Turbayne Essay Prize

Colin and Ailsa Turbayne
Berkeley Essay Prize Competition

Professor and Mrs. Colin Turbayne established an International Berkeley Essay Prize competition in cooperation with the Philosophy Department at the University of Rochester.

The winners of the most recent prize are:

Keota Fields (University of Massachusetts – Dartmouth) for his essay “Berkeley on the Meaning of General Terms”

Todd DeRose (Ohio State University) for his essay “’Experience Itself Must be Taught to Read and Write’: Scientific Practice and Berkeley’s Philosophy of Nature”

Congratulations to both!

The next deadline for submitting papers is November 1, 2022. Guidelines for submission may be found here. Submitted papers should address some aspect of Berkeley’s philosophy. Essays should be new and unpublished and should be written in English and not exceed 5,000 words in length. All references to Berkeley should be to Luce & Jessop, and an MLA or similar standard for notes should be followed. Submissions are blind reviewed and will be judged by members of a review board selected by the Department of Philosophy at the University of Rochester.

The winner will be announced March 1, 2023 and will receive a prize of $2,000. Copies of winning essays are to be sent to the George Berkeley Library Study Center located in Berkeley’s home in Whitehall, Newport, RI.


Colin Turbayne (1916-2006) was a professor of the philosophy department at the University of Rochester from 1957 to 1980. When he established the prize in 1988,Turbayne said, “I wanted to advance Berkeley scholarship throughout the world, and I wanted to help the University’s philosophy department, where I spent 23 years.”

The first four prize-winning essays were subsequently published in the collection edited by Robert Muehlmann, Berkeley’s Metaphysics: Structural, Interpretive, and Critical Essays (1995).

The following links may also be of interest:

University of Rochester’s Philosophy Department
University of Rochester’s official Turbayne prize page

Past prize winners

  • 2019
    • Manual Fasko, (University of Zurich)
      • “Representation, Resemblance and the Scope of George Berkeley’s Likeness Principle”
    • Peter West (Trinity College Dublin)
      • “Anti-Representationalism in Berkeley and Sergeant”
  • 2015
    • Nancy Kendrick (Wheaton College, Massachusetts)
      • “The ‘Empty Amusement’ of Willing: Berkeley on Agent Causation,” published in Berkeley Studies 25 (2014): 3-15
  • 2013
    • Thomas Curtin (Trinity College Dublin)
      • “Berkeley’s Conception of Causal Power”
  • 2011
    • Stefan Storrie (Trinity College Dublin)
      • “Berkeley’s Apparent Cartesianism in De Motu,” published in the Archiv fur Geschichte der Philosophie 94 (2012): 353-66
  • 2009
    • Sukjae Lee (Ohio State University)
      • “Berkeley on the Activity of Spirits,” published in the British Journal for the History of Philosophy 20 (2012): 539-76
  • 2007
    • Jeffrey McDonough (Harvard University)
      • “Berkeley, Human Agency and Divine Concurrentism,” published in the Journal of the History of Philosophy 46 (2008): 567-90
  • 2005
    • Laurence Carlin (University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh)
      • “Teleology and Phenomenalism in Leibniz and Berkeley,” revised and published as “Leibniz and Berkeley on Teleological Intelligibility,” History of Philosophy Quarterly 23 (2006): 151-69.
  • 2003
    • Michael Collins Allers (University of Michigan)
      • “A Worry about Divine Perception in Berkeley’s Philosophy.”
  • 2001
    • John Carriero (University of California at Los Angeles)
      • “Berkeley, Resemblance, and Sensible Things,” published in Philosophical Topics 31 (2003): 21-46.
    • Todd Ryan (Trinity College, Hartford)
      • “A New Account of Berkeley’s Likeness Principle,” published in the British Journal for the History of Philosophy 14 (2006): 561-80.
  • 1999
    • Margaret Atherton (University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee)
      • “Mr. Abbott and Prof. Fraser: A 19th Century Debate About Berkeley’s Theory of Vision,” published as Report 19/96 Forschungsgruppe, Perception and the Role of Evolutionary Internalized Regularities, Zentrum fuer interdisziplinaere Forschung, University of Bielefeld, 1996.
  • 1995
    • Stephen Harris (College of William & Mary)
      • “Berkeley’s Argument from Perceptual Relativity,” published in History of Philosophy Quarterly 14 (1997): 99-120.
  • 1993
    • George Pappas (Ohio State University)
      • “Berkeley and Scepticism,” published in Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 59 (1999): 133-49.
    • Alan Hausman (Hunter College, CUNY) and David Hausman (Dedman College)
      • “A New Approach to Berkeley’s Ideal Reality,” published in Berkeley’s Metaphysics, edited by Robert G. Muehlmann (1995), 47-65.
  • 1992
    • Lisa Downing (University of Illinois at Chicago)
      • “Berkeley’s Case Against Realism About Dynamics,” published in Berkeley’s Metaphysics, edited by Robert G. Muehlmann (1995), 197-214.
  • 1991
    • Robert G. Muehlmann (University of Western Ontario)
      • “The Substance of Berkeley’s Philosophy,” published in Berkeley’s Metaphysics, edited by Robert G. Muehlmann (1995), 89-105.
  • 1990
    • Phillip D. Cummins (University of Iowa)
      • “Berkeley’s Manifest Qualities Thesis,” published in the Journal of the History of Philosophy 28 (1990): 385-401, and reprinted in Berkeley’s Metaphysics, edited by Robert G. Muehlmann (1995), 107-125.
Submissions can be sent electronically to phladmin@philosophy.rochester.edu or by surface mail to:
Chair, Department of Philosophy
University of Rochester
PO Box 270078
Lattimore 532
Rochester, NY 14627-0078.