Philosophy professor chosen for prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship

Author: Beth Staples

Barbara Gail MonteroBarbara Gail Montero

Philosophy professor Barbara Montero has been awarded a 2024 Guggenheim Fellowship in recognition of her career achievements and exceptional promise.

Montero is one of just 188 scholars, scientists, and artists chosen from approximately 3,000 applicants for the fellowship that was created in 1925 to add to the educational, literary, artistic, and scientific power of the country.

Guggenheim Foundation President Edward Hirsch said the fellows are meeting the profound existential challenges facing humanity head-on and are “generating new possibilities and pathways across the broader culture.”

During Montero’s fellowship, she will write a draft of a book, tentatively titled “Things that Matter: Actual-World Metaphysics and the Mind-Body Problem.”

Montero read Tim Crane and Hugh Mellor's article, "There is no question of physicalism" when she was a graduate student and was inspired to think about the question of what, exactly, we mean when we talk about the physical world. She’ll grapple with that question in the book, which is currently under contract with Oxford University Press.

“I was also inspired by the Spanish philosopher, classicist, and writer Miguel de Unamuno's comment that those things that are deemed ‘not even worth refuting,’ are sometimes the very crux of the issue,” she said. “I hope to be addressing some of those things.

Montero’s prior research has focused on two different notions of the body — as a physical or material basis of the mind and as a moving, breathing, flesh, and blood instrument that people use when they run, walk, dance, and play.