The 2007 recipient of the American Philosophical Society’s Henry M. Phillips Prize is Cass R. Sunstein, the Karl N. Llewellyn Distinguished Professor of Jurisprudence at the University of Chicago Law School.
Dr. Sunstein was awarded the prize in recognition of his intellectual leadership in constitutional law and political science. Of particular note is his profound research and writing demonstrating the complex interplay between jurisprudential constructs and the day by day resolution of legal conflicts.
In opening remarks at the Society’s April 26 awards ceremony, presenter Ellen Ash Peters lauded Dr. Sunstein’s impressive body of work, which includes a large number of books, articles and essays ranging in topic from the application of legal realism to the jurisprudential implications of cyberspace. His books include After the Rights Revolution: Reconceiving the Regulatory State (1990), The Partial Constitution (1993), Democracy and the Problem of Free Speech (1993), Legal Reasoning and Political Conflict (1996), Free Markets and Social Justice (1997), Risk and Reason (2002), The Cost-Benefit State (2002), Punitive Damages: How Juries Decide (2002), Why Societies Need Dissent (2003), The Second Bill of Rights (2004), and Laws of Fear: Beyond the Precautionary Principle (2005). He is a graduate of Harvard College and its Law School, magna cum laude.
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.”
The American Philosophical Society, the oldest learned society in the United States, was founded in 1743 by Benjamin Franklin for the purpose of “promoting useful knowledge.” Today it sustains this mission in three principal ways: by honoring and engaging leading scholars, scientists and professionals through elected membership and opportunities for interdisciplinary, intellectual fellowship; supporting research, discovery and education through grants and fellowships, lectures, publications, prizes and exhibitions; and serving scholars through a research library internationally recognized for its enduring historic value. The American Philosophical Society’s current activities reflect the founder’s spirit of inquiry, provide a forum for the free exchange of ideas, and convey the conviction that intellectual inquiry and critical thought are inherently in the best interest of the public.