Filosof Onora O'Neill

Filosof Onora O'Neill, Baronesse O'Neill av Bengarve, mottok Holbergprisen i 2017 for sitt eksepsjonelle forskningsbidrag, særlig innen moralsk og politisk filosofi.

Portrett av Onora O'Neill med hvitt hus og kirsebærtre i bakgrunnen
Martin Dijkstra


Baronesse Onora O’Neill av Bengarve er professor eremita i filosofi ved Newnham College, University of Cambridge, tidligere president for British Academy og partiuavhengig representant i det britiske Overhuset.

O’Neill er først og fremst kjent for sin forskning på politisk filosofi og etikk, med særlig vekt på arbeidet til Immanuel Kant. I senere tid har hun i tillegg forsket på spørsmål knyttet til bioetikk, internasjonal rett, tillit, universitetenes fremtid og kommunikasjonsetikk.

Full biografi på engelsk:

For almost half a century, Onora O'Neill has combined writing on political philosophy and ethics with a range of public activities, and her work has influenced generations of scholars, policy makers and practicioners alike. She has written extensively on political philosphy and ethics, bioethics and international justice, and is highly regarded as a specialist on human rights. She has applied a rigorous philosophical thinking when discussing major contemporary issues and her scholarship has had en immeasurable impact on the wider public sphere.

O'Neill describes the central question in her early works on Kant as "how reasoning could bear on action". "This seemed," she says, "and still seems to me the elephant in the room that is all too often ignored or pushed into the margins in philosophical work in ethics and political philosophy". To date, O'Neill has published more than a dozen books and more than a hundred articles. Many of theses confront some of the deepest moral and political challenges of our age. 

O'Neill studies philosophy, psychology and physiology at the University of Oxford before she received her PhD from Harvard University in 1969. In 1970 she became Assistand Professor at Barnard College, the women's college at Columbia University. In 1977 she returned to Britain and took up a post at the University of Essex, where she became full Professor of Philosophy in 1987. From 1992 until 2006 she was Principal of Newnham College, University of Cambridge, where she is now Honorary Fellow. O'Neill was created a life peer as Baroness O'Neill of Bengarve in 1999 and has served as a crossbench member of the House of Lords since 2000. She has won a number of awards, and was appointed a Commander of the British Empire in 1995 and a Member of the Order of the Companions of Honour in 2014. In 20156 she was awarded the prestigious International Kant Prize. In 2017 O'Neill was awarded both the Holberg Prize and the Berggruen Prize for her outstanding contributions to research in the arts and humanities.

The Holberg Conversation 2017 with Onora O'Neill