Meditations Journal

Meditations is the undergraduate journal of philosophy at UCLA. The purpose of the journal is to foster philosophical thought and provide an opportunity for undergraduates to gain writing and publishing experience. Maybe you have a philosophy paper that you’re really proud of, or you’re looking for a platform to test your arguments and be challenged. Maybe you have some cool ideas but hate writing when a grade depends on it. We encourage undergraduates of any major to participate in Meditations. Please see the electronic versions of our journal below or a hard copy in the UCLA Philosophy Reading Room.

Issue 9 – Spring 2022
Issue 8 – Spring 2021
Issue 7 – Spring 2019
Issue 6 – Spring 2018
Issue 5 – Spring 2017

Issue 4 – Spring 2016

Issue 3 – Spring 2015

Issue 2 – Spring 2014
Issue 1 – Winter 2014

The Undergraduate Philosophy Conference at UCLA

In 2014, the Philosophy Club at UCLA proudly hosted its first conference on behalf of Meditations: The Undergraduate Journal of Philosophy at UCLA. All participating authors and editors of the journal were undergraduate students who dedicated several months to this philosophical project. This conference was an exciting opportunity to honor their hard work and hear them present their original ideas. Additionally, we look forward to again hosting a keynote speaker who will present an original work on an exciting topic.

Our 2023 Conference is tentatively scheduled for Friday, May 12th from 4-8 PM.

Keynote Speaker 2015 – Professor James Van Cleve, ‘The Philosophy of Time Travel’
Keynote Speaker 2016 – Professor John Hawthorne of USC, ‘The Surprise Exam’
Keynote Speaker 2017 – Professor Aaron James, ‘On Reducing the Workweek to Mitigate Climate Change, or Is the Workaholic an Asshole?’
Keynote Speaker 2018 – Professor George Wilson, Professor Emeritus of Philosophy USC, “Philosophy in the Cinematic Point of View: On ‘You Only Live Once’“
2019 Commentary – UCLA graduate and incoming Harvard University Ph.D. student Eva Yguico accompanied by undergraduate and Kalish Prize winner Yohana Abughattas

FAQ: Submit or Get Involved with the Journal

Essay Submission

The due date for submissions for the 2023 Journal is 11:59 PM on Tuesday, January 3rd, 2023. We are currently accepting submissions.

What requirements apply to submissions?

All papers should be no more than 6,000 words but no less than 2,500 words, and should include a cover page as a separate word document with your full name, email address, affiliation (college, major, and year), the title of your paper, and (optionally) a short abstract. The paper itself should contain no identifying information whatsoever. All submissions should be of a philosophical nature.

Who can submit?

We will accept submissions from any undergraduate student regardless of the college, major, or minor.

Where do I submit?

Please submit all submissions here (i.e. meditations.philosophy.journal@gmail.com). Both attachments should be emailed in the same message with the names of both the email and the documents themselves chosen appropriately, and the the subject line should be 2023 Journal Submission – Full Name.

How submissions are judged

Good submissions are ones that present compelling and substantive arguments about important philosophical topics. These arguments can be original, but they can also be cogent explanations of the work of other philosophers. The topic is your own choice. In previous years, the journal has accepted essays on a large variety of subjects, so any topic is acceptable as long as it is relevant to philosophy. While this submission should be final draft, there will be a long editing process for submissions accepted into the journal. This means that submissions will be judged mainly on the general content of the essay, rather than its style and precision. Although the latter two qualities should not be ignored, the essay will likely go through significant revisions during the editing process in which deficiencies in style and precision can be corrected.

Working on the Journal

The due date for the 2023 Editorial Review Board Applications is 11:59 PM on Wednesday, December 21st, 2022. We are currently accepting submissions.

What ways are there to help out?

The administrative side of the journal is divided into two parts: a) the Selection stage and b) the Editorial Review stage. As part of (a), readers will help during the selection process by reviewing submissions according to a provided rubric. This will take place from roughly Week 2 of winter quarter to week 5 of winter quarter As part of (b), editors will work with the selected authors from roughly week 5 of winter to week 5 of spring quarter to prepare and polish submissions for publication. All editors and reviewers will be credited in the print and electronic versions of the journal. 

How do I apply?

Please send an email here (i.e. meditations.philosophy.journal@gmail.com) while providing the following information and answering the following questions. Those working directly with the journal can submit papers themselves but you must inform the Chief Editor Brendan Bacon via an email to the above address.

  1. Full Name
  2. Year at UCLA
  3. Major(s)/Minor(s)
  4. Philosophy Courses Taken
  5. What goals do you have that working on Meditations will support?
  6. What is your availability like?
  7. What, in your opinion, makes for a good Philosophy paper?
  8. A writing sample written for a philosophy course. While any length is acceptable it should be sufficient to offer an accurate  representation of your writing skill.

2022 – 2023 Club & Journal Officers:

Brendan Bacon (Meditations Journal Chief Editor), Cele Lorch (President), Niklas Van Der Wagt (Vice President), Quinton Wood (Secretary), Nicholas Nhein (Treasurer), Andrew Wang (Book Club Liaison)