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The Philosophical Society Annual Review

From the Editor (editor@oxfordphilsoc.org)

Despite my best attempts to introduce levity, the Annual Review remains a serious journal of essays, etc, by members. Any member can submit. It is up to me to decide what we have enough room to publish.

DEADLINE: For 2021, essays must arrive by 1 October. Early submissions are gratefully accepted, as I may have more time to give them my full attention.

DELIVERY: email to editor@oxfordphilsoc.org


  • Max length 4000 words, INCLUDING bibliography.
  • House style: Please limit the bibliography to only those references you cite in the document, and do not include everything you've read on the topic, interesting though that may be. Do cite anything you quote either directly or indirectly. The Department would frown upon any lawsuits. Inline citations are best – in brackets at the end of the sentence that contains the reference. Example:

    If our spirits are uplifted and our confidence boosted by a beautiful garden or a bright, clean, comfortable interior space, the opposite effect, de Botton suspects, is the result of time spent in confined, crumbling, stinking environments of ‘stained carpets and plastic curtains' (de Botton 2006:12-14).

    Then put the full reference in the bibliography – name and initials, year[.] title, publisher:
  • de Botton A, 2006. The Architecture of Happiness, Penguin.

  • All Footnotes and References must come at the end of the article, not the bottom of each page. It's OK to use superscript numbers, but this leads to longer bibliographies, as full references tend to need repeating for every citation.
  • Please spell-check your file.
  • File format: MSW doc.x. Times New Roman font (please).
  • File label: Your Surname followed by part of title. Example: my essay entitled ‘The Heritability of Acquired Tastes’ would be labeled Prentiss.Heritability.docx
  • Please type your name on the first page of the text. (I can invent a title if you have not done one, but I can't invent your name – and it's a pain trying to find your email.)
  • You may submit up to three essays and three literature reviews.


  • Essays can be on anything as long as philosophy is the reason for writing. There are many styles of doing this, from a casual correspondence style to a formal academic essay style. Look at past Reviews on this website (available in pdf form).
  • Literature reviews can be on new books, old books, film, theatre, music, TV, or podcasts, as long as your topic or analysis is philosophical and follows a good review structure (Title, Author, year of publication and publisher beneath the title of your essay and above your name). Write the sort of thing we read in reputable rags – something that tells us about the item and leads us to your philosophical conclusions.
  • Poems and short playscripts/dialogues, cartoons and puzzles are also accepted.
  • Member's Publications: Some of us are published authors, and the rest of us would like to hear about it. If you have written a recently published book or written a recently produced play, film, podcast or opera etc, send me a paragraph (please keep it under 500 words) about your latest opus, and an image of the cover (or a link I can grab it from).
  • Prize Essays: We publish the best of the year's student essays, and the Chadwick, Boethius, and Lyceum winners. If you have submitted an essay for one of these prizes, do not submit it to me first.
  • Images: Tricky. Technically, we need permission to reprint photos. Not my job to chase Rights. Your own photos, illustrations, and diagrams are ok. Keep in mind the setting is a two-column format – I may have to redesign a table to fit if it is a landscape diagram.


I am a professional editor, so, in accordance with longstanding tradition, I will butcher your piece. But you will be sent a proof of the setting in enough time to make small changes. Even if I did nothing but take out a comma, errors do creep in when MSW files are imported into InDesign.