Press releases


Aug 18 2015

Emeritus Professor at the Goethe University is awarded one of the world's most prestigious science prizes.

Habermas receives Kluge Prize

FRANKFURT. It is considered the Nobel Prize of Philosophy: Since 2003 the John W. Kluge Center at the Washington Library of Congress has awarded the "Kluge Prize" for achievements in the humanities and social sciences. This year, the internationally renowned award has been won by the philosopher and sociologist Jürgen Habermas, who shares the prize with the Canadian social philosopher Charles Taylor. The Kluge Prize comes with a 1.5 million dollar endowment.

The prize was donated by John W. Kluge, a patron of German origin, who saw it as a means of promoting disciplines such as philosophy, sociology, anthropology and history, which are not covered by the Nobel Prize. The most famous recipients of the Kluge Prize include the French philosopher Paul Ricœur and the former Brazilian President, Fernando Henrique Cardoso.

University President Prof. Birgitta Wolff congratulated Jürgen Habermas on behalf of the Goethe University: "The awarding of the Kluge Prize to Jürgen Habermas shows that his philosophical and sociological works have been received and appreciated around the world. The jury made special mention of not just his scientific work, but also his exceptional commitment as an intellectual: in numerous socio-political debates he has spoken with passion and defended the values of democracy and freedom. This demonstrates a socially relevant commitment to science totally in line with the spirit of the mission of the Goethe University." Jürgen Habermas has been Professor of Philosophy and Sociology at the Goethe University for 25 years and is the most well-known proponent of Critical Theory in the generation after Adorno and Horkheimer. The main works published by Habermas include "The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere" (1962), "The Theory of Communicative Action" (1981) and "The Philosophical Discourse of Modernity" (1985).

In 1964 Habermas took over from Max Horkheimer as Professor of Philosophy and Sociology, and engaged in teaching and research at the Goethe University from 1964-1971, 1975-1982 and 1983-1994. Earlier, from 1956 to 1959, he worked as an assistant at the Institute for Social Research in Frankfurt, where he met Theodor W. Adorno and Max Horkheimer. Habermas was also Director of the Max Planck Institute for the Study of the Scientific-Technical World, which in 1980 became the Max Planck Institute for Social Sciences (1971-1981). Last but not least, his many overseas trips and guest professorships in the USA have brought his works to an appreciative international audience.

Habermas has won various prizes for his scientific endeavours, including the Kyoto Prize the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade, the Hessian Culture Prize, the State Prize of North Rhine-Westphalia, the Theodor W. Adorno Prize and the Hegel Prize.
More information about the Kluge Prize: