Ian Hacking

2014 Balzan Prize for Epistemology and Philosophy of Mind

For his fundamental and pioneering contributions to philosophy and the history of social and natural sciences; for the thematic breadth of his research; for his original epistemological perspective centred on a version of scientific realism and defined in contrast with the dominant paradigm in the philosophy of science of the twentieth century.

Ian Hacking, born in Vancouver on 18 February 1936, is a Canadian citizen.

He has been Professeur Honoraire, Chaire de philosophie et histoire des concepts scientifiques at the Collège de France since 2006 and University Professor Emeritus at the University of Toronto since 2003.

He has undergraduate degrees from the University of British Columbia (BA in Mathematics and Physics, 1956) and from the University of Cambridge (BA in Moral Sciences Part IIB, 1st class, 1958), where he was a student at Trinity College. In 1960 he won both the Smith’s Prize in Mathematics and the Gregg Bury Prize in Theology. He took his MA and PhD from the University of Cambridge in 1962.

He was Research Fellow at Peterhouse in Cambridge from 1962 to 1964, and taught at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver as Assistant Professor, then Associate Professor from 1964 to 1969. He was also Associate Professor at Makerere University College in Uganda from 1967 to 1969. He became Lecturer in Philosophy at the University of Cambridge in 1969 before moving to Stanford University as a Fellow of the Centre for Advanced Study in the Behavioural Sciences in 1974 and then Professor of Philosophy in 1975. He became the Chair of Stanford’s Department of Philosophy in 1980.

In 1982 he moved to the University of Toronto to become Professor in the Department of Philosophy and in the Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology. He was appointed University Professor – the highest honour the University of Toronto bestows on faculty – in 1991. In 2000 he was elected to the Collège de France, where he held the Chair of Philosophy and History of Scientific Concepts.

He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, the British Academy, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a Companion of the Order of Canada.

Visiting Professor at the Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule in Zürich, All Souls College in Oxford, the University of Chicago, the University of California and the University of Cape Town, he also holds honorary degrees from the University of Toronto, the University of British Columbia, the McMaster University, Carleton University and the University of Cordoba, Argentina.

His publications include the following books:

The Logic of Statistical Inference. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1965. [First paperback edition 1976; Indian Student’s Edition, Calcutta, 1968].

A Concise Introduction to Logic. New York: Random House, 1972.

Why Does Language Matter to Philosophy? Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1975. [Braille edition 1977; translations into Spanish in 1979, Dutch in 1980, German in 1984, Japanese in 1988, Italian in 1994 and Portuguese in 2000].

The Emergence of Probability. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1975. [Paperback edition 1984; second edition 2006; translations into Italian in 1987; Spanish in 1995; Japanese in 1998: French in 2002 and Korean].

Representing and Intervening, Introductory Topics in the Philosophy of Natural Science. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1983. [Paperback edition 1983; translations into Italian in 1987, French in 1989, Chinese in 1995, German and Spanish in 1996, Russian and Japanese in 1998, Greek in 2002, Korean and Turkish in 2004 and Portuguese in 2012].

The Taming of Chance. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990. [Translations into Spanish in 1991, Italian in 1994, Japanese in 1999, Chinese in 2000 and Turkish in 2005].

Le pur nominalisme. L’énigme de Goodman. ‘Vleu et usages de ‘Vleu’. Combas : Editions de l’Eclat, 1993.

Rewriting the Soul: Multiple Personality and the Sciences of Memory. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1995. Winner of the Pierre Janet Prize 1995. [Revised edition, paperback 1998; translations into German in 1996 and paperback in 2000, Italian in 1996, French and Japanese in 1998 and Portuguese in 2000].

Mad Travellers: Reflections on the Reality of Transient Mental Illness. University of Virginia Press, 1998. [Paperback edition 2002; translations into Italian in 2000 and French in 2002].

The Social Construction of What? Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1999. [Translations into German in 1999, Italian in 2000, Spanish and French in 2001, Swedish in 2002, Japanese in 2003, Slovak in 2006 and Estonian in 2009; in press translations into Korean, Arabic and Serbian].

An Introduction to Probability and Inductive Logic. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001. [Translations into French (with Michel Dufour) in 2004 and Italian in 2005].

Historical Ontology. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2002. [Paperback edition 2004; translations into German in 2006, Italian in 2009, Portuguese in 2010 and Japanese in 2012].

Scientific Reasons. Taipei: NTU Press, 2009.

Why Is There Philosophy of Mathematics at All? Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2014.

(October 2014)

Insert your email address here to sign up for our newsletter with all the latest updates on the International Balzan Prize Foundation .

By subscribing, I confirm that I have read and understand the General Terms and Conditions of EU Regulation 2016/679, in particular with regard to my rights, and hereby consent to the processing of my personal in the manner and for the purposes indicated therein.
Fondazione Internazionale Premio Balzan