Monday, March 2, 2009

I win the Mindelheim Philosophy Prize


The Bavarian town of Mindelheim has devised a new literary prize (E5,000) for books that encourage young adults to think and question. The prize is awarded by a jury made up of seven 17-18 year olds from the local school, plus a teacher and advisor. They selected from a list of about 100 books.

And, amazingly, I won – for the German version of The Philosophy Gym.

So I am off to Bavaria in May for 3 days, with my wife, as the guests of Mindelheim and to collect my prize. It’s going to be a very surreal experience, as I am told there will be an evening in my honour with a laudatory speech by a former Bavarian arts and education Minister, plus champagne, a band, and “fire show” in the town square.

I also asked if I could arrange to see the amazing Neuschwanstein castle, which I’ve always wanted to see since watching Chitty Chitty Bang Bang as a kid – and they’re pleased to take us.

Obviously I’m pretty thrilled to receive any sort of prize, but I should add it’s actually a really good idea of Mindelheim’s to come up with this award –I wish it great future success. There’s nothing remotely like it.

14 comments:

Paul P. Mealing said...

I just happened to be on my blog when I saw this. So let me be the first to congratulate you on your own blog.

I think it's a great idea for a prize, and, having read The Philosophy Gym (5 years ago now, while I was recovering from a major operation) I think it's a worthy winner.

You're a credit to your profession in more ways than one.

Best regards, Paul.

The Atheist Missionary said...

Congratulations from Canada!

Will you have to give your acceptance speech in German?

anticant said...

Warm congratulations, Stephen. It's a well-deserved tribute to a lively thinker.

Enjoy your visit, and I hope you forge some lastingly useful new links there.

sgl said...

Well done that man.

Peter Worley said...

Congratulations Stephen. It's a great book , I still use it with my groups.
Enjoy Germany.

Hannah said...

Well done! :D

Timmo said...

Congrats, Stephen! I'm sure you'll enjoy the Neuschwanstein castle. That's sort of a prize in itself.

Richard said...

Congratulations Stephen. I've not read Philosophy Gym but have read a couple more of your books (Xmas Files & The War for Children's Minds). If these are indicative then I'd say very much deserved.

reason42 said...

The Philosophy Gym got me interested in taking up philosophy as a part time student with the OU and Oxford online about 5 years ago. I'm now working towards an MA in Philosophy. All for a little conspicuous pink book that jumped out at me in a book shop. Thanks!

A well deserved prize. Congrats!

Ron Murphy said...

Well done; well deserved. The Philosophy Gym has been a good pressy for young relatives; and The War For Childrens' Minds gets dished out to teachers and young parents I know.

Kosh3 said...

Congrats Stephen, that is excellent news.

On a minor sceptical note: 17-18 students read 100 books?

Geoff Coupe said...

Congratulations, Stephen - very well-deserved.

I can't help but echo Kosh3's scepticism, all the more so because it looks as though all the 100 books are on philosophy, inculding the intriguingly titled "Pippi und Sokrates".

Still, I'm sure you're pleased, all the more so because you've beaten Julian with his "Das Schwein, das unbedingt gegessen werden möchte: 100 philosophische Gedankenspiele"...

Sally said...

Congratulations! What a brilliant prize to win.

I think you thoroughly deserve it. Reading The Philosophy Files a few years back lead me into your other introductory books, which lead me into engaging much more widely with philosophy, changing a lot of my core beliefs and ambitions, and going to study PPE at it's home in Oxford in October. It's hard to say how things would have worked out without reading your book, but it definitely lit a wonderful fuse for me :-D

Nutcasenightmare said...

Oh, the Philosophy Gym was a GREAT book! I'm glad you won an award for it! (Not to mention glad that there's actually such an award)