Canadian Philosopher Charles Margrave Taylor Wins The Inaugural Berggruen Prize For Philosophy

The $1 million award will be given annually to a thinker whose ideas are of broad significance for shaping human self-understanding and the advancement of humanity

LOS ANGELES, Oct. 5, 2016 /CNW/ -- The Berggruen Institute, founded by Nicolas Berggruen to deepen understanding of humanity's future, today announced Charles Margrave Taylor as the winner of its first-ever Berggruen Prize for Philosophy. The $1 million award will be presented to Taylor in New York on December 1, 2016.

The Berggruen Prize for Philosophy is awarded annually to a thinker whose ideas are of broad significance in shaping our understanding and in the advancement of humanity. It seeks to recognize and encourage philosophy in both the eighteenth-century sense of intellectual inquiry into the basic questions of human knowledge and in the ancient sense of the word: love of wisdom.

"The idea behind The Berggruen Prize is to support and foster the development of ideas that make a positive impact in a world that is increasingly fractured, culturally and politically," said Nicolas Berggruen, Chairman of The Berggruen Institute. "Our first recipient has made extraordinary contributions to deepening mutual understanding and respect across the widest range of cultural identities."

Taylor, a professor emeritus at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, is one of the world's foremost living philosophers. His work has influenced multiple disciplines in the humanities and social sciences, and has impacted public affairs. He has been a leading voice for the unity of Canada and the preservation of the distinctive identity of Quebec. His work links ethics, political philosophy, and philosophical anthropology to address central questions of public and private life, as well as to urge us to see human beings as constituted not only by their biology or their personal intentions, but by their embedding in webs of meaningful relationships.

The selection was made by an independent jury composed of nine leading thinkers from the East and West. Key factors considered during the deliberation process included: the reach and impact of the candidate's ideas on humanity and our current thinking; the authenticity and originality of his/her work; and the applicability of his/her ideas across cultures.

Kwame Anthony Appiah, New York University Professor, who chaired this year's jury, said, "Taylor is the ideal choice for the Berggruen Prize because of the breadth and depth of his intellectual contributions. His work truly exemplifies the importance of philosophy that reaches beyond narrow disciplinary boundaries and demonstrates how crucial philosophical understanding can be in sustaining the flourishing of individuals and communities."

Other members of the jury for the Berggruen Prize for Philosophy included Cambridge Vice-Chancellor Leszek Borysiewicz, USC Professor Antonio Damasio, University of Pennsylvania President Amy Gutmann, Tsinghua University Professor Wang Hui, Harvard Professor Alison Simmons, Harvard Professor and Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen, Bocconi University Professor and Nobel Laureate Michael Spence, and Former Foreign Minister of Singapore George Yeo.

"Taylor has changed the way people all over the world think about some of the most basic questions in human life," said Craig Calhoun, President of The Berggruen Institute. "As the world around us shifts due to rapid advancements in technology, we hope that this Prize inspires not only the greatest thinkers of our time, but also a generation of future thinkers, who will be critical in defining our role as individuals in a world disrupted by one of the greatest transformations humankind has seen."

About The Berggruen Institute

The Berggruen Institute was created to strengthen understanding of how civilization and humanity's future are shaped by culture and politics. It works to improve governance, deepen mutual learning across civilizations, and encourage ideas that shape the world and human self-understanding. Its work is integrated by a focus on the Great Transformations reshaping our era, and is organized through high-level Councils, such as the 21st Century Council and the Council for the Future of Europe as well as special initiatives and an active communications agenda. For more information on the Institute, please click here.

About The Berggruen Prize for Philosophy

The Berggruen Prize is awarded annually to a thinker whose ideas are of broad significance in shaping human self-understanding and the advancement of humanity. It seeks to recognize and encourage philosophy in the ancient sense of the love of wisdom and in the 18th Century sense of intellectual inquiry into all the basic questions of human knowledge. It rewards thinkers whose ideas are intellectually profound but also able to inform practical and public life across the range of civilizations. For more information on the Prize, please click here.


SOURCE The Berggruen Institute

For further information: Sanuber Grohe, HL Group,, 646-460-8936; Kelly Whitten, 646-274-3630,,

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