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Romanell Lecture
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The Patrick Romanell lecture is presented annually at a divisional meeting of the APA on the topic of philosophical naturalism.

The annual Patrick Romanell lecture on philosophical naturalism was established in 1981. It was generously endowed by Dr. Patrick Romanell, who died in 2002. More about Dr. Romanell's life and work is contained in the Memorial Minutes section of the Proceedings and Addresses of the American Philosophical Association, volume 75, issue 5, May 2002, pp. 201-202.

In 1981, when the lecture was being established, Professor Romanell characterized "philosophical naturalism” in the following way:

Typically, naturalism as a philosophy may be discussed for critical purposes from four significant angles, taken separately and/or jointly. First, as the oldest tradition in Western philosophy (from Thales to contemporary American naturalism), the topic may be treated from an historical angle. Secondly, as a particular philosophical position, it may be treated from a systematic angle, including its peculiar temper and method, its basic categories, its characteristic concepts of nature and man, and its general bearings on such areas of human interest as science, economics, politics, art, morality, religion. Thirdly, the subject may be treated from a comparative angle (e.g., naturalism and materialism, naturalism and idealism, naturalism and positivism). Fourthly and finally, the topic may be treated from an individual angle (e.g., the naturalism of Aristotle, Spinosa, John Dewey).

In a letter dated October 5, 1990, to then-chair of the APA board of officers, Robert Turnbull, Professor Romanell emphasized that "the specified topic of the Romanell lectureship is philosophical naturalism in general, not its American varieties in particular.” He referred to this as the "unrestricted scope of the topic of the Romanell lecture on philosophical naturalism.”


Frequency: Annual

Award Amount: $1,200 to be paid upon delivery of the manuscript of the lecture to the APA national office for publication in the Proceedings and Addresses, plus travel costs not to exceed $750.

Selection Process

The Romanell lecturer is selected by a committee appointed by the chair of the APA's committee on lectures, publications, and research (LPR), in consultation with LPR committee members. The committee includes one representative from each of the three divisions. Eligibility is limited to APA members.

Previous Awardees


Jennifer Hornsby (Birkbeck, University of London) - Central 


Elisabeth Lloyd (Indiana University) - Pacific


Patricia Kitcher (Columbia University) — Eastern


John Perry (Stanford University) — Central


Hilary Kornblith (University of Massachusetts Amherst), "Naturalism vs. the First-person Perspective" — Pacific


Galen Strawson (University of Reading), "Real Naturalism" — Eastern


Jaegwon Kim (Brown University), "From Naturalism to Physicalism" — Central


Alvin Goldman (Rutgers University), "Philosophical Naturalism and Intuitional Methodology" — Pacific


Barry Stroud (University of California Berkeley), "The Transparency of Naturalism" — Central


Elliott Sober (University of Wisconsin Madison), "Parsimony Arguments in Science and Philosophy: A Test Case for Naturalism" — Eastern


Louis Loeb (University of Michigan), "The Naturalisms of Hume and Reid" — Pacific


Steven Gaukroger (University of Sydney), "'Home Alone': Cognitive Solipsism in the Early-Modern Era" — Central


Philip Kitcher (Columbia University) "The Hall of Mirrors" — Eastern


Jerry Fodor and Ernie Lepore (Rutgers University), "Out of Context" — Pacific


Frank Jackson (Princeton University), "Narrow Content and Representationalism" — Central


Penelope Maddy (University of California Irvine), "A Naturalistic Look at Logic" — Eastern


Allan Gibbard (University of Michigan), "Living with Meanings: A Human Ecology" — Pacific


David A. Armstrong (University of Connecticut at Storrs), "A Naturalist Program: Epistemology and Ontology" — Central


Ruth Garrett Millikan (University of Connecticut), "How We Make Our Ideas Clear: Empiricist Epistemology for Empirical Concepts" — Eastern


Susan Haack (University of Miami), "As for that Phrase, ‘Studying in a Literary Spirit’..." — Central


Richard J. Bernstein (The New School), "What Ever Happened to Naturalism?" — Pacific


John J. McDermott (Texas A&M University), "Ill-at-ease: The Natural Travail of Ontological Disconnectedness" — Eastern


Peter T. Manicas (Queens College), "Nature and Culture" — Pacific


Thelma Lavine (George Mason University), "Modernity and the Spirit of Naturalism" — Central


John Lachs (Vanderbilt University), "Human Natures" — Eastern

Philippa Foot (University of California), "Ethical Naturalism" — Pacific


Edmund L. Pincoffs (University of Texas at Austin), "The Practices of Responsibility-Ascription" — Central


Abraham Edel (City College of New York), "Naturalism and the Concept of Moral Change" — Eastern

Note: Already published Romanell lectures dating back to 2004 are currently available to APA members on our website. Sign-in is required to download the files. Earlier Romanell lectures may be obtained through JSTOR.
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