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Fernando Gil International Prize 2015 awarded to Michael Friedman


The 2015 Fernando Gil International Prize was awarded to Michael Friedman's Kant's Construction of Nature: A Reading of the Metaphysical Foundations of Natural Science, published by Cambridge University Press (2013).

Michael Friedman has a genuine admiration for the philosophy of Immanuel Kant and the conviction that Kant's approach can be adapted to provide a satisfactory explanation of contemporary science. In this book, Michael Friedman offers a radically new reading of Kant's key text, "TheMetaphysical Foundations of Natural Science"( MFNS, 1786). The jury was particularly impressed by the depth and accuracy of his knowledge - the work of many years of study.

Kant's text is related to Newton, Euler and Lambert, and to his own pre-Critical writings. The Metaphysical Foundations was published in 1786, between the first (1781) and second (1787) edition of the "Critique of Pure Reason." It is therefore a central text for considering the development of critical philosophy as a whole. However, Michael Friedman's book is not only a contribution to the history of philosophy. For the neo-Kantian school, of which Friedman is a prominent member, this detailed study of Kant can provide the basis for building contemporary philosophy of science. These then are the reasons why the jury decided that the book is the worthy winner of the 2015 Fernando Gil Prize.

Michael Friedman

Michael Friedman is Professor of Humanities, Director of the Patrick Suppes Center for the History and Philosophy of Science, and Professor of Philosophy at Stanford University. D. from Princeton University, he has a long teaching career, having been at Harvard, Pennsylvania, Illinois University in Chicago, Indiana University, and, most recently, Stanford. His most recent books include Reconsidering Logical Positivism (1999), A Parting of the Ways: Carnap, Cassirer, and Heidegger (2000), and Dynamics of Reason: The 1999 Kant Lectures at Stanford University (2001). He is the editor and translator of Immanuel Kant: Metaphysical Foundations of Natural Science (2004), co-editor of The Kantian Legacy in Nineteenth-Century Science (2006), and co-editor of The Cambridge Companion to Carnap (2007).

The Fernando Gil International Prize in Philosophy of Science is a joint initiative of the Portuguese Government, represented by the Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT), and the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, which aims to honor the memory and work of the philosopher Fernando Gil (1937-2006). Every two years it distinguishes a work of exceptional quality in the field of Philosophy of Science, considering both general epistemological problems and problems concerning specific scientific areas.