News Center

News from the Reed College public affairs office

Search: or

Features

Faculty News

Prof. Steinberger Wins Goldschmidt Fellowship


In his new manuscript, Steinberger seeks to help rehabilitate the venerable tradition of political philosophy as deeply embedded within the broader structures of philosophical argument.


Portland Ore. (June 15, 2017) — Professor of Political Science Peter Steinberger was awarded the Maure L. Goldschmidt Memorial Research Fellowship in 2017 to support his research for a manuscript he will write on the intellectual foundations of political endeavor.

In what some observers might consider a contrast to current trends in political practice, Steinberger posits the theory that politics is a deeply rational, truth-oriented enterprise, underwritten by powerful notions of reality based on rigorous and systematic evaluation, critique, and revision.

In his new manuscript, Steinberger seeks to help rehabilitate the venerable tradition of political philosophy as deeply embedded within the broader structures of philosophical argument. From Plato and Aristotle to Hobbes and Hegel, speculation about politics has long been pursued as a branch of philosophy, but any connection to various systems of metaphysical and epistemological analysis are now widely repudiated.

The realm of the political (political action and the contemplation of political action) properly understood is thought to be completely separate from all manner of scientific, economic, sociological and philosophical inquiry, and hence unencumbered by serious considerations of truth and demonstration. Steinberger is proposing to show that this categorization is a mistake.

The fellowship was established by David M. Goldschmidt ’65 in memory of his father, Prof. Maure Goldschmidt. Maure Goldschmidt graduated from Reed College with the class of 1930. He returned to his alma mater to serve as a member of the political science faculty for 33 years, holding the Cornelia Marvin Pierce Chair in American Institutions.

Peter Steinberger began at Reed in 1977 and is currently the Robert H. and Blanche Day Ellis Professor of Political Science and Humanities. He served as the Dean of Faculty from 1997 to 2010 and is the author of several books, including his most recent publication, The Politics of Objectivity: An Essay on the Foundations of Political Conflict.