Amherst, NY--At the 103rd Annual Meeting of the Eastern Division of the American Philosophical Association (APA), Prometheus Books and the APA selected Philip Kitcher, John Dewey Professor of Philosophy and the James R. Barker Professor of Contemporary Civilization at Columbia University, as the first recipient of the new Prometheus Prize. This prize honors a distinguished philosopher in recognition of his or her lifetime contribution to expanding the frontiers of research in philosophy and science. The recipient is selected by the board of the American Philosophical Association and will deliver a lecture every two years at a conference of the APA.
Designated a "Prometheus Laureate," Kitcher will receive a cash award of $10,000. Kitcher delivered the first Prometheus lecture, titled "Darwin and Democracy," at the APA Annual Meeting of the Eastern Division in Washington, DC on Friday, December 29, 2006, and has accepted a contract with Prometheus Books for a book that incorporates the ideas developed in this lecture.
The Prometheus Prize is awarded to an individual whose work demonstrates cooperation between science and philosophy and is known for breaking new ground in philosophy as it relates to the sciences. Kitcher's work focuses on general questions in the philosophy of science, problems in the philosophy of biology, and issues in the philosophy of mathematics. His current scholarly and research interests are the ethical and political constraints on scientific research, the evolution of altruism and morality, and the apparent conflict between science and religion.
Paul Kurtz, founder and chairman of Prometheus Books and professor emeritus of philosophy at the State University of New York at Buffalo, commented, "There does not exist a Nobel Prize for philosophy. Philosophers historically have been interested in the frontiers of the sciences and with the extraordinary advances in the sciences today, it is especially important that th
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