On the Loss of Ruth Bader Ginsburg

(L-R) Antonio Damasio, Dr. Kwame Anthony Appiah, Nicolas Berggruen, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Amy Gutmann and David Chalmers attend the Fourth Annual Berggruen Prize Gala celebrating 2019 Laureate Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg In New York City on December 16, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Eugene Gologursky/Getty Images for Berggruen Institute )

One year ago, the jurors for the Berggruen Prize for Philosophy and Culture were excited to select Ruth Bader Ginsburg as the 2019 recipient. We were thrilled to meet her at the award ceremony to celebrate her life and her influence on the law and social justice. Now, we mourn her death.

Along with all of our colleagues at the Berggruen Institute, we are saddened by the passing of a warm, witty, and remarkably strong human being. She was a crusader for social justice and equality. And as jurors who examined her writings, we are grateful for having learned from such a profound thinker. Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s impressive contributions combined deep and creative intellectual engagement with astute strategy and lifelong dedication to advancing equal rights under the law.

As we wrote last year, “Few in our era have done more to bring vital philosophical ideas to fruition in practical affairs than Ruth Bader Ginsburg. She has been both a visionary and a strategic leader in securing equality, fairness, and the rule of law not only in the realm of theory but in social institutions and the lives of individual people.”

In her passing, Ruth Bader Ginsburg strengthens our resolve to honor her work and defend her ideals.

The 2019 Berggruen Prize Jury

Anthony Appiah, Chair
David Chalmers
Antonio Damasio
Amy Gutmann
Elif Shafak
Wang Hui

On behalf of the Institute

Nicolas Berggruen, Chair
Dawn Nakagawa, Executive Vice-President
Craig Calhoun, Senior Advisor