Edward Shils

1983 Balzan Prize for Sociology

For his important innovative and unique contribution to contemporary sociology. He has combined the more empirical tradition of American sociology with European sociology’s more theoretical approach, analysing and defending the intellectual and moral responsibility of the social sciences, and emphasizing the components of civilization, cultural tradition and religious orientation in the development of the social order.

Edward Shils was born in Springfield, Massachusetts on July 1, 1910 ( †1995);

Distinguished Service Professor at the University of Chicago, where he has worked since 1933;

fellow of Peterhouse at the University of Cambridge, England, where he has taught regularly since 1947;

Visiting Professor, Reader or Lecturer at the London School of Economics, Harvard University, Université de Paris, the Universities Manchester, Kent, Belfast, London, Leiden, Louvain, Princeton University, at the Eight Jefferson lectures;

member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Philosophical Association;

honorary fellow of the London School of Economics;

Ph.D. «honoris causa » from the University of Pennsylvania, the Hebrew University, Jerusalem, and Queen’s University, Belfast;

founder and editor of Minerva: A Review of Sciences, Learning and Policy.

He has published about 200 papers in various journals, from which a selection appears in a series of Selected Papers:

– vol. I – The Intellectuals and the Powers (1972);

– vol. II – Center and Periphery: Essays in Macrosociology (1975);

– vol. III – The Calling of Sociology (1980);

– vol. IV – The Pursuit of Knowledge;

– vol. V – Intellectuals and Intellectual Institutions in Underdeveloped Countries;

– vol. VI – Civility.

His other most important works are:

– Toward a General Theory of Action (pubblicato con Talcott Parsons, 1952);

– The Torment of Secrecy (1956);

– The Intellectual Between Tradition and Modernity (1961);

– Tradition (1981).

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