Print Page | Contact Us | Sign In | Join the APA
Baumgardt Memorial Fellowship
Share |

Since 1975, the American Philosophical Association has administered the David Baumgardt Memorial Fellowship for the support and dissemination of research in the field of ethics. Competition for this fellowship is open to candidates of any nationality, working in any country, whose research has some bearing on the philosophical interests of the late David Baumgardt. Broadly speaking, these interests were in the examination and comparison of types of morality associated with strong cultural and religious traditions, such as Judaism and Christianity, or based on certain contrasting principles (for example, love and justice on the one hand, power or forgiveness on the other).


Frequency: Every 3 years

Next Award: 2023

Award Amount: $10,000

Next deadline: November 1, 2022


Baumgardt Fellows are to be APA members. (This membership may be arranged after the winner is selected.)


Prospective candidates should read the statement below that has been prepared by the association, giving a more precise idea of Baumgardt's philosophical interests. If, after reading the statement, they consider their own research to be sufficiently close in spirit to Baumgardt's intentions, they should:

  • Submit a letter describing this research and show how the fellowship would assist them in writing or completing a work, some or all of which might suitably be presented as a series of two or three public lectures, to be known as the Baumgardt Memorial Lectures.
  • Submit a current copy of their CV.
  • Submit two letters of recommendation (or have the letter writers send a PDF copy of their letter of recommendation to, one of which should be from the head of the appropriate division (for example, an academic department, research library, etc.) of the institution at which the lectures will be delivered. The candidate need not be formally affiliated with this institution, but its willingness to sponsor the lectures will be a condition of the award and should be stated in the letter. Letters of recommendation must also be received by the application deadline of November 1.

All material must be submitted as a single PDF file.

Questions may be directed to

Fill out the submission form. 

Selection Process

The winner of the fellowship will be chosen by the committee on international cooperation, and announced in the spring of 2023. The lectures should be given in 2024 or 2025.



Jason Yonover (Johns Hopkins University), “German-Jewish Idealism: Ethics and Politics”


Joshua Glasgow (Sonoma State University), “Gratitude, Life, and Death”

Professor Glasgow will present his lectures at Sonoma State University on November 7, 2017, "Gratitude for Bad Facts," and November 14, 2017, "Finding Goodness in Death."


George Rudebusch (Northern Arizona University), Confucian and Ancient Greek Reflection on Compassion

Professor Rudebusch's lectures—"Confucius on Compassion" and "Socrates on Compassion"—were presented at the Living Compassion Conference at Northern Arizona University in October 2013.


Glen A. Pettigrove (Massey University), Studies in Forgiveness

Professor Pettigrove's lectures—"The Standing to Forgive" and "Forgiveness and Love"—were presented at Arizona State University in January 2008.


Daniel H. Frank (University of Kentucky), Pride, Humility, and Anger: Aristotle and Maimonides on Virtue and the Self

Professor Frank's lectures—"Philosophy as a Divine Injunction," "Friendship and the Possibility of Charity," and "Wisdom, Piety, and Superhuman Virtue"—were presented at the University of Notre Dame in November 2003. They were co-sponsored by the university's Department of Philosophy and Erasmus Institute.


Two fellowships:

Berel Lang (Trinity College), Group Rights and the Concept of Genocide

Professor Lang's lectures—"Natural Law and Natural RightsIndividual and Group Rights" and "The Concept of Genocide"—were presented at Trinity College (Connecticut) in April 1998.

Stephen Munzer (University of California, Los Angeles), Poverty, Virtue, and Ideal

Professor Munzer's lectures—"Poverty, Virtue, and Ideal" and "Two Ideals of Christian Mendicancy"—were presented at the University of California, Los Angeles School of Law in October 1997.


One fellowship and one special award:

Michael P. Levine (University of Western Australia), Theoretical and Philosophical Foundations of Comparative Religious Ethics

Professor Levine's lectures—"Contemporary Theory of Religion: The Problem for Classical Theistic Metaethics" and "The Relation Between Metaethics and Normative Ethics of Non-Theistic Traditions"—were presented at the University of Virginia and Columbia University in November 1993.

Ileana Grams (University of North Carolina at Asheville), Boundaries of the Self — special award

Professor Grams' lectures were presented at the University of North Carolina at Asheville in April 1994.


Amelie Oksenberg Rorty (Radcliffe College), Virtues and Their Vicissitudes

Professor Rorty's lectures—"Three Dogmas of Moralism," "Character and the Context of Desire," and "Community and the Context of Character"—were presented at Radcliffe College.


Steven Katz (Harvard University), Feeling and Action

Professor Katz's lectures were presented at Harvard University in fall 1983. They were co-sponsored by the university's Center for the Study of World Religions.


Two fellowships:

Lenn E. Goodman (University of Hawaii), Monotheism and Ethics

Herbert Morris (University of California, Los Angeles), The Nature of Guilt

David Baumgardt (1890-1963): Biography and Bibliography

David Baumgardt was educated at the Universities of Freiburg, Heidelberg, Vienna and Berlin, where he took his doctorate and was subsequently Professor of Philosophy. He left Germany without permission in 1935 to go to Spain, where he participated in the celebration of the 500th anniversary of the birth of Maimonides. From Spain he went to England, where he was Visiting Professor and Research Fellow at the University of Birmingham. Coming to the United States in 1941, he was briefly on the faculty of Pendle Hill near Philadelphia, and then served as Consultant in Philosophy to the Library of Congress until 1954. In 1955-56 he was Visiting Professor of Philosophy at Columbia University, and during that year gave the Matchette Lectures at Columbia on "Great Types of Western Hysticism: Their Lasting Significance."

Baumgardt's published work was extensive. His doctoral thesis was on Kant, and his early work mainly on Spinoza. He took an interest from the beginning in Jewish philosophy as such, with essays on Moses Mendelssohn, for example, as well as on Maimonides. But his professional field was ethics, and during his residence in England he came to take a profound interest in the work of Jeremy Bentham, which led to one of his principal books (see bibliography below).

Towards the end of his life, Baumgardt made plans for a fellowship at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem for the purpose of encouraging "an impartial, well-reasoned discussion concerning the justification of the Judaic morality of love and justice in opposition to the morality of sheer power and to the Christian ethics of all-forgiveness...avoiding any unjustified superiority complexes and unwarranted opposition....No adherence to my ethics required, but emphasis should be placed on a critical examination of a topic as yet much neglected, for which a basis has been laid in my work." Although this fellowship was in fact established, its administration has not remained close to Baumgardt's contentions and interests. Another formulation of those interests was given by Philip Merlan in a footnote to one of the last articles Baumgardt submitted for publication before his death: "Baumgardt attempted to reconcile the ethics of force with the ethics of love, describing his own philosophical position as that of a Benthamian hedonist....systematic ethical and religious problems underlay all of Baumgardt's historic research" (Journal of the History of Philosophy, December 1963).

A fuller idea of the range of Baumgardt's interests will be given by the following partial bibliography:



Das Hoglichkeitsproblem der Kritik der reinen Vernunft, der modernen Phanomenologie und der Gegenstandstheorie. Berlin, Verlag Reuther & Reichard (Erganzungsheft Nr. 51 der "Kant Studien").


Franz von Baader und die philosphische Romantik. Halle, Max Niemeyer Verlag.


Seele und Welt. Berlin, Philo Verlag.


Der Kampf urn den Lebenssinn unter den Vorlaufern der modernen Ethik. Leipzig, Felix Meiner Verlag.


The Goethe Centuries. Washington, D.C., The Library of Congress.


Bentham and the Ethics of Today. Princeton, N. J., Princeton University Press.


Great Western Mystics; Their Lasting Significance. New York, Columbia University Press.


Jenseits von Machtmoral und Masochismus: Hedonistische Ethik als kritische Alternative (Monographien zur philosophischen Forschung) Anton Rain Verlag KG, Meisenheim/Glan, W. Germany.



"Spinoza und der deutsche Spinozismus." KantstudienBd. 32, 182 ff.


"Judischer Liberalismus und judische Freiheit." Jüdische Rundschau, Berlin, Jg. 33, 465 ff (Die judische Idee und ihre Trager).


"Juden in der Philosphie." Jüdisches Lexikon, Berlin, vol. IV.


"Religioses und weltliches Kausalprinzip," Jüdische Rundschau.

"Das judische Tischgebet." Jüdische Rundschau, Berlin, Jg. 40, Nr. 84, 7.


"Maimonides huit cents ans apres sa naissance," Revue de Metaphysigue et de Horale, Paris.


"Science and Mysticism," The Hibbert Journal, Oxford-London, Jan.

"La mision his torico-mundial de Maimonides ," Boletín de la Real Academia de Ciencias Bellas Letras y Nobles Artes, de Cordoba, Spain, No. 46.


"Herits and Defects of German Ethics of Values," Philosophy, Journal of the British Institute of Philosophy, London.


"An Open Letter to Gandhi, Hitler and Satyagraha,"The Aryan Path, Bombay, India.

"Why I refuse to hate Hitler," The Friend.


"American Culture and the Refugees," The Friend.

"The Psychology of Anti-Semitism," Friend's Intelligencer, Philadelphia.


"The Concept of Religion," The Humanist.


"A lost Volume of Bentham's 'Constitutional Code' discovered," The Library of Congress Quarterly Journal, vol. I, 2, Washington, D.C.

"Philosophy," The Library of Congress Quarterly Journal, vol. I, 3, Washington, D.C.


"Ethics of Motives and Ethics of Consequences," The Journal of Philosophy, New York, Columbia University.


"Rationalism and the Philosophy of Despair," The Sewanee Review.

"Philosophy and Religion," The Library of Congress Quarterly Journal, Washington, D.C. (Yearly until 1953).

"Jewish Culture in this Time and Place," Commentary, New York.


"Cassirer and the Chaos in Modern Ethics," The Philosophy of Ernst Cassirer, The Library of Living Philosophers, vol. VI.

"Passover: Its History and Traditions," Commentary, New York, May.


"Man's Morals and God's Will," Commentary, New York.


"Ethical Nihilism and the Justification of Value,"Proceedingsof the XIth International Congress of Philosophy, vol. X, Brussels.


"Maimonides: Religion and Poetic Truth," Commentary, New York.


"The Rabbinic Mind," Commentary, New York, August.


"On the Phenomenology of Moral Experience," The Journal of Philosophy, New York, October 11.


"Cassirer und die Hoderne Wissenschaftslage," Zeitschrift fur Religionsunci Geistesgeschichte, Koln, Jg. XI, Heft 3, 275 ff.

"Yom Kippur and the Jew of To-day," Commentary, New York, October.

"Unlosbare moralische Konflikte. Ihre Auslegung im Judentum, Christentum, un der Existentialphilosophie,"Zeitschrift für Religions und Geistesgeschichte, Koln, Jg. 11, Heft 4, 297 ff.


"Proofs and Hypotheses in Ethics," Proceedingsof the XIIth International Congress of Philosophy in Venice, vol. VII.


"Beyond Existentialism," The Journal of Philosophy, Dec. 20.


"Ethics of Salomon Maimon (1753-1800), Journal of the History of Philosophy, Dec. 1963, vol. I, No. 2, pp. 199-210.

"On Superiority Feelings in the Aesthetics of Humor," XIII Congreso Internacional de Filosofia, Mexico, D. F. 7, vol. VII, VIII, IX, 281-286, Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico.

The American Philosophical Association
University of Delaware
31 Amstel Avenue, Newark, DE 19716
Phone: 302.831.1112 | Fax: 302.831.8690