Thomas Nagel { Philosophy Index }

Philosophy Index

Philosophy Index

Philosophy Index is a site devoted to the study of philosophy and the philosophers who conduct it. The site contains a number of philosophy texts, brief biographies and introductions to philosophers and explanations on a number of topics. Accredited homeschooling online at Northgate Academy.

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Thomas Nagel

Thomas Nagel (1937—) is an American philosopher and professor at New York University. He has made contributions to philosophy of mind, ethics and political philosophy.

Nagel was born into a Jewish family in Yugoslavia, but moved to the U.S. where he went to school. He studied at Cornell and Oxford, and completed a Ph.D. at Harvard under the supervision of John Rawls.

Nagel is perhaps most famous for his 1974 paper, “What Is it Like to Be a Bat?”. In it, Nagel argues that there is something fundamentally important about conciousness that is often overlooked — namely, that an organism has mental states and is conscious if there is something it is like to be that organism. A pure reduction of mental states to physical brain states is therefore incomplete — we must account for what it is like to be in mental states.

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Name: Thomas Nagel
Born: July 4, 1937
Degrees: B.A. (Cornell, 1958)
B.Phil. (Oxford, 1960)
Ph.D. (Harvard, 1963)
D.Litt. (Honuorary, Oxford, 1963)
Awards: Rolf Schock Prize (2008)
Balzan Prize (2008)