Thomas Nagel received a Distinguished Achievement Award from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation in December. The University Professor was one of four academics to win the award, which includes a three-year $1.5 million grant to the scholar’s university. With the funding, Nagel plans to pursue an interdisciplinary group study of the relationship between science and religion, as well as individual research into the political theory of global justice.
Nagel, who coteaches the Colloquium in Legal, Political and Social Philosophy with Professor Ronald Dworkin, has been a professor of philosophy at NYU since 1980. In 1986, he also became a professor of law, and, in 2002, University Professor. Nagel is the author of dozens of articles and 10 books, including one of his latest, The Myth of Ownership: Taxes and Justice, with Professor of Law and Philosophy Liam Murphy. “The Mellon award to Tom Nagel signals what everyone in the field already knows: that he is one of the Anglophone world’s few most eminent and influential philosophers,” said Dworkin. “He has no formal legal training, but he has become an intuitively skillful and imaginative lawyer and he has brought new sophistication to the study of legal philosophy and, indeed, of constitutional and international law. The Law School is extremely lucky to have him, not just to teach moral and political philosophy, but to carry forward the integration of law and the humanities. The Mellon funds will further enhance his power to do that.”