University of Sheffield philosopher elected Fellow of the British Academy

  • University of Sheffield professor elected Fellow of the British Academy in recognition of his outstanding research in the humanities
  • Professor Robert Stern has worked widely in the history of German philosophy from Kant onwards, and shown how we can read these thinkers in novel and more fruitful ways
  • The British Academy is the leading voice for the humanities and social sciences

A researcher from the University of Sheffield, whose studies are shining a light on the work of key German philosophers from the 18th century onwards, and why their ideas are still important today, has been honoured by a leading champion of the humanities and social sciences.

Professor Robert Stern from the University of SheffieldProfessor Robert Stern from the University’s Department of Philosophy has been elected as a Fellow of the British Academy in recognition of his research into the history and ideas of Immanuel Kant, and post-Kantian European philosophy.

Widely considered as one of the most influential figures in modern philosophy, Immanuel Kant ushered in a revolution in philosophy by claiming that the world as we experience it is not simply what there is, but that it has a structure imposed on it by the human mind.

While designed to liberate philosophy from sceptical doubts, to successors like GWF Hegel Kant’s work appeared to leave us trapped within our own mode of experience, and so cut off from any mind-independent world. Professor Stern has explored the ramifications of these key debates concerning how our minds relate to the world around us, and how Kant’s successors tried to make good on the revolution he had started. In doing so, Professor Stern has developed a distinctive and nuanced reading of Hegel’s response to Kant, which has helped lead to a renaissance of interest in Hegel’s ideas.

On being elected as Fellow of the British Academy, Professor Stern said: “It is obviously a great honour to be elected to this position, and I only hope I can live up to the high standards of the rest of the fellowship. It will be invaluable to be able to interact with such an illustrious group of scholars, and I am sure it will hugely benefit my research in the future.

“I also look forward to learning more about how the British Academy plays its role as guardian of a range of key disciplines, and doing what I can to help in its efforts towards this vital goal. And as this fellowship comes in my 30th year at Sheffield, I would also like to take this opportunity to thank my colleagues for their support of my research throughout this period – for their encouragement and for their collegiality.”

The Sheffield academic is now among 76 distinguished scholars to be elected to the prestigious fellowship in recognition of his philosophy research.

As part of the fellowship at the British Academy, Professor Stern joins a community of over 1,400 leading minds that make up the UK’s national academy for the humanities and social sciences.

Current fellows include the classicist Dame Mary Beard, the historian Sir Simon Schama and philosopher Baroness Onora O’Neill. Historic Fellows include Dame Frances Yates, Sir Winston Churchill, Baroness Mary Warnock, CS Lewis, Seamus Heaney and Beatrice Webb.

Professor Robert Stern teaches and conducts research in the University of Sheffield’s Department of Philosophy, which is ranked second in the UK for its quality of research, according to the latest Research Excellence Framework (REF).

With an international community of staff and students and a diverse range of philosophy modules available to study, Sheffield’s Department of Philosophy is known as an exciting place to study the discipline.

Additional information

Philosophy at the University of Sheffield

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