Ned Hall Receives 2020 Alpha-Iota Prize

May 10, 2020
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The undergraduate Marshals of the Iota and Alpha chapters of Phi Beta Kappa selected Professor Ned Hall as a recipient of the 2020 Alpha-Iota Prize for Excellence in Teaching.  The award came with the following citation (abstracted from student nominations):

Edward J. Hall, Norman E. Vuilleumier Professor of Philosophy, in his course, Reclaiming Argument, with his mantra “Logic makes fools of us all” creates an academic environment where it's safe to fail and where no question is silly. Students learn the principles of formal logic with an eye toward how these principles of good argumentation help us to show respect, charity, and intellectual curiosity when making arguments in the public sphere.  His commitment to the intellectual and personal flourishing of his students shows everywhere, as in his excitement to wrestle through a particularly tricky deduction in office hours, or his eagerness to wait long into the afternoons on Fridays until every student was finished with her quiz.  This commitment shone brightly in his response to the coronavirus outbreak, when to make sure that his Reclaiming Argument students still had the best academic experience possible, he broke his class into seven small weekly Zoom sections, teaching all of them!

Each year, the Phi Beta Kappa Iota and Alpha chapters jointly recognize outstanding teaching at Harvard by awarding these teaching prizes.  Any member of the Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences who has not already received it is eligible for the award and all sorts of teaching can be recognized - from large introductory courses to small tutorials - from poetry seminars to advanced lab courses.  The list of past winners and more information about the award on the web at