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February 28, 2000

Harry Frankfurt Named Romanell-Phi Beta Kappa Professor of Philosophy; to Deliver Public Lectures

PRINCETON, N.J. -- Professor of Philosophy Harry G. Frankfurt has been named the Romanell-Phi Beta Kappa Professor for 1999-2000, an honor recognizing both distinguished achievement and potential contributions to public understanding of philosophy.

Recipients of the award present public lectures, and Frankfurt will deliver three talks in March on the theme "Some Thoughts about Norms, Love and the Goals of Life."

A professor at Princeton since 1990, Frankfurt has spent much of his career exploring the ways in which people think about themselves intellectually and morally, and how ideals and values shape our lives. His current work centers on exploring the relevance of love and non-moral goals and standards to issues concerning practical reason, and on the distinction between being active and being passive.

Frankfurt is the author of three books: Demons, Dreamers and Madmen: The Defense of Reason in Descartes' Meditations (1970), The Importance of What We Care About (1988), and Necessity, Volition and Love (1999); and the editor of Leibniz: A Collection of Critical Essays (1972). He has written more than 50 scholarly articles, essays and reviews.

Frankfurt came to Princeton from Yale, where he chaired the philosophy department from 1978 to 1987 and lectured in the School of Law. He also has taught at Rockefeller University, the State University of New York and Ohio State University, and held several visiting professorships. Frankfurt has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Guggenheim Foundation, and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

His public talks are entitled "How Should We Live?" (March 23), "Some Mysteries of Love," (March 28) and "The Dear Self" (March 30). All the lectures will take place at 4:30 p.m. in Dodds Auditorium in Robertson Hall, at Washington Road and Prospect Street.