‘Outstanding’ philosopher awarded

Monday 7 November 2005

A University of St Andrews philosopher has been awarded £50,000 for outstanding research achievements.

Professor Daniel Nolan, of the University’s School of Philosophical & Anthropological Studies, has been named as a recipient of a Philip Leverhulme Prize. The award is granted by the Leverhulme Trust to around 25 researchers working in various disciplines across the UK. Professor Nolan is one of just five in his field – and the only philosopher in Scotland – to be honoured this year.

A Professor of Theoretical Philosophy, Daniel works on a range of topics from metaphysics to the philosophy of science and language. He is also an associate fellow of Arché, an AHRC research centre for the philosophy of logic, language, mathematics and mind.

Philip Leverhulme Prizes are awarded to scholars whose work has already been recognised at an international level. The Prize recipients are judged by the panel to be “truly outstanding in their fields, with records of proven achievement”.

Upon receiving his award, Professor Nolan said:

“I’m very pleased to have been awarded the Leverhulme Prize. This prize will give me the opportunity to develop a new project: I am going to be thinking about “theoretical virtues”. These are desirable features of theories such as simplicity, explanatoriness, elegance, unificatory power and so on. I am interested in coming up with a general framework for explaining why the different theoretical virtues are valuable, and what methodological role they should play: for instance, are they guides to truth, or are they valuable for other reasons?

“That question come up in all sorts of areas: the natural and social sciences, but also in mathematics, philosophy, history, and anywhere we theorise at all. I am looking forward to seeing how these questions are addressed in different areas of inquiry.”

It is the fourth award in succession to be granted to a member of the School of Philosophical & Anthropological Studies. The Leverhulme Trust has previously awarded Dr Fraser MacBride (Philosophy), Dr Katherine Hawley (Philosophy) and Dr Mark Harris (Social Anthropology). Head of School, Dr Peter Clark, said:

“We are delighted that the very high quality of research done in the School has received such prestigious recognition.”



http://www.leverhulme.org.uk/news/# prizes2005

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