The BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award in Humanities and Social Sciences is shared by Steven Pinker (Harvard University) and Peter Singer (Princeton University) in recognition of their innovative academic contributions in the spheres of rationality and the moral domain, respectively, which have entered the mainstream of public debate.
The award recognizes two thinkers, Steven Pinker and Peter Singer, who by different but converging paths have excelled in the defense of rationality and pragmatic altruism as the main drivers of ethical progress throughout human history. They are also two researchers – and mutual admirers – who have successfully taken their interdisciplinary knowledge into the public sphere.
Steven Pinker’s work has combined outstanding achievements in evolutionary cognitive psychology with highly insightful analyses of the conditions of human progress. He depicts such progress from an optimistic perspective grounded in reason, science and humanism.
Peter Singer, one of today’s most influential moral philosophers, marked a turning point by extending the scope of ethical consideration, providing a basis for its application to the animal domain. This signal contribution has had major consequences for international animal welfare legislation as well as for moral progress