Herbert Morris, a preeminent member of the faculty at UCLA School of Law and the UCLA Philosophy Department, received the 2019-20 Constantine Panunzio Distinguished Emeriti Award, an honor that goes to retired University of California professors of longstanding influence and leadership in their fields.
Morris is the first law professor to receive the honor, which was established in 1983.
A towering figure at UCLA, Morris received his bachelor’s degree at UCLA before earning a law degree from Yale Law School and a Ph.D. in philosophy from Oxford University. He was on the faculty of UCLA Law and the Philosophy Department from 1956 to 1994, and served as the university’s Dean of Humanities from 1983 to 1992.
Morris is the author of influential essays in philosophy and legal theory, including major works on punishment and guilt. Even after retirement, Morris has been a prolific producer of new scholarship, not only in his original fields but in art and literature, particularly the work of Marcel Proust.
His books include On Guilt and Innocence: Essays in Legal Philosophy and Moral Psychology, On Guilt and Shame and Disclosures: Essays on Art, Literature, and Philosophy.
UCLA’s Herbert Morris Lecture in Law and Philosophy, which takes place every other year, was established in his honor in 2009.
After his retirement, Morris has continued to teach undergraduate courses in the Philosophy Department and seminars in the law school.
In announcing the honor, UCLA Vice Chancellor for Academic Personnel Michael Levine said Morris “has made profound contributions to knowledge, highlighting intersections of scholarship, and has transformed into a highly regarded critic of literature and the visual arts. Professor Emeritus Morris’ intellectual range, rigor and mature wisdom are incomparable, and truly the embodiment of UCLA’s motto, Fiat Lux, “let there be light.”
The Panunzio Award is named for the late Constantine Panunzio, a UCLA professor of sociology who played a key role in the creation of the UC Retirement System and advocated for improved pensions and stipends for emeriti.