21 June 2017

The 2017 Philipp Franz von Siebold award winner

Hiroshi Abe

The philosopher Hiroshi Abe, born in 1971, has made outstanding contributions to Japanese philosophy, with a special focus on questions of environmental ethics in the Asian tradition of thought. He has succeeded in filling gaps in Western environmental philosophy with Japanese concepts, particularly in the area of Global Environmental Studies, the selection committee for the Philipp Franz von Siebold Award noted. Heidegger and existential philosophy are additional focal areas in his academic work.

Hiroshi Abe has been a full professor of philosophy and logic at the School of Human and Environmental Studies of the University of Kyoto, Japan, since 2016. After studying philosophy, he earned his doctorate in 1999 at the University of Kyoto with a thesis on Heidegger’s “Da”. He interrupted his academic career in Kyoto to spend a year as a Humboldt Research Fellow at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München in 2011-2012. Over the years, teaching positions have taken him to various institutes and universities in Japan as well.

Presentation of the Philipp Franz von Siebold Award 2017
From left to right: Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Hiroshi Abe, Elke Büdenbender
(Photo: Humboldt Foundation/David Ausserhofer)

Abe is being honoured for his outstanding contributions as a philosopher and his commitment to fostering understanding between Germany and Japan. He not only builds bridges between the two countries at the level of academic theory, he also, for example, continues to work actively with his German collaboration partners and gives lectures in Germany.

The Philipp Franz von Siebold Award

The Philipp Franz von Siebold Award was established in 1978 by Germany’s then Federal President Walter Scheel during a state visit to Japan. It is presented every year to a Japanese researcher or academic in recognition of outstanding contributions to improving a mutual understanding of culture and society in Germany and Japan. The award is valued at €50,000.

The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation

Every year, the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation enables more than 2,000 researchers from all over the world to spend time researching in Germany. The Foundation maintains a network of well over 28,000 Humboldtians from all disciplines in more than 140 countries worldwide – including 54 Nobel Prize winners.


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