Library of Congress Honors Two Philosophers

The Library of Congress has honored Jürgen Habermas and Charles Taylor as joint recipients of the John W. Kluge Prize for humanities.

According to the LoC website, the prize

is designed deliberately to reward work in the wide range of disciplines not covered by the Nobel Prizes—including history, philosophy, politics, anthropology, sociology, religion, criticism in the arts and humanities, and linguistics. The prize is international; the recipient may be of any nationality, writing in any language.

The main criterion for a recipient of the Kluge Prize is deep intellectual accomplishment in the study of humanity. While the study of humanity is a part of academia, a nominee for the prize need not have worked primarily in academic institutions, but may also come from fields such as media, performing arts, or literature. The recipient will have demonstrated unusual distinction within a given area of inquiry that also affects perspectives and vision in other areas of study and walks of life. The recipient’s body of work should evidence over the years growth in maturity and range. It should, in large part, be understandable to scholars in a variety of fields, to those involved in public affairs, and to the average layperson. Seniority is not necessarily a prerequisite for recognition of such achievement.

The prize is usually $1 million, but apparently was increased to $1.5 million, split between the two winners.


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