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2011 Henry M. Phillips Prize

Spring General Meeting
Jeremy James Waldron

The American Philosophical Society awarded the 2011 Henry M. Phillips Prize in Jurisprudence to Jeremy James Waldron. The citation read “in recognition his intellectual leadership in political theory and legal philosophy, including in particular his exploration of such diverse themes as the nature and limits of rights supporting the institution of private property, a jurisprudence of legislation, and a defense of the equality of human beings developed out of Locke’s Christian-based theories of equality, which has brought him recognition as one of the world’s leading legal and political philosophers of his generation.” The award was presented by the Society's Executive Officer, Mary Patterson McPherson, President Emerita, Bryn Mawr College.

The Henry M. Phillips Prize recognizes outstanding lifetime contributions to the field of jurisprudence and the important publications which illustrate that accomplishment. It was established in 1888 by a gift from his sister to be used as an award to honor "real merit on the science and philosophy of jurisprudence."

Dr. Waldron is University Professor of Law and Philosophy at the New York University School of Law, and the Chichele Professor in Social and Political Theory at Oxford University.  Waldron works in the fields of political theory and legal philosophy, and his output has been prodigious.  He has explored such diverse themes as the nature and limits of rights-based arguments in support of the institution of private property (The Right to Private Property); the case for legislation as a “dignified mode of governance and a respectable source of law” (The Dignity of Legislation); a jurisprudence of legislation  (Law and Disagreement); and a defense of the equality of human beings developed out of Locke’s Christian-based theories of equality, with modern implications (God, Locke, and Equality).

The Phillips Prize Selection Committee consisted of chair Herma Hill Kay, the Barbara Nachtrieb Armstrong Professor of Law and Former Dean of the School of Law at the University of California, Berkeley; William T. Coleman, Jr., Senior Partner and Senior Counselor at O’Melveny & Myers; Ellen Ash Peters, Judge Trial Referee of the Connecticut Appellate Court and former Chief Justice of the Connecticut Supreme Court; and Louis Pollak, Judge, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania.