Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Subject Guide: Philosophy: Award-winning books

This is a guide to resources in philosophy

American Philosophical Society

The Book Prize is awarded in odd years for the best, published book that was written by a younger scholar during the previous two years. For more information about the American Philosophical Association, sponsors of this award, click here.

2019  Down girl : the logic of misogyny by Kate Manne; Probabilistic knowledge by Sarah Moss (honorable mention)
2017  Achievement by Gwen Bradford; Evidence and agency : norms of belief for promising and resolving by Berislav Marušić (honorable mention)
2015  Building better beings : a theory of moral responsibility by Manuel Vargas; Quitting certainties : a Bayesian framework modeling degrees of belief by Michael Titelbaum (honorable mention); How we hope : a moral psychology by Adrienne Martin (honorable mention)
2013  Global justice and territory by Cara Nine; Globalization and global justice : shrinking distance, expanding obligations by Nicole Hassoun (honorable mention); Minimizing marriage : marriage, morality, and the law by Elizabeth Brake (honorable mention)
2011  Delusions and other irrational beliefs by Lisa Bortolotti; The red and the real : an essay on color ontology by Jonathan Cohen (honorable mention)
2009  The limits of loyalty by Simon Keller; The normative web : an argument for moral realism by Terence Cuneo (honorable mention); Sounds : a philosophical theory by Casey O'Callaghan (honorable mention)
2007  Knowledge and practical interests by Jason Stanley; Action in perception by Alva Noë (honorable mention); Epistemology after Protagoras : responses to relativism in Plato, Aristotle, and Democritus by Mi-Kyoung Lee (honorable mention)
2005  Thomas Aquinas on human nature : a philosophical study of Summa theologiae 1a, 75-89 by Robert Pasnau; Moral realism : a defense by Russ Shafer-Landau (honorable mention); A defense of abortion by David Boonin (honorable mention)
2003  Four-dimensionalism : an ontology of persistence and time by Ted Sider
2001  The significance of consciousness by Charles Siewert; Practical induction by Elijah Millgram (honorable mention)
2000  The moral problem by Michael Smith; The disorder of things : metaphysical foundations of the disunity of science by John Dupre (honorable mention); Vagueness : a reader by Timothy Williamson (honorable mention)

The Joyce Mitchell Cook Award is a biennial award in honor of Joyce Mitchell Cook, the first black woman to receive a Ph.D. in philosophy in the United States, recognizing a book written by a trailblazing black woman philosopher. This award has been suspended. For more information about the American Philosophical Association, sponsors of this award, click here.

2014  Hannah Arendt and the Negro question by Kathryn Gines

The Sanders Book Prize is awarded to the best book in philosophy of mind, metaphysics, or epistemology that engages the analytic tradition published in English in the previous five-year period. For more information about the American Philosophical Association, sponsors of this award, click here. http://www.apaonline.org/mission

2019  The metaphysics of truth by Douglas Edwards; Pieces of mind by Carrie Figdor (honorable mention); The unity of perception by Susanna Schellenberg (honorable mention)
2018  The fragmentation of being by Kristopher McDaniel; Hume's true scepticism by Donald Ainslie (honorable mention)
2017  Ontology made easy by Amie Thomasson; Ockham's razors : a user's manual by Elliott Sober (honorable mention)
2016  Evidence and agency : norms of belief for promising and resolving by Berislav Marušić
2015  Unruly words by Diana Raffman; Making sense of freedom and responsibility by Dana Nelkin (honorable mention)
2014  Causation : a user's guide by L. A. Paul and Ned Hall
2013  Effective intentions : the power of conscious will by Alfred Mele

National Book Award

For more information about the National Book Award, click here.

These award categories ended in 1983.

1983  "Subtle is the Lord-- " : the science and the life of Albert Einstein by Abraham Pais (Science); The mathematical experience by Philip J. Davis and Reuben Hersh (Science)
1982  Lucy, the beginnings of humankind by Donald C. Johanson and Maitland A. Edey (Science); Taking the quantum leap : the new physics for nonscientists by Fred Alan Wolf (Science)
1981  The panda's thumb : more reflections in natural history by Stephen Jay Gould (Science); The medusa and the snail : more notes of a biology watcher by Lewis Thomas (Science)
1980  The gnostic gospels by Elaine Pagels (R/I); A severe mercy by Sheldon Vanauken (R/I); Gödel, Escher, Bach : an eternal golden braid by Douglas R. Hofstadter (Science); The dancing wu li masters : an overview of the new physics by Gary Zukav (Science)

Awards for Sciences and for Philosophy and Religion were discontinued in 1975.  They reappeared in 1980 as Religion/Inspiration and Science, but the Religion/Inspiration awards were discontinued after 1980.
1975  Anarchy, state, and utopia by Robert Nozick (Philosophy and Religion); Interpretation of schizophrenia by Silvano Arieti (Sciences); The lives of a cell : notes of a biology watcher by Lewis Thomas (Sciences)
1974  Edmund Husserl; philosopher of infinite tasks by Maurice Natanson (Philosophy and Religion); Life : the unfinished experiment by S. E. Luria (Sciences)
1973  A religious history of the American people by Sydney E. Ahlstrom (Philosophy and Religion) (2d ed. (2004) here); The Serengeti lion; a study of predator-prey relations by George B. Schaller (Sciences)
1972  Righteous empire : the Protestant experience in America by Martin E. Marty (Philosophy and Religion); The blue whale by George L. Small (Sciences)
1971  Science in the British colonies of America by Raymond Phineas Stearns (Sciences)
1970  Gandhi's truth on the origins of militant nonviolence by Erik H. Erikson (Philosophy and Religion)

The awards for Science and for Philosophy and Religion were split in 1970.
1969  Death in life : survivors of Hiroshima by Robert Jay Lifton
1968  Death at an early age : the destruction of the hearts and minds of Negro children in the Boston public schools by Jonathan Kozol
1967  La vida; a Puerto Rican family in the culture of poverty--San Juan and New York by Oscar Lewis
1966  No Award
1965  God and Golem, inc. : a comment on certain points where cybernetics impinges on religion by Norbert Wiener
1964  Man-made America : chaos or control?  An inquiry into certain problems of design in the urbanized landscape by Christopher Tunnard

Phi Beta Kappa Society Ralph Waldo Emerson Award

The Ralph Waldo Emerson Award is offered for scholarly studies that contribute significantly to interpretations of the intellectual and cultural condition of humanity. Established in 1960, this award may recognize work in the fields of history, philosophy and religion. These fields are conceived in sufficiently broad terms to permit the inclusion of appropriate work in related fields such as anthropology and the social sciences. Biographies of public figures may be eligible if their primary critical emphasis is on the intellectual and cultural condition of humanity. For more information about the Phi Beta Kappa Society, sponsor of these awards, click here.

2019  The known citizen : a history of privacy in modern America by Sarah E. Igo
2018  Greater Gotham : a history of New York City from 1898 to 1919 by Mike Wallace
2017  From the war on poverty to the war on crime : the making of mass incarceration in America by Elizabeth Hinton
2016  The murder of William of Norwich : the origins of the blood libel in Medieval Europe by E. M. Rose
2015  The Parthenon enigma by Joan Breton Connelly
2014  Anti-Judaism : the Western tradition by David Nirenberg
2013  Short nights of the Shadow Catcher : the epic life and immortal photographs of Edward Curtis by Timothy Egan
2012  Armies of heaven : the first crusade and the quest for apocalypse by Jay Rubenstein
2011  Bloodlands : Europe between Hitler and Stalin by Timothy Snyder
2008  Muhammad's grave : death rites and the making of Islamic society by Leor Halevi
2007  Inhuman bondage : the rise and fall of slavery in the New World by David Brion Davis
2006  American curiosity : cultures of natural history in the colonial British Atlantic world by Susan Scott Parrish
2005  Absolute destruction : military culture and the practices of war in Imperial Germany by Isabel Hull
2004  The end of the soul : scientific modernity, atheism, and anthropology in France by Jennifer Michael Hecht
2003  The eye of the Lynx : Galileo, his friends, and the beginnings of modern natural history by David Freedberg
2002  Ermengard of Narbonne and the world of the troubadours by Fredric L. Cheyette
2001  Van Gogh and Gauguin : the search for sacred art by Debora Silverman
2000  The Holocaust in American life by Peter Novick
1999  A history of madness in sixteenth-century Germany by H. C. Eric Midelfort
1998  The name of war : King Philip's War and the origins of American identity by Jill Lepore
1997  Spinoza, liberalism, and the question of Jewish identity by Steven B. Smith
1996  Codex Telleriano-Remensis : ritual, divination, and history in a pictorial Aztec manuscript by Eloise Quinones Keber
1995  The resurrection of the body in Western Christianity, 220-1336 by Caroline Walker Bynum
1994  W. E. B. Du Bois -- biography of a race, 1868-1919 by David Levering Lewis
1993  Protecting soldiers and mothers : the political origins of social policy in the United States by Theda Skocpol
1992  The radicalism of the American Revolution by Gordon S. Wood
1991  In search of human nature : the decline and revival of Darwinism in American social thought by Carl N. Degler
1990  America's Rome by William L. Vance
1989  The body and society : men, women, and sexual renunciation in early Christianity by Peter Brown
1988  The fall of the house of labor : the workplace, the state, and American labor activism, 1865-1925 by David Montgomery.
1987  Ecological imperialism : the biological expansion of Europe, 900-1900 by Alfred W. Crosby (2d ed. (2004) here)
1986  The world of thought in ancient China by Benjamin I. Schwartz
1985  The crucible of race : black/white relations in the American South since emancipation by Joel Williamson
1984  Against the apocalypse : responses to catastrophe in modern Jewish culture by David G. Roskies
1983  The war within : from Victorian to modernist thought in the South, 1919-1945 by Daniel Joseph Singal
1982  Philosophical explanations by Robert Nozick
1981  White supremacy : a comparative study in American and South African history by George M. Fredrickson
1980  Utopian thought in the Western World by Frank E. Manuel and Fritzie P. Manuel
1979  The printing press as an agent of change : communications and cultural transformations in early modern Europe by Elizabeth L. Eisenstein
1978  The rise of American philosophy : Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1860-1930 by Bruce Kuklick
1977  Peasants into Frenchmen : the modernization of rural France, 1870-1914 by Eugen Weber
1976  The Great War and modern memory by Paul Fussell (25th anniversary ed. here)
1975  The venture of Islam : conscience and history in a world civilization by Marshall G. S. Hodgson
1974  Venice, a maritime republic by Frederic C. Lane
1973  Reflections on the causes of human misery and upon certain proposals to eliminate them by Barrington Moore, Jr.
1972  A theory of justice by John Rawls
1971  American convictions : cycles of public thought, 1600-1850 by Charles A. Barker
1970  Love and will by Rollo May
1969  Weimar culture : the outsider as insider by Peter Gay
1968  White over black : American attitudes toward the Negro, 1550-1812 by Winthrop D. Jordan (1974 version)
1967  Children of crisis : a study of courage and fear by Robert Coles
1966  The career of philosophy, volume 2 : from the German Enlightenment to the age of Darwin by John Herman Randall, Jr.
1965  O strange new world : American culture : the formative years by Howard Mumford Jones
1964  Race : the history of an idea in America by Thomas F. Gossett
1963  Anti-intellectualism in American life by Richard Hofstadter
1962  Freedom in the ancient world by Herbert J. Muller
1961  Mysticism and philosophy by W. T. Stace
1960  Philosophy and the modern world by Albert William Levi

Association of American Publishers

The PROSE Awards annually recognize the very best in professional and scholarly publishing by bringing attention to distinguished books, journals, and electronic content in over 40 categories. Judged by peer publishers, librarians, and medical professionals since 1976, the PROSE Awards are extraordinary for their breadth and depth. For more information about the Professional Scholarly Publishing division of the Association of American Publishers, sponsor of this award, click here.

Prize awarded to books about philosophy, religion, religious studies, and theology

2019  Down girl : the logic of misogyny by Kate Manne
2018  Understanding ignorance : the surprising impact of what we don't know by Daniel DeNicola; Heretics! : the wondrous (and dangerous) beginnings of modern philosophy by Steven Nadler and Ben Nadler (honorable mention); Paul : the pagans' apostle by Paula Fredrikson; Genes, determinism, and God by Denis Alexander (honorable mention)
2017  Echoes of scripture in the gospels by Richard B. Hays; History and presence by Robert A. Orsi (honorable mention); In the beginning was the word : the Bible in American public life, 1492-1783 by Mark A. Noll (honorable mention); The ground has shifted : the future of the black church in post-racial America by Walter Earl Fluker (honorable mention)
2016  How propaganda works by Jason Stanley; Ockham's razors : a user's manual by Elliott Sober (honorable mention); The ethics of suicide : historical sources, edited by Margaret Pabst Battin (honorable mention); What's divine about divine law? : early perspectives by Christine Hayes; The ransom of the soul : afterlife and wealth in early western Christianity by Peter Brown (honorable mention); The vice of luxury : economic excess in a consumer age by David Cloutier (honorable mention); Who made early Christianity? : the Jewish lives of the Apostle Paul by John G. Gager (honorable mention)
2015  Torture, power, and law by David Luban; How should we live? : a practical approach to everyday morality by John Kekes (honorable mention); Would you kill the fat man? :  the trolley problem and what your answer tells us about right and wrong by David Edmonds (honorable mention); Augustine deformed : love, sin and freedom in the Western moral tradition by John M. Rist; David, King of Israel, and Caleb in Biblical memory by Jacob L. Wright (honorable mention); Emil Brunner – a reappraisal by Alister E. McGrath (honorable mention); Maimonides : life and thought by Moshe Halbertal (honorable mention)
2012  Kantian reason and Hegelian spirit : the idealistic logic of modern theology by Gary Dorrien; The philosophy of Hebrew scripture : an introduction by Yoram Hazony (honorable mention)
2011  The ethical project by Philip Kitcher; A book forged in hell : Spinoza's scandalous treatise and the birth of the secular age by Steven Nadler; The religious question in modern China by Vincent Goossaert and David A. Palmer; Christianity in evolution : an exploration by Jack Mahoney (honorable mention); Food and faith : a theology of eating by Norman Wirzba (honorable mention); How Judaism became a religion : an introduction to modern Jewish thought by Leora Batnitzky (honorable mention)
2010  Friedrich Nietzsche : a philosophical biography by Dr. Julian Young; The new metaphysicals : spirituality and the American religious imagination by Courtney Bender; Surviving death by Mark Johnston (honorable mention); In the name of God : the evolutionary origins of religious ethics and violence by John Teehan (honorable mention); What is a person? : rethinking humanity, social life, and the moral good from the person up by Christian Smith (honorable mention)
2009  Plato's philosophers : the coherence of the dialogues by Catherine H. Zuckert; Hard truths by Elijah Millgram (honorable mention); Boundless faith : the global outreach of American churches by Robert Wuthnow; Sinister yogis by David Gordon White (honorable mention)
2008  Made with words : Hobbes on language, mind, and politics by Philip Pettit; Aristotle's dialogue with Socrates : on the "Nicomachean Ethics" by Ronna Burger (honorable mention); A guide to the good life : the ancient art of Stoic joy by William B. Irvine (honorable mention); Catholic moral theology in the United States : a history by Charles E. Curran; The Orthodox Church : an introduction to its history, doctrine, and spiritual culture by John Anthony McGuckin (honorable mention); Resurrection : the power of God for Christians and Jews by Kevin J. Madigan & Jon D. Levenson (honorable mention)
2007  Only a promise of happiness : the place of beauty in a world of art by Alexander Nehamas; The really hard problem : meaning in a material world by Owen J. Flanagan (honorable mention); The voice, the Word, the books : the sacred scripture of the Jews, Christians, and Muslims by F. E. Peters
2006  Pessimism : philosophy, ethic, spirit by Joshua Foa Dienstag; The natural history of the Bible : an environmental exploration of the Hebrew Scriptures by Daniel Hillel; The rise and fall of soul and self : an intellectual history of personal identity by Raymond Martin and John Barresi (honorable mention); Therese of Lisieux : God's gentle warrior by Thomas R. Nevin (honorable mention)
2005  The ethics of identity by Kwame Anthony Appiah; God's mountain : the Temple Mount in time, place, and memory by Yeron Eliav; The invention of world religions : or, how European universalism was preserved in the language of pluralism by Tomoko Masuzawa; Truth : a guide by Simon Blackburn (honorable mention)
2004  The reasons of love by Harry G. Frankfurt; The Jewish century by Yuri Slezkine; American Judaism : a history by Jonathan Sarna (honorable mention)
2003  Philosophical analysis in the twentieth century by Scott Soames; Walking the tightrope of reason : the precarious life of a rational animal by Robert Fogelin; The monotheists : Jews, Christians, and Muslims in conflict and competition by Frank Peters; God's man for the Gilded Age : D.L. Moody and the rise of modern mass evangelism by Bruce J. Evensen (honorable mention)
2002  Evil in modern thought : an alternative history of philosophy by Susan Neiman; Mirror of His beauty : feminine images of God from the Bible to the early Kabbalah by Peter Schäfer; Truth and truthfulness : an essay in genealogy by Bernard Williams (honorable mention); When church became theatre : the transformation of evangelical architecture and worship in nineteenth-century America by Jeanne Halgren Kilde (honorable mention)
2001  Sacred pain : hurting the body for the sake of the soul by Ariel Glucklich
2000  Fits, trances, & visions : experiencing religion and explaining experience from Wesley to James by Ann Taves; The Divine Office in the Latin Middle Ages : methodology and source studies, regional developments, hagiography : written in honor of Professor Ruth Steiner, edited by Margot E. Fassler and Rebecca A. Baltzer; Good taste, bad taste, & Christian taste : aesthetics in religious life by Frank Burch Brown
1999  Protestants & pictures : religion, visual culture, and the age of American mass production by David Morgan
1998  Consciousness in action by S. L. Hurley
1996  Augustine the reader : meditation, self-knowledge, and the ethics of interpretation by Brian Stock
1995  Tears and saints by E. M. Cioran
1994  The holocaust in historical context : volume 1 : The holocaust and mass death before the modern age by Steven T. Katz
1993  The origins of Christian morality : the first two centuries by Wayne A. Meeks
1992  Madonnas that maim : popular Catholicism in Italy since the fifteenth century by Michael P. Carroll
1991  Fundamentalisms observed, edited by Martin E. Marty and R. Scott Appleby