Thomas Nagel
#1096 Overall Influence

Thomas Nagel

American philosopher

About

Why is this person notable and influential?

Currently holding the title of University Professor of Philosophy and Law, Emeritus at New York University, Thomas Nagel previously held positions at the University of California, Berkeley and Princeton University, among others. Nagel earned a BA in philosophy from Cornell University in 1958, a BPhil in 1960 at the University of Oxford (as a Fulbright scholar, and studying under JL Austin, no less), and his PhD from Harvard University in 1963.

Though primarily working in political philosophy and ethics throughout his career, Nagel achieved quite a bit of (ongoing) fame and notoriety in the realm of philosophy of mind and epistemology with his 1974 essay “What is it like to be a Bat?” In the famed essay, Nagel investigated the phenomenal experience of being a bat and argued that consciousness has an innately subjective character that, at least under our current understanding of science and the physical world, cannot be explained satisfactorily from physical causes alone. The resulting debate from this essay still rages on. Beyond this, in political philosophy and ethics, Nagel has argued for a Kantian and rationalist approach to morality and law.

For his work, Nagel has received honors including fellowship with the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a Guggenheim Fellowship, a National Science Foundation Fellowship, and the Rolf Schock Prize.

Academic Website

Featured in Top Influential Philosophers Today

Major published works by Thomas Nagel:

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Schools

What schools is this person affiliated with?
University of California, Berkeley
University of California, Berkeley

Public research university in Berkeley, California, United States

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Harvard University
Harvard University

Private research university in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States

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Cornell University
Cornell University

Private university in Ithaca

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New York University
New York University

Private research university in New York City

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Notable Works

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Influence Rankings by Discipline

How’s this person influential?
#228 World Rank #37 USA Rank
Philosophy
#8482 World Rank #1756 USA Rank
Literature