For immediate release June 27, 2019

Lebowitz Prize Awarded to Distinguished Philosophers Bratman and Gilbert  

WASHINGTON, DC – June 27, 2019 – The American Philosophical Association (APA) and the Phi Beta Kappa Society (ΦBK) are pleased to announce that Dr. Michael E. Bratman (ΦBK, Haverford), the U.G. and Abbie Birch Durfee Professor in the School of Humanities and Sciences at Stanford University, and Dr. Margaret P. Gilbert, the Abraham I. Melden Chair in Moral Philosophy and Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at the University of California, Irvine, have won the 2019 Dr. Martin R. Lebowitz and Eve Lewellis Lebowitz Prize for Philosophical Achievement and Contribution. Awarded annually by ΦBK in conjunction with the APA, this prize recognizes outstanding achievement in the field of philosophy. This year, each winner will be awarded an honorarium of $25,800.
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. The Lebowitz Prize is awarded to two philosophers who hold contrasting views on a chosen topic of current interest in philosophy. They present their views and engage in a dialogue at an annual Lebowitz symposium, held during an APA divisional meeting.

Michael E. Bratman, Ph.D., received his undergraduate degree from Haverford College where he was inducted into the Phi Beta Kappa Society. A professor at Stanford since 1974, Bratman studies the philosophy of action, with a focus on issues of social agency and practical rationality. He is the author of multiple books on aspects of intention and agency, and of a joint paper (with David Israel and Martha Pollock), “Plans and Resource-Bounded Practical Reasoning,” which was recognized for its contributions to the field of artificial intelligence as the recipient of the 2008 International Foundation of Autonomous Agents and Multi-Agent Systems influential paper award. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and he has served the APA as both president of the Pacific Division and chair of the board of officers. In 2014 he received the APA’s Philip L. Quinn Prize “in recognition of service to philosophy and philosophers, broadly construed.”
Margaret P. Gilbert, Ph.D., studied in the United Kingdom, receiving her undergraduate degree from Cambridge University and her doctorate from Oxford. Her research interests span diverse topics in social, political, and moral philosophy, rights theory, and philosophy of law. In multiple books, she has explored the philosophy of social phenomena, political obligation, and rights. A professor at the University of California, Irvine, since 2006, she has previously served as a professor and visiting researcher at universities in the United States, Europe, and Scandinavia and she is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Gilbert served on the advisory committee to the program committee for the APA Eastern Division meeting from 1993–1996 and again from 2008–2011. Her work has been featured in numerous conferences and special conference sessions over the past three decades.

Both Professors Bratman and Gilbert are accomplished authors at the apex of their field. They caught the attention of the panel for the 2019 Lebowitz Prize with their topic, “What is it to Act Together?” Their proposed dialogue focuses on their respective views of the philosophical underpinnings of how two or more individuals come together in a collaborative effort.
The winners will present their work in April 2020 at the APA Pacific Division meeting in San Francisco, and will be featured in an episode of Key Conversations with Phi Beta Kappa, a podcast produced by ΦBK.

Nominations/applications for the 2020 Lebowitz Prize will open in early fall 2019; the deadline is December 1, 2019. Please click here for more information.


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 290 colleges and universities in the United States, nearly 50 alumni associations, and more than half a million members worldwide. Noteworthy members include 17 U.S. Presidents, 41 U.S. Supreme Court Justices and more than 140 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