The German philosopher Jrgen Habermas and the Canadian philosopher Charles Taylor will share this year's $1.5 million John W. Kluge Prize for Achievement in the Study of Humanity. The prize, inaugurated in 2003 and awarded by the Library of Congress, is intended to recognize work in disciplines not covered by the Nobel prizes.
Mr. Habermas, 86, is widely recognized as one of the most important German thinkers of the past half century, a defender of the Enlightenment tradition whose writings on human rights, citizenship, Germany's Nazi past, terrorism and other subjects have often stirred public debate in his country and beyond.
Mr. Taylor, 83, is the author of several influential books questioning individualism and examining the enduring religious underpinnings of morality in the modern world, including ''Sources of the Self'' and ''A Secular Age.''
James H. Billington, the outgoing Librarian of Congress, in a statement called the two men ''brilliant philosophers and deeply engaged public intellectuals'' whose work reaches beyond the confines of their discipline. They will receive the award at a ceremony in Washington on Sept. 29.
Previous winners of the prize include the historians Peter Brown and John Hope Franklin; Fernando Henrique Cardoso, the sociologist and former president of Brazil; and the philosophers Leszek Kolakowski and Paul Ricoeur.
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