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Princess of Asturias Awards


Emilio Lledó Íñigo, Princess of Asturias Award for Communication and Humanities

Spanish philosopher Emilio Lledó Iñigo has been bestowed with the 2015 Princess of Asturias Award for Communication and Humanities, as made public today in Oviedo by the Jury responsible for conferring said Award.



Spanish philosopher Emilio Lledó Iñigo has been bestowed with the 2015 Princess of Asturias Award for Communication and Humanities, as made public today in Oviedo by the Jury responsible for conferring said Award.

The Jury for the Award –convened by the Princess of Asturias Foundation– was chaired by Víctor García de la Concha and composed of Inés Alberdi Alonso, José Antonio Álvarez Gundín, Luis María Anson Oliart, Juan Barja de Quiroga Losada, Adela Cortina Orts, Javier González Ferrari, Elvira Lindo Garrido, Miguel Ángel Liso Tejada, Emilio Morenatti Fernández, José Narro Robles, Benigno Pendás García, José Antonio Vera Gil, Enrique de Ybarra e Ybarra and Alberto Anaut González (as acting secretary).

This nomination was put forward by Antonio Fernández de Alba, member of the Spanish Royal Academy (RAE).

Emilio Lledó Íñigo (Seville, 5th November 1927) graduated in Philosophy from the University of Madrid (1952) and studied at the University of Heidelberg (Germany) for three years on a scholarship from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. There, he had the chance to immerse himself in German post-war philosophy and to become acquainted with Hans-Georg Gadamer, Karl Löwith and Otto Regenbogen. The last of these philosophers steered him towards classic philology. He returned to the University of Madrid in 1955 as an assistant lecturer, where he earned his PhD in 1956. A year later, he returned to the University of Heidelberg as a Spanish conversation assistant and in 1964 obtained the Chair in Foundations of Philosophy and History of Philosophical Systems at the University of La Laguna (Tenerife). He moved to Barcelona in 1967 to take up the History of Philosophy Chair. In 1978, he joined Spain’s National Distance Education University (UNED), Madrid, as Professor of Philosophy, where he was to remain until his retirement. Life member of the Institute for Advanced Study in Berlin (1988), he was elected member of the Royal Spanish Academy (RAE) in 1993, occupying the “l” chair and the position of academic librarian between 1998 and 2006. He also chaired the expert committee that drew up the Report for Reforming State-Owned Media (2005).

He has played an important role in the recovery of Greek philosophy and Hellenism in Spain and has contributed to the development of hermeneutics within the field of contemporary Spanish philosophy. Lledó believes that language is an essential element in thinking and in the way humans integrate into society and nature. He thinks that philosophy is no other than meditation on this integration and the history of the philosophy is understood as the collective memory of the complex process followed by humanity. Author of over a hundred research papers, he has published articles in the most prestigious international philosophical journals and has written around twenty books, including El silencio de la escritura (1981), for which he won the National Essay Prize in 1992; Memoria de la ética (1995); Lenguaje e historia (1996); Imágenes y palabras: ensayos de humanidades (1998); El epicureísmo (2003); Elogio de la infelicidad (2006); Filosofía y lenguaje (2008); Ensayos para una educación democrática (2009), El origen del diálogo y de la ética. Una introducción al pensamiento de Platón y Aristóteles (2011) and Los libros y la libertad (2013). He also publishes current affairs articles in the El Pais newspaper.

Member of the International Institute of Philosophy, Lledó holds the Grand Cross of the Civil Order of Alfonso X the Wise and honorary degrees from the Universities of La Laguna, the Balearic Islands and Lleida. Holder of the honorific title of “Favourite Son” of Andalucía in 2003, he has been distinguished with the Alexander von Humboldt Prize (Germany, 1990), the International Menendez Pelayo Award (2004), the Fernando Lazaro Carreter Award (2007), the Maria Zambrano Award from the Junta de Andalucía (2008), the Giner de los Ríos Award of Seville (2013), the José Luis Sampedro Award from the “Getafe Negro” Festival (2014), the Antonio de Sancha Award from the Madrid Publishers Association (2014), the Pedro Henríquez Ureña International Essay Prize from the Mexican Academy of Language (2014) and the National Prize for Spanish Letters (2014), among others.

As stated in the Statutes of the Foundation, the Princess of Asturias Awards are aimed at rewarding “the scientific, technical, cultural, social and humanitarian work carried out at an international level by individuals, institutions or groups of individuals or institutions”. In keeping with these principles, the Princess of Asturias Award for Communication and Humanities shall be conferred on those “whose creative work or research represents an outstanding contribution to the benefit of humanity in the fields of History, Law, Linguistics, Teaching, Political Science, Psychology, Sociology, Ethics, Philosophy, Geography, Economics, Demography or Anthropology, including the disciplines corresponding to each of these fields”.

This year a total of 28 candidatures from Argentina, Canada, China, Colombia, Czech Republic, France, Georgia, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Portugal, Sweden, the United Kingdom, the United States and Spain ran for the Award.

This is the third of eight Princess of Asturias Awards to be bestowed this year for the thirty-fifth time. The Princess of Asturias Award for the Arts went to American filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola and the Princess of Asturias Award for Social Sciences was given to French-American economist Esther Duflo. The rest of awards will be announced in the coming weeks in the following order: Technical and Scientific Research, Sports, Literature and International Cooperation, with the Concord award being announced in September.

Each of the Princess of Asturias Awards comprises a Joan Miró sculpture – representing and symbolizing the Awards–, a cash prize of 50,000 euros, a diploma and an insignia. The awards will be presented in the autumn in Oviedo at a grand ceremony chaired by TM The King and Queen of Spain.

HM King Felipe VI has been the Honorary President of the Foundation since it was established in 1980. Following his proclamation as King of Spain on 19th June 2014, HRH Leonor de Borbón y Ortiz, Princess of Asturias, is now the Honorary President of this institution which annually convenes the Princess of Asturias Awards. The Board of Trustees of the Foundation decided at an extraordinary meeting in Oviedo last October to rename the institution and its awards, which are now called the Princess of Asturias Foundation and Princess of Asturias Awards, respectively.

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