Canadian philosopher Charles Taylor has been named the first winner of the Berggruen Prize. The $1 million award from the Berggruen Institute is given annually to a thinker whose ideas are of broad significance for shaping human self-understanding and the advancement of humanity. It will be presented to Professor Taylor in New York on December 1, 2016. To learn more about the prize please visit the Berggruen Prize page.
One of the world’s foremost living philosophers, Professor Taylor’s influence spans multiple disciplines in the Humanities and Social Sciences and has impacted public affairs. He has been a leading voice for the unity of Canada and the preservation of the distinctive identity of Quebec.
Charles Taylor’s work links ethics, political philosophy, and philosophical anthropology to address central questions of public and private life as well as to urge us to see human beings as constituted not only by their biology or their personal intentions, but by their embedding in webs of meaningful relationships. As he wrote in 1994, “We define our identity always in dialogue with, sometimes in struggle against, the things our significant others want to see in us. Even after we outgrow some of these others-our parents, for instance-and they disappear from our lives, the conversation with them continues within us as long as we live.”
The recipient of the Berggruen Prize is selected by an independent jury, which was chaired this year by NYU Professor Kwame Anthony Appiah.