(Originally posted on Nov 12, 2011)
The Lakatos Award is arguably the most prestigious book prize for monographs in the philosophy of science broadly construed. As many of you already know, no Lakatos Award has been awarded this year. This is the statement that announces the decision:
Many, including me, found this decision somewhat surprising, for many important and interesting philosophy of science books have been published in the last five years. The following are a few examples (Aside from a few additions I made, the list draws on a post by Eric Schliesser at NewAPPS and the comments to it. Please let me know if there are any other glaring omissions, as I'm sure there are [UPDATE: Unfortunately it turns out I can no longer add titles to the poll. SO I apologize for any omissions]).
The London School of Economics and Political Science announces that the Lakatos Award, of £10,000 for an outstanding contribution to the philosophy of science, will not be awarded in 2011.
The Management Committee for the Lakatos Award has considered the reports from the Selectors on the books shortlisted for the 2011 prize. While there is no doubt that all of the shortlisted books have their virtues, and that some make weighty contributions to the field, the overall view taken by the Management Committee on the basis of the Selectors' reports is that none quite meets the level of impact and significance required to merit the Award; and consequently no Award will be made this year.
- Bokulich (2008) Reexamining the Quantum-Classical Relation: Beyond Reductionism and Pluralism
- Chakravartty (2007) A Metaphysics for Scientific Realism: Observing the Unobservable
- Craver (2007) Explaining the Brain: Mechanisms and the Mosaic Unity of Neuroscience
- Douglas (2009) Science, Policy, and the Value-Free Ideal
- Ladyman and Ross (2007) Every Thing Must Go
- Maudlin (2007) The Metaphysics Within Physics.
- Mitchell (2009) Unsimple Truths: Science, Complexity, and Policy
- Ruetsche (2011) Interpreting Quantum Theories
- Snyder (2006) Reforming Philosophy: A Victorian Debate on Science and Society
- van Fraassen (2009) Scientific Representation: Paradoxes of Perspective
- Wilson (2006) Wandering Significance An Essay on Conceptual Behaviour
- Wimsatt (2007) Re-engineering philosophy for limited beings: piecewise approximations to reality
[ADDENDUM: in order to compare "the level of impact and significance" of the above books to that of past winners of the Lakatos Award here is a list of the last five winners of the Lakatos Award:
2010: Godfrey-Smith, Darwinian Populations and Natural Selection),
2009: Okasha, Evolution and the Levels of Selection,
2008: Healey, Gauging Wat's Real
2007: No Award Made (Interestingly Okasha's book had already been published in 2006 so either it had not been nominated in 2007 or it was judged not to have met "the level of impact and significance required to win the award" in 2007)
2006: Brown, Physical Relativity and Chang, Inventing Temperature.]