Monday, April 18, 2016
Arthur Ripstein

Prof. Arthur Ripstein has been awarded a notable Killam Research Fellowship, offered each year to world-class Canadian scholars in the humanities, social, natural and health sciences, and engineering.

Cross-appointed to the Department of Philosophy at the University of Toronto, Ripstein is a leading scholar of, and at the forefront of renewed interest in, Immanuel Kant’s legal and political philosophy.  

His project, Kant and the Law of War, will further “Kant’s idea that the very thing that makes war wrongful – the fact that which side prevails does not depend on who is in the right – also provides the moral standard for evaluating the conduct of war… and the moral basis for international law governing war.”  While Kant wrote more than 200 years ago, Ripstein argues the ideas are still remarkably compelling today.

Ripstein will build on Kantian ideas to illuminate new challenges arising from modern-day forms of war, such as wars of secession and wars involving loosely organized transnational organizations. His scholarship has important implications not only for states at war, but also for the possibilities of peace and the role of peacekeeping in preventing the outbreak of wars.

“Professor Ripstein is an outstanding scholar of law and philosophy, and I am delighted that his work has been recognized with a prestigious Killam Fellowship,” says Dean Ed Iacobucci. “His ambitious research agenda will undoubtedly deepen our understanding of the law of war, a matter of continuing and profound importance in today’s world.  I very much look forward to seeing the culmination of his work on this important project.”

A prolific writer and author, his publications include, among others, Force and Freedom: Kant’s Legal and Political Philosophy (Harvard University Press), Equality, Responsibility and the Law (Cambridge University Press)and his latest, Private Wrongs (Harvard University Press).

Considered among the country’s most prominent research prizes, Killam Research Fellowships are made possible through the Killam Trusts, bequested in the 1960s by the late Mrs. Dorothy J. Killam. Awardees are selected by a notable group of 15 outstanding Canadian scholars selected by the Canada Council.