Lauener Foundation for Analytical Philosophy

Thursday 26 June 2014,
Bern, Switzerland

Posthumous Lauener Award for an Outstanding Oeuvre in Analytical Philosophy
Prizewinner 2014 Professor Fred Dretske

Professor Fred Dretske

(Stanford University)
(University of Wisconsin–Madison)
(Duke University)

Posthumous Lauener Award for an Outstanding Oeuvre in Analytical Philosophy

This year’s Lauener Award for an Outstanding Oeuvre in Analytical Philosophy is posthumously awarded to Professor Fred Dretske (formerly at the Departments of Philosophy at University of Wisconsin–Madison, Stanford University, and Duke University). The Lauener Award is given for Dretske's body of philosophical work. Just over a year ago Fred Dretske, qua designated sixth recipient of the Lauener Prize for an Outstanding Oeuvre,  was still personally involved in the planning of this year’s Lauener Awards Ceremony and Lauener Symposium in honour of his life’s work.


Fred Dretske (December 9, 1932 – July 24, 2013) was an eminently respected and originative, genuine philosopher, who has left a deep impression on major parts of philosophy by bringing out progressively the complex relationships and interdependences between conceptions of information, semantic content, intentional representation, of states of affairs, probability, laws of nature, perception, belief, knowledge, of thoughts, reasons, actions, of consciousness, self-knowledge, etc. Dretske has done ground-breaking work in Theory of Knowledge, Philosophy of Mind and Philosophy of Action. Furthermore his philosophical ideas have received considerable attention in related fields of empirical science (Cognitive science, Psychology, Linguistics, Computer science, etc.) while on the other hand Dretske has always known how to make good use of scientific findings in his philosophical considerations. Fred Dretske’s pioneering development of Informational Semantics has shaped ongoing philosophical debates about several aspects of causal theories of mental content, and Dretske has been giving fresh impetus to significant issues such as the origin of mental representations and the naturalizability of consciousness and of subjective, first-person aspects of experience (qualia). What is more, the lucidity, sobriety, graphicness, and unpretentious openness of Dretske’s characteristic style of philosophical writing has left a mark on many a contemporary thinker and writer.

Professor Fred        Dretske

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