For immediate release May 02, 2018

Lebowitz Prize Awarded to Philosophers Fine and Yablo  

WASHINGTON, DC – May 2, 2018 – The American Philosophical Association (APA), along with the Phi Beta Kappa Society (PBK), is pleased to announce that Kit Fine, Silver Professor of Philosophy and Mathematics at New York University, and Stephen Yablo, David W. Skinner Professor of Philosophy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, have won the 2018 Dr. Martin R. Lebowitz and Eve Lewellis Lebowitz Prize for Philosophical Achievement and Contribution. This prize, awarded annually by the PBK in conjunction with the APA, recognizes outstanding achievement in the field of philosophy and comes, this year, with a prize of $29,000 for each winner.

The Lebowitz Prize was established in 2012 by a generous bequest from Eve Lewellis Lebowitz in honor of her late husband, Martin R. Lebowitz, a distinguished philosophical critic. Lebowitz Prize winners must be two philosophers who hold contrasting views on a chosen topic of current interest in philosophy. They present their views and engage in rich dialogue at an annual Lebowitz symposium at an APA divisional meeting and at a public lecture.

Professors Fine and Yablo are both known for their work in philosophical logic, the philosophy of language, and metaphysics. From a pool of exceptional candidates, they secured the 2018 Lebowitz Prize with their topic, “What is Meaning?” exploring the conditions that make what is said and written true.

Stephen Yablo, Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley, has published three books and has been elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He supports the nearly fifty-year, dominant approach that “truth-conditions are taken to be given by complete possible states of affairs, so-called ‘possible worlds’, so that to know the meaning of a sentence is to know in which worlds it is true.”

Kit Fine, Ph.D., University of Warwick, was elected a Corresponding Fellow of the British Academy and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences. He has taught at several major institutions and has held fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation and the American Council of Learned Societies. He is in favor of an alternative approach, “in which the truth-conditions are taken to be, not worlds but facts within a world, so that to know the meaning of a sentence is to know what facts will make it true.”

The winners will present their work at an APA symposium in early 2019 followed by a PBK-sponsored symposium. Dates are to be determined.

The deadline for nominations/applications for the 2019 Lebowitz Prize is November 1, 2018. To apply, email Jen Horneman.


About The American Philosophical Association

Founded in 1900, the American Philosophical Association promotes the discipline and profession of philosophy, both within the academy and in the public arena. The APA supports the professional development of philosophers at all levels and works to foster greater understanding and appreciation of the value of philosophical inquiry.

About The Phi Beta Kappa Society

Founded on Dec. 5, 1776, The Phi Beta Kappa Society is the nation's most prestigious academic honor society. It has chapters at 286 colleges and universities in the United States, almost 50 alumni associations, and more than half a million members worldwide. Noteworthy members include 17 U.S. Presidents, 39 U.S. Supreme Court Justices and more than 130 Nobel Laureates. The mission of The Phi Beta Kappa Society is to champion education in the liberal arts and sciences, foster freedom of thought, and recognize academic excellence. For more information, visit