in §27 of Locke’s Second Treatise and to discuss whether it is meant to serve as a necessary restriction on the right to appropriate goods in the State of Nature. By appealing to the work done by Waldron, I will examine both Tully’s argument—that the sufficiency condition is necessary to ensure that people are not made worse off and deprived of the right to the means of their survival—and Sreenivasan’s argument—that the condition is necessary to limit the amount that an individual can legitimately appropriate in order to preserve an equal opportunity for everyone to access and appropriate resources to ensure their subsistence—and argue that neither of these arguments successfully demonstrate why the sufficiency condition should be interpreted as a necessary restriction on individual appropriation.

2012 Short List

Congratulations to the the following applicants whose papers were short listed for the Keenan Prize for 2012!

  • William Brooke – Social Capital and Distributive Justice
  • Walter J. Reid – Contractarian and Communitarian Approaches to International Justice and Environmental Ethics
  • Alexander Agnello – Tending to Needs Over Preferences: A Discussion on Expensive Tastes
  • Zachary Nicholas Davidson – Hobbes’ Leviathan: A Project for Peace

2011 Winner: Eric Mathison

Eric Mathison attended the University of Calgary for his undergraduate and is Editor in Chief of The Gauntlet, its student publication. Download his winning paper The Insufficiency of Negative Rights for Children and comment on it below.

The Insufficiency of Negative Rights for Children

Abstract: In this paper I argue that negative rights are insufficient for children if the goals of liberal justice are to be fulfilled. I begin by adopting Will Kymlicka’s two preconditions for liberalism: that lives must be led from the inside, and that we must have the freedoms to revise our conceptions of the good life. I focus on the importance of autonomy development in children for those preconditions to obtain. Next I evaluate the right to an open future, which posits that children have the right to choose the type of lives they wish to lead as adults. I argue, however, that approaches of this type cannot fulfill the goals of liberalism because they fail to sufficiently address positive rights.

2011 Short List

Congratulations to the the following applicants whose papers were short listed for the Keenan Prize for 2011!

  • Mike Kryluk – The Dialectic of the Hemlock
  • William Brooke – The Formal Failure and Social Success of Logic
  • Jesse Robertson – Theorizing Progress in the Black Canoe
  • Anthony Sangiuliano – Defending the Kantian Approach to Justification and Legitimacy.

2010 Winner: Michael Anthony

Michael Anthony is the winner of the inaugural Keenan Prize. He is from the University of Victoria and was one of the many reasons why we instituted a word count maximum for subsequent prize years. Download his (15,000+ word) paper Imminent Humanity and comment on it below.

Imminent Humanity: Re-evaluating individual responsibility, liability, and immunity in times of war from a liberal perspective.

Abstract: What do we owe each other in times of war? Although we may claim to understand our obligations in personal contexts, war presents extraordinary moral problems which are not easily solved by the application of familiar principles. This fact often tempts theorists and philosophers to assume either (a) wars, and the killing done in them, are in principle unethical or (b) wars are outside the realm of moral consideration. This paper takes a broadly liberal approach to examining the principles governing the forfeiture of human rights. Specifically, this paper looks at Igor Primoratz’s claim that liberalism is committed to terroristic implications; this paper also provides a number of key revisions to Michael Walzer’s just war paradigm on issues of the moral equality of soldiers, noncombatant immunity, and the doctrine of double effect. This paper was written in part to demonstrate the importance of philosophical reflection on issues that have been increasingly considered matters of state policy or strict legality.

2010 Short List

Congratulations to the the following applicants whose papers were short listed for the Keenan Prize for 2010!

  • Pani Sarkis-Michael – Inclusive Legal Positivism vs Exclusive Legal Positivism
  • Shawn Bartlett – Robert Nozick, Rights, and What We Owe Others
  • Kajia Eidse-Rempel – Lyotard and Foucault: Condemning Us to the Computerized and Disciplinized Society
  • Rebecca Vasluianu – Democracy and the Problem of Epistemic Adequacy

The Brian M. Keenan Fund is Established

In our first year of soliciting donations we’ve been seeking pledges in order to reach the minimum $2500.00 needed to open an account with the Winnipeg Foundation. As of today, our pledge goal has been met and exceeded by $1000. A huge thank-you to all of those early donors that have been so willing to promise us money in complete support and co-operation with this project.

The Dr. Brian M. Keenan Fund has been established today with the Winnipeg Foundation.