Headshot of Nancy Sherman sitting outside on bench in fall leaves
News Story

Renowned Georgetown Ethicist Elected to American Academy of Arts & Sciences

Nancy Sherman, who holds the rank of a distinguished University Professor, has been elected as a member of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences.

Sherman, a philosophy professor in Georgetown’s College of Arts and Sciences, holds affiliate appointments with Georgetown Law’s Center on National Security and the Law and the Kennedy Institute of Ethics. She is a New York Times Notable Author whose work focuses on how classic Greek and Roman thought applies to modern times.

“Professor Sherman’s work is emblematic of the best research in the humanities,” says Dean of Georgetown College Rosario Ceballo. “By thoughtfully engaging with the past, her scholarship gives fresh insight into the most pressing matters of today, from ongoing wars to deathly pandemics. Her election to the American Academy of Arts & Sciences is well-deserved and should be applauded.”

Her most recent book, Stoic Wisdom: Ancient Lessons for Modern Resilience, was published last year and explores how stoic philosophies can bring calm and tranquility in the face of stress and anxiety. While on leave from Georgetown, Sherman held the Inaugural Distinguished Chair in Ethics at the US Naval Academy. Spurred by both her time at the Academy and Georgetown students returning from conflict, Sherman wrote several books on “the moral challenges of going to war and returning home.”

“I was absolutely stunned in receiving the letter of welcome into the American Academy of Arts & Sciences,” Sherman says. “It is a terrific honor to be a member. I look forward to continuing my scholarship and am grateful to Georgetown for supporting my academic work over the years.”

At Georgetown, Sherman has taught and lectured on a wide range of topics, including Aristotelian and Stoic ethics, the philosophy of war and moral psychology. She has published more than 60 articles and has received numerous honors and fellowships, including from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Woodrow Wilson Center and the National Endowment for the Humanities, among many others.

“Nancy Sherman’s induction into the American Academy of Arts & Sciences is a fitting tribute to Professor Sherman’s deeply impactful scholarship,” says David Edelstein, Vice Dean of Faculty and a professor in the Department of Government. “Her research on ethics, in particular military ethics, has been truly groundbreaking and has compelled us all to wrestle with deeply challenging questions.”

Sherman is one of 261 new members elected to the Academy this year. Founded in 1780 by scholars including John Adams and John Hancock, the Academy has been an instrumental vehicle in furthering the public good and enriching scholastic achievement in the United States.

“The Academy was founded on the belief that the new republic should honor truly accomplished individuals and engage them in meaningful work,” said Nancy C. Andrews, Chair of the Academy’s Board of Directors in a press release. “The Academy’s dual mission continues to this day. Membership is an honor, and also an opportunity to shape ideas and influence policy in areas as diverse as the arts, democracy, education, global affairs and science.”

by Hayden Frye (C’17)