Richard von Weizsäcker Distinguished Visitor - Class of Fall 2012
George F. Kennan Professor (2006-2011), Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, and Professor Emeritus of Philosophy, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Avishai Margalit is one of the foremost thinkers and commentators on the human condition and the moral challenges of our time. He is highly regarded worldwide for his novel and cogent observations of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the Arab Spring, and the ongoing difficulties between Islam and the West. Margalit is professor emeritus of philosophy at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the former George F. Kennan Professor at Princeton’s Institute for Advanced Study. Throughout his academic career, he also taught at several internationally renowned universities – most recently as the Leah Kaplan Visiting Professor in Human Rights at Stanford University. His publications include The Decent Society (Harvard University Press, 1996), The Ethics of Memory (Harvard University Press, 2002), Occidentalism: The West in the Eyes of Its Enemies (with Ian Buruma, Penguin, 2004), and On Compromise and Rotten Compromises (Princeton University Press, 2009). Margalit is the recipient of the 2001 Spinoza Lens Prize for his “significant contribution to the normative debate on society” and the 2011 Israel Prize in Philosophy for his work as “one of the most important philosophers in the state of Israel and one of the most valued in the world today.” In September 2012, he will be awarded the Ernst Bloch Prize as well as the FIPH Philosophical Book Award.
American Academy Project
The Arab Spring and the Israeli Spring
Margalit will provide a fresh perspective on the societal upheavals in parts of the Middle East and Northern Africa, and bring his broader expertise on social, political, and religious philosophy to bear on issues of social justice as well as provide alternative scenarios with regard to recent regime changes. In addition, Margalit will address the latest protests in Israel, seeking to put the region’s various movements for change into a comprehensive framework.