British Journal for the History of Philosophy Awards Best Paper Award

The British Journal for the History of Philosophy announced the recipient of the 2020 Rogers Prize, his annual award for the best article he publishes.

The winner of the prize is Khaled El Rouayheb, James Richard Jewett Professor of Islamic Intellectual History at Harvard University, for his article “The liar paradox in 15th century Shiraz: the exchange between Ṣadr al-Dīn al-Dashtakī and Jalāl al-Dīn al-Dawānī“(Volume 28, number 2). Here is the summary of the article:

Two rival scholars of Shiraz in Persia, Dawānī (d. 1502) and Dashtakī (d. 1498) engaged in a bitter and protracted dispute over a series of metaphysical and logical questions. One of them was the liar paradox. Their debate on this point marked the most in-depth examination of the paradox in Arabic until that time. Dashtakī’s solution was to deny that the statement “What I say is false” is true or false, on the grounds that there is a statement and application of the predicate of falsity. Since – ex hypothesi – there is no other statement, there is no basis for reiterating the predicate of truth or falsity and describing the statement itself as true or false. Dawānī’s solution was to deny that “what I say is wrong” is a statement at all, and he argued that it was more of a performative statement such as “I am selling you this”.

The finalist for the award is Ursule Renz, professor of philosophy at the University of Graz, for his article ‘The Enlightenment of Cassirer: on philosophy and the “Denkform” of reason‘(volume 28, number 3). Here is the summary of his article:

This article examines how Cassirer implicitly commented on current issues in his historical studies, offering a case study on his monograph The Enlightenment philosophy, published in November 1932. It begins with a general overview of some famous and a few overlooked examples of Cassirer’s positions throughout historical studies, before briefly discussing the context in which this monograph was written and examining how the Enlightenment is presented in the 1932 monograph. The article claims that central to Cassirer’s engagement with the Enlightenment was his concern for the autonomy of reason. The way Cassirer developed this shows that his defense of the Enlightenment was not only directed against the threats of totalitarian politics, but also aimed to clarify the nature of philosophy and its place in culture. This, however, the article concludes, does not refute the idea that Cassirer was concerned with current politics in writing The Enlightenment philosophy. Rather, he understood philosophy as just politics by virtue of the exercise of autonomy which characterizes reason.

The Rogers Prize winner receives £ 1,000 (approximately $ 1,290). The award was established in 2012 in honor of John Rogers, the journal’s founding editor.

(via Alix Cohen)


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