Manne awarded Lebowitz Prize, symposium appearance

Kate Manne, associate professor of philosophy in the College of Arts and Sciences (A&S), is one of two philosophers to receive the 2024 Dr. Martin R. Lebowitz and Eve Lewellis Lebowitz Prize for philosophical achievement and contribution.

Awarded by the Phi Beta Kappa Society in conjunction with the American Philosophical Association (APA), the Lebowitz Prize is presented each year to a pair of philosophers who hold contrasting (not necessarily opposing) views of an important philosophical question that is of current interest both to the field and to an educated public audience.

This year, Manne will engage in discussion on the theme “Dehumanization and its Discontents” with the prize co-recipient, David Livingston Smith, professor of philosophy at the University of New England. The winners present their views and engage in a dialogue at an annual Lebowitz symposium, held during an APA divisional meeting, and in an episode of the podcast Key Conversations with Phi Beta Kappa.

“David Livingstone Smith and I have, for a decade, had a fruitful and respectful disagreement about whether or not oppression nowadays typically involves dehumanization,” Manne said. “I tend to think that women facing misogyny are punished for being human, all too human, and for characteristically human offenses that they supposedly commit, relative to patriarchal values. But I look forward to exploring important criticisms of this idea and trying to do justice to the fact that many people facing fatphobia, which I also study, have found the concept of dehumanization powerful and important.

“Receiving this prize is hence both a tremendous honor and a chance to revisit a philosophical issue that matters to me deeply, in dialogue with another philosopher whom I deeply respect,” Manne said.

Manne works in moral, social and feminist philosophy. She is the author of three books, “Down Girl: The Logic of Misogyny,” “Entitled: How Male Privilege Hurts Women,” and “Unshrinking: How to Face Fatphobia,” which was published this year. Her newsletter, “More to Hate,” canvasses misogyny, fatphobia, their intersection and more. Her academic papers take up questions in metaethics, moral psychology and political philosophy.

Smith, Manne’s interlocutor in the Lebowitz symposium, is an interdisciplinary scholar whose publications are cited not only by other philosophers, but also by historians, legal scholars, psychologists, and anthropologists. His ten books include “Less Than Human: Why We Demean, Enslave and Exterminate Others,” and, most recently, “Making Monsters: The Uncanny Power of Dehumanization,” a finalist for the 2023 Nayef Al-Rodhan Prize for Interdisciplinary Philosophy and winner of the APA’s 2023 Joseph B. Gittler Award. He is often interviewed and cited in the media, speaking about dehumanization and mass violence.

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