Congratulations to Jennifer Nagel for having been awarded the 2023 Ernest Sosa Prize Lecture by the American Philosophy Association (APA). The Ernest Sosa Prize Lecture was established with the APA to honor substantial achievement in epistemology. Winners of the prize must be outstanding contributors to epistemology, able to explain complex ideas in clear language to a broad philosophical readership. The prize winner will present the Ernest Sosa Prize Lecture at an APA divisional meeting, expounding a substantial contribution in a way accessible to a wider expert audience.
The selection committee described Nagel, who is also a research affiliate at the Schwartz Reisman Institute for Technology and Society, as “a leading advocate of the importance of empirical research in the cognitive sciences and experimental philosophy to addressing central issues in epistemology and the philosophy of mind.” It added that her research “has made important contributions to current debates on intuitions and thought experiments, and epistemic contextualism,” addressing the question whether knowledge constitutes a mental state.
Nagel responded to the honour as “an unexpected an moving experience.” “As an epistemologist,” she says, “I am very much a fan of Ernie Sosa’s entire body of work, from his sharp explorations of the analysis of knowledge back in the mid-1960s to his groundbreaking work on safety conditions decades later, and his most recent work on the nature of epistemology itself.” She describes Sosa as “an outstanding citizen of the profession,” based especially on his indefatigable work as a journal editor and a leader at the APA, admitting that “I can’t think how I could compose a Sosa Prize Lecture that measures up to this inspiration, but it will be fun to try.” We have no doubt she give a lecture worthy of its namesake.
Ernest Sosa, whose research has focused primarily on epistemology, has also written on metaphysics, modern philosophy, and philosophy of mind. Having spent the majority of his career at Brown University, he was named the Board of Governors Professor of Philosophy at Rutgers University in 2007.