Skip to main content

Fernando Gil International Award

The American Michael Friedman, renowned philosopher of science and prominent member of the neo-Kantian school, will receive the Fernando Gil International Prize in a ceremony attended by the Minister of Science, Technology, and Higher Education, Manuel Heitor, on April 4, at 6pm, in Auditorium 3 of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation. Admission is free.

The prize jury, which decided to distinguish Michael Friedman for his book Kant's Construction of nature: A Reading of the Metaphysical Foundations of Natural Science, published by Cambridge University Press (2013), was "particularly impressed by the depth and accuracy of knowledge" of the author, who at the end of the ceremony on the 4th will deliver an original lecture, entitled Philosophy of Science between Europe and America.

Michael Friedman's admiration for Kant's philosophy has been at the heart of his thinking and has produced a radically new reading of The Metaphysical Foundations of Natural Science (1786), one of Kant's most difficult texts. Friedman's book, Kant's Construction of nature: A Reading of the Metaphysical Foundations of Natural Science, is the first systematic English-language analysis of this Kant text but will certainly be a reference for further studies in any other language. It is not only a contribution to the history of philosophy - it is a detailed study of Kant that underlines the impact that the English physicist and mathematician Newton had on the German philosopher and can provide the basis for building contemporary philosophy of science.

With a PhD from Princeton University (1973), Michael Friedman has taught at Harvard University, the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Illinois, and Indiana University. He is currently a professor at Stanford University.

Worth 75 thousand Euros, this award is the result of a joint initiative of the Portuguese Government, through the Foundation for Science and Technology, and the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, to pay tribute to the memory and work of the Portuguese philosopher Fernando Gil (1937-2006). It aims to distinguish a work of exceptional quality in the field of Philosophy of Science, which considers both general epistemological problems and questions concerning specific scientific areas, by researchers of any nationality or professional affiliation.

In previous editions, the Fernando Gil International Prize was awarded to Ladislav Kvasz, a Slovak mathematician and philosopher, to Italian Niccolò Guicciardini, for his work Isaac Newton on Mathematical Certainty and Method, and to South Korean Hasok Chang, a specialist in theoretical physics and philosophy, for his work entitled Is Water H2O? Evidence, Realism and Pluralism (Springer, 2012).

Source: Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation