Laureate 2002
Avishai Margalit

Avishai Margalit lives in Jeruzalem and works there as a professor of Philosophy at Hebrew University. In recent years he has mainly been busy with political philosophy. In his thinking, he, in a surprising way, uses the notion of decency as a measure of civilization/culture. He examines concrete situations where people are humiliated and demonstrates how showing respect helps towards creating a decent society.

Apart from many books (The Decent Society being one of his most significant works) and articles in various magazines, he also regularly writes for the New York Review of Books. Margalit is one of the founders and active members of Peace Now, Israels’ major peace movement. In 2004 Margalit published, together with Ian Buruma the book Occidentalism. The West in the eyes of its enemies.

“In talking with Israeli Arabs and Palestinians he became convinced of the crucial significance/meaning/value of honor and humiliation in peoples lives.” (quote from the jury report)

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