Written by Cara J. Hayden
In the East Room of the White House, a woman reads a quote aloud: “The easier it is for you to imagine walking in someone else’s shoes, the more difficult it then becomes to do that person harm.” A man standing beside her reacts with surprise. “Wow, that’s really profound,” he comments. “Who said that?” “You did,” the woman quips. Oh. This dialogue was part of a humorous skit that Michael Chabon, Pitt’s Pulitzer Prize-winning alumnus, performed with his wife, author Ayelet Waldman, this spring at a communications event hosted by President Obama.
In October, Chabon (A&S ’84) was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, as was Pitt’s Nicholas Rescher, a Distinguished University Professor of Philosophy. Rescher is known as one of America’s most prolific and influential philosophers. His research career extends over six decades, and he has written more than 100 books. Rescher chairs Pitt’s Department of Philosophy and cochairs the University’s Center for Philosophy of Science. This is the fourth consecutive year a Pitt philosophy professor has received this eminent honor.