Hilary Putnam Wins the Rescher Prize for 2015!

The Philosophy Department is pleased to announce that Hilary Putnam, Cogan University Professor Emeritus, Harvard University, is the recipient of the 2015 Nicholas Rescher Prize for Systematic Philosophy. The prize consists of a gold medal together with a sum of $30 000. The prize will be given to Putnam in a ceremony that will be held Friday, October 9, 2015 at 2:00 p.m. in Room 2500 Wesley W. Posvar Hall.  This will be followed by a public reception at 3:15 p.m. and a subsequent Guided Tour of the Philosophy Archives at 4:00 p.m. in Hillman Libary, Special Collections, third floor.  

The previous winners of the Rescher Prize are:

Ernest Sosa (2010)
Alvin Plantinga and Jürgen Mittelstrass (2012-3)

The prize, which is awarded biennially, is named in honor of Nicholas Rescher, Distinguished University Professor of Philosophy, who has been on Pitt's philosophy faculty since 1961.  He has served as a President of the American Catholic Philosophy Association, of the American G.W. Leibniz Society, of the C.S. Pierce Society, as well as Secretary General of the International Union of History and Philosophy of Sciences.  Author of some hundred books ranging over many areas of philosophy, Rescher is the recipient of eight honorary degrees from universities on three continents.  He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, of the Royal Society of Canada, of the Academia Europaea, and other learned academies.  He was awarded the Alexander von Humboldt prize for Humanistic Scholarship in 1984, the Belgian Prix Mercier in 2005, and the Aquinas Medal of the American Catholic Philosophical Association in 2007.  In 2011 Rescher was awarded the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany in recognition of his contributions to philosophy and to German-American cooperation in this field.

SYSTEMATIC PHILOSOPHY:  In recent years, specialization and division of labor have come to the forefront in philosophy as in other branches of science and scholarship.  But philosophy is not-- or should not be-- just another particularized field of learning.  For here if anywhere it is needful to keep the big picture in view and to examine the larger issues of the human condition that have preoccupied philosophers throughout the ages.  The ability to do just this-- to address some of the traditional "big questions" of philosophical interest and yet to do so in a way that commands the respect of specialists-- is a rare but nevertheless much-needed talent.  The aim of the Nicholas Rescher Prize for Systematic Philosophy is to reward and showcase the work of scholars who have brought this talent to realization.