Berggruen Philosophy Prize
  Berggruen Philosophy Prize: For Ideas that Shape the World
 
To be awarded for the first time in 2016, the Berggruen Philosophy Prize will honor a living thinker whose ideas are of basic importance for contemporary and future life. It is intended to call attention to the role of ideas, of deep and careful thought, and with them humanistic scholarship, social research, intellectual work that is both broad and deep. 
   
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    Ideas have had a greater impact on human history than anything else. We still live in a world that was shaped by Socrates, Confucius, Jesus Christ, Mohamed and     Karl Marx,  to name a few.  
     – Nicolas Berggruen
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The Berggruen Philosophy Prize carries a cash award of $1 million. The honoree will be invited to present and discuss his or her work in a major lecture and a special symposium held within a year of the announcement of the award. Philosophy is here understood broadly, not as a single academic discipline but as serious intellectual work nurturing human wisdom. Nominations of thinkers from all languages, religions, civilizations and/or philosophical
traditions are welcome.  
 
Statement of Purpose
 
The Berggruen Prize honors philosophy in the ancient sense of the ‘love of wisdom’. This requires not merely technical mastery but also the continued pursuit of deeper understanding. The very speed of technological, social, and cultural change sometimes makes it hard to take a long-term perspective, but it remains just as important. We need to ask what are the enduring truths, whether they are to be found in religion, or secular ethics, or science, and how different cultures should relate to each other.
 
These truths may be articulated in Anglo-Saxon or Continental European traditions, in Chinese, Indian, and African, Islamic, Buddhist, Jewish or a variety of Christian traditions. They may be secular and rooted in science, or legal scholarship. The work that reveals them may come from an academic philosopher, but equally from a social scientist, a jurist, a religious leader, or a public intellectual. To win the Berggruen Prize, this work should be of global importance, with the potential to shape basic understanding of what it means to be human, to live in society, to reach cross-cultural understanding, and to share the earth. 
 
Philosophical inquiry and scholarship help us to understand cultural continuities and social change. The Platonic ideal of a reason-based society, Confucian ideas about harmonious social order, Ibn Khaldun’s notion of a historical tension between social cohesion and power, post-Reformation ideas of individual consciousness, Adam Smith’s vision of a market society, and Marx’s critique of exploitation all still shape the world and our understanding of how to inhabit it. New thinking of similar scope and quality is needed to deepen understanding and provide orientation in a rapidly changing world. New ideas – and renewal and development of older ones - are needed to shape public debates and policies, creative work in art or technology, and movements to try to improve societies or the world.
 
Too often the meaning of ‘philosophy’ is debased in popular discussions where salesmen and sports coaches call their approaches ‘philosophies’. At the same time, many academic philosophers restrict their work to relatively narrow, technical inquiries. With the Berggruen Philosophy Prize we emphasize the importance of intellectual work that is both broad and deep. 
 
The prize will recognize a career of intellectually profound and morally significant contributions that really matter in practical and public life. By ‘philosophy’ we do not mean simply one among the several academic disciplines that carry forward the heritage of classical, Enlightenment, and early modern thought or similar non-Western traditions. Nor do we mean work of narrow, technical skill in a highly specialized field. And we explicitly do not intend the prize to be confined to thought within Western intellectual traditions. The recipient of the Berggruen Prize may be grounded in any part of the humanities, social science, related fields like theology or law, or indeed art or science. Very likely, it will be awarded to one whose work transcends the divisions between fields and influences many.
 
In an era when human life is being transformed by new technologies and economic globalization, it is important to ask basic questions like how our understanding of what it means to be human is challenged by technology, and how our sense of community or national solidarity is affected by global media and finance. Intensified inequality makes us ask what obligations we owe to the less well-off. Climate change challenges us to better understand what it means to share the earth. 
 
Faced with questions about both large-scale social organization and personal life, humanity needs not only technologies and specific policies, but also the capacity for deep understanding and critical examination of possible courses of action. The Berggruen Philosophy Prize will help to call attention to great exemplars of such deep and enduring thought.
 
1. Nomination Criteria

The Berggruen Prize Jury is responsible for selecting the Prize Laureates. Nominations for the Prize may be submitted by any person; however,  a nomination for yourself will not be considered valid.

2. Nomination Process

2.1 The nomination need not be lengthy, but should include:

• Information on the nominee
• Information on the nominator
• An explanation of why the individual is considered by the nominator to be a worthy candidate for the Prize

2.2 Nomination Method

Nominate here

2.3 Nomination Deadline

The Jury makes its selection on the basis of nominations received or postmarked no later than August 15th, 2016. Nominations which do not meet the deadline are normally included in the following year's assessment. 

2.4 Nomination Confirmation

An e-mail confirming the receipt of the submitted nomination will be sent shortly after you successfully submit your nomination.

3. Selection and Decision Making

The Jury seeks to achieve unanimity in its selection of the Prize Laureate. On the rare occasions when this proves impossible, the selection is decided by a simple majority vote.

Berggruen Philosophy Prize Jury

Kwame Anthony Appiah – Professor of Philosophy at New York University   
Leszek Borysiewicz 
– Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cambridge
Antonio Damasio 
– David Dornsife Professor of Neuroscience, Psychology and Philosophy and Director, Brain and Creativity Institute University of Southern California
Amy Gutmann 
– President of the University of Pennsylvania     
Amartya Sen 
– Nobel Laureate, Thomas W. Lamont University Professor, Professor of Economics and Philosophy at Harvard University
Alison Simmons 
– Samuel H. Wolcott Professor of Philosophy and Harvard College Professor at Harvard University
Michael Spence – Nobel Laureate, William R. Berkley Professor in Economics & Business at New York University, Philip H. Knight Professor Emeritus of Management in the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University
Wang Hui – Professor in the Department of Chinese Language and Literature and the Department of History at Tsinghua University, Director of the Tsinghua Institute for Advanced Study in Humanities and Social Sciences
George Yeo – Chancellor of Nalanda University and former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Singapore

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