Charles Taylor Wins Million Dollar Berggruen Prize


Charles Taylor, professor emeritus of philosophy at McGill University, is the winner of the inaugural Berggruen Prize.

The prize, awarded by the Berggruen Institute (previously reported upon here), is $1 million. The Institute says:

The Berggruen Prize is awarded annually to a thinker whose ideas are of broad significance for shaping human self-understanding and the advancement of humanity. It seeks to recognize and encourage philosophy in the ancient sense of the love of wisdom and in the 18th Century sense of intellectual inquiry into all the basic questions of human knowledge. It rewards thinkers whose ideas are intellectually profound but also able to inform practical and public life across the range of world civilizations.

Professor Taylor was chosen for the award by a nine-member jury (listed here) headed by Kwame Anthony Appiah (NYU).

As a New York Times article about the prize reports, this isn’t the first large award Professor Taylor has won:

Mr. Taylor’s previous honors include the 2015 John W. Kluge Prize for the Achievement in the Study of Humanity (shared with Jürgen Habermas), the 2007 Templeton Prize for achievement in the advancement in spiritual matters and the 2008 Kyoto Prize, regarded as Japan’s highest private honor. Both the Templeton and Kluge prizes also carry cash awards of more than $1 million.

The prize will be bestowed on Professor Taylor in a ceremony in New York on December 1st, the Times reports.

Given the timing of the award, the Institute’s founder, Nicholas Berggruen, may be hoping that his eponymous prize becomes known as philosophy’s Nobel.

Charles Taylor

Charles Taylor

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