Nussbaum Receives Henry M. Phillips Prize in Jurisprudence

Nussbaum Receives Henry M. Phillips Prize in Jurisprudence
Law School Office of Communications
April 30, 2009

Martha Nussbaum, the Ernst Freund Distinguished Service Professor of Law and Ethics in the Divinity School, Philosophy and the Law School, has been awarded the 2009 Henry M. Phillips Prize in Jurisprudence.

The American Philosophical Society, the oldest learned society in United States, bestows the Phillips Prize in recognition of outstanding lifetime contributions to the field of jurisprudence.

Nussbaum, only the 22nd winner in the Prize's 121-year history, was selected "in recognition of her intellectual leadership in philosophy, law and religion, including in particular her development and application of a 'capabilities approach' to justice in a variety of contexts." Those include women's rights in developing countries and worldwide, of the disabled and the impaired, and animal species.

The Phillips Prize originally acknowledged the most important publications in the field of science and philosophy of jurisprudence. Nussbaum is the first woman to win the Phillips Prize since it became a lifetime achievement award in 2000, and only the second since its foundation in 1888. Biographer Catherine Drinker Bowen was selected in 1957.

"For me it is an important recognition of the importance of philosophy for the study of law," Nussbaum said. "I have no law degree, unlike the other recipients, and my contribution to law is made through philosophical work on justice.

"I think it's very important to establish that law is n