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The Philosophical Society Annual Review

From the Editor (editor@oxfordphilsoc.org)

Despite 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 the editor to decide what we have enough room to publish. We are under pressure from the environment and world events etc to reduce volume weight, and that will probably mean reducing content as well. So this year, 2023, we are limiting submissions to two per person, and we will choose only one of those to print.

Please follow the guidelines below, and remember to put your surname in the file label, and your full name on the first page of the essay.

DEADLINE: For 2023, essays must arrive by 1 October. Early submissions are gratefully accepted, as we will have more time to give them our 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.

  • PLEASE put footnotes and references 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: Microsoft Word doc. or doc.x. Times New Roman font (please).
  • File label: Your Surname followed by part of title. Example: the essay entitled 'The Heritability of Acquired Tastes' by Barbara Prentiss would be labeled Prentiss.Heritability.docx
  • Please type your name on the first page of the text.
  • There is a limit on the number of pages we are allowed to print—please submit no more than two essays and two literature reviews, and accept that one of each will probably be selected for space reasons.


  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Members' 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 we can grab it from).
  • For Prize Essays, we are able to publish only the first place student essays (Talbot Prizes). For the Chadwick competition, we will publish the Chadwick winner, the Boethius winner, and the Lyceum winner.
  • Members Weekend and Away Days: If you are a speaker, you may transform your presentation into an essay following The Basic Rules listed above, and submit that on or before the 1 Oct deadline.


In accordance with longstanding editorial tradition, we will butcher your piece. But you will be sent a proof of the setting in enough time to make small changes. Even if we do nothing but take out a comma, errors do creep in when Microsoft Word files are imported into Adobe InDesign.