Thomas Nagel

2008 Balzan Prize for Moral Philosophy

For his fundamental and innovative contributions to contemporary ethical theory, relating to both individual, personal choices and collective, social decisions. For the depth and coherence of his original philosophical perspective, which is centered on the essential tension between objective and subjective points of view. For the originality and fecundity of his philosophical approach to some of the most important questions in contemporary life.


Biographical and Bibliographical Data

THOMAS NAGEL was born on 4 July, 1937, in Belgrade, Yugoslavia (now Serbia), and has been a U.S. citizen since 1944.

He is Professor of Philosophy and Law at New York University, where he has taught since 1980.

He received a B.A. from Cornell University in 1958, a B.Phil. from Oxford University in 1960, and a Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1963 under the supervision of John Rawls. Before settling in New York, Thomas Nagel taught briefly at the University of California, Berkeley (from 1963 to 1966) and at Princeton University (from 1966 to 1980).

A recipient of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation’s Distinguished Achievement Award in 2006, he received an Honorary D.Litt. from Oxford University and the Rolf Schock Prize in Logic and Philosophy, awarded by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, in 2008.

In 2006, he was elected a member of the American Philosophical Society. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a Corresponding Fellow of the British Academy, and has held fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Science Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Among his works, most of which are available in many languages, the following should be mentioned:

– The Myth of Ownership: Taxes and Justice (with Liam Murphy), Oxford University Press, 2002

– Concealment and Exposure and Other Essays, Oxford University Press, 2002

– The Last Word, Oxford University Press, 1997

– Other Minds: Critical Essays, 1969-1994, Oxford University Press, 1995

– Equality and Partiality, Oxford University Press, 1991

– What Does It All Mean? A Very Short Introduction to Philosophy, Oxford University Press, 1987

– The View from Nowhere, Oxford University Press, 1986

– Mortal Questions, Cambridge University Press, 1979

– The Possibility of Altruism, Oxford University Press, 1970.

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