Dao has established The Annual Best Essay Award since 2007. In addition to a certificate of achievement, the award comes along with a prize of US$1,000. The award winners are noted in the website of this journal as well as the website of Springer, the publisher of this journal. The award ceremony is held each year at the American Philosophical Association Annual Meeting (Eastern Division), where a special panel on the theme of the award winning essay is held.
The selection process consists of two stages. At the beginning of each year, a nominating committee of at least three editorial members, who have not published in Dao in the given year, is established. This committee is charged with the task of nominating three best essays published in the previous year. These three essays are then sent to the whole editorial board for deliberation. The final winner is decided by a vote by all editorial board members who are not authors of the nominated essays.
The editorial board has just finished its deliberation on the best essay published in 2016, and the award is given to: