Antigonish, Nova Scotia, Canada

International Calibre: StFX professor Dr. William Sweet elected to highest academy of philosophy in the world 

December 2nd, 2021
Dr. William Sweet

StFX philosophy professor Dr. William Sweet has recently been honoured by election as a Permanent Member of the Institut international de philosophie. The Institut is the highest academy of philosophy in the world and is limited by statute to 115 permanent members from across the globe.

Established in 1937 in Paris, the Institut is under the patronage of the President of the France, and members come from over 40 countries. Current members include such figures as Amartya Sen, Jürgen Habermas, Rae Langton, and John Searle. 

Professor Sweet, who joined the StFX faculty in 1990, was elected to the Institute in recognition of the international calibre of his research but also his other contributions to the field of philosophy. He is known worldwide as a scholar of 19th- and early 20th-century philosophy in France and Britain, and as a global expert on figures such as Bernard Bosanquet and Jacques Maritain. 

His research has also led to new insights into the impact of European philosophy in East Asia, India, and southern Africa, and the development of intercultural philosophy. In one of the letters of nomination, Dr. Sweet was described as “a careful scholar and a penetrating critic whose work has done a great deal to advance philosophical understanding.” 

“It’s a great privilege,” Dr. Sweet says of his election to the Institut, “and an honour to find oneself and one’s work recognised by so many eminent scholars. I am also delighted to have an opportunity of collaborating with other members in the Institut’s annual meetings, in its leading edge scholarship, and in its academic outreach in support of national philosophical organisations.” 

Dr. Sweet is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada as well as of the Royal Historical Society and the Royal Asiatic Society, and he has been invited to present his work in more than 50 countries around the world. He has also served as President of a number of learned societies, such as the Canadian Philosophical Association and the Istituto Internazionale Jacques Maritain, and on the executive committees of international philosophical organizations, such as the Fédération Internationale des Sociétés de Philosophie and the Council for Research in Values and Philosophy. His research on intercultural philosophy prompted his selection as ‘Visiting Professor (Overseas)’ by the Indian Council of Philosophical Research. 

Dr. Sweet’s scholarship and the international reception of his work have led to his recognition as one of the leading scholars in the history of philosophy in Canada today. His research has been translated into a number of languages, such as Castilian, French, Gallego, German, Italian, Persian, Polish, and Vietnamese, and some of his books have been translated into Chinese. He is a recipient of both the StFX University and President’s Research Awards, as well as the University Outreach Award.


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