The fellowship will allow Gottlieb, who is also an affiliate professor of Classical and Ancient Near Eastern Studies, to engage in research for a year without teaching and service obligations and to complete Aristotle on Thought and Feeling, a book under contract with Cambridge University Press.
“It is common for philosophers and others to treat thinking and feeling as at odds with one another,” Gottlieb says. “Some think that to be a good person one’s thinking should always be in charge, while others think that one’s feelings should rule. On my interpretation, Aristotle thinks that thought and feelings in the good person are integrated and interdependent. This applies to good people in everyday life and to those deserving of public office.”
Gottlieb, who studied at Oxford University and earned a Ph.D. in philosophy from Cornell University, specializes in ancient Greek philosophy and ethics. Her previous book, The Virtue of Aristotle’s Ethics, was published in 2009.
For more than 50 years, the National Endowment for the Humanities has underwritten hundreds of humanities projects through its fellowship programs. In this most recent funding cycle, the federal agency received 982 applications for fellowship, and was able to give 74 awards, including just five in philosophy.
“I have always admired the NEH as a government sponsor of research in the humanities,” Gottlieb says. “I am very honored to receive such a prestigious award and in such a competitive year.”