University of Pittsburgh
October 5, 2015

Harvard’s Hilary Putnam Awarded Pitt’s Nicholas Rescher Prize


Katie Fike


PITTSBURGH—Hilary Putnam, the Cogan University Professor Emeritus at Harvard University, will be awarded the 2015 Nicholas Rescher Prize for Systematic Philosophy by the University of Pittsburgh’s Department of Philosophy. The department is located within the Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences.

Before receiving a medal and $30,000 check, Putnam will deliver a public lecture titled “Realism” 2 p.m. Friday, Oct. 9, in room 2500/2501 of Wesley W. Posvar Hall, 230 South Bouquet St., Oakland. A public reception honoring him will be held in the same room at 3:15 p.m. The public is welcome to attend a guided tour of the philosophy archives in the Special Collections on the third floor of Hillman Library at 4 p.m.Hilary Putnam

“Hilary Putnam has been an outstandingly versatile and influential contributor to contemporary American philosophy,” said Nicholas Rescher, Distinguished University Professor of Philosophy, who has been on Pitt’s philosophy faculty since 1961. The prize is named in his honor.

Putnam was selected for the prize because of his influential publications spanning 50 years in various fields. He established himself as a prolific and innovative contributor to the philosophy of mathematics, neo- or postanalytic philosophy, and the reaffirmation of key themes in American pragmatism. Putnam’s recent writings reject a scientism that disdains religious commitments on the mistaken grounds of a conflict with scientific understanding. He earned his PhD in philosophy at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Rescher has authored some 100 books ranging over many areas of philosophy. Rescher has served as president of the American Philosophical Association, American Catholic Philosophical Association, American G. W. Leibniz Society, Charles S. Peirce Society, and Metaphysical Society of America and served as secretary general of the International Union of History and Philosophy of Science. He has a PhD from Princeton University and eight honorary degrees from universities on three continents.

For more information on Pitt’s Department of Philosophy, which was ranked second in the world by QS World University Rankings this past summer, visit