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UWFox's Putman Receives Prestigious Award

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Dr. Dan PutmanDan Putman, Professor of Philosophy at UWFox, was presented with the UW Colleges “Barrington-Musolf Award” for research and scholarship. Putman was recognized with the award for the work he did on his book, Psychological Courage.

“The award is given annually to a faculty member whose research-based book or article was judged to be the best conducted and most significant research published by a UW Colleges faculty member during the previous two academic years,” according to Shirley Hensch, Professional Development Coordinator for the 13 UW Colleges campuses. “To be considered, articles have been published in refereed journals and books shall have been published through a competitive academic or commercial press.”

Putman is the author of 34 published articles in refereed journals and also the author of the book, Human Excellence: Dialogues on Virtue Theory. His article, “Psychological Courage,” was published in a 1997 edition of the journal, Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology (Johns Hopkins Press). The Barrington-Musolf Award was for the book of the same name that was published in 2004 (University Press of America, Lanham, MD). “The 1997 article I wrote served as the inspiration for the book,” according to Putman. “The book is a summary of the work I’ve been doing for the past 10 years.”

Putman's New Book: Psychological CourageAccording to the book’s publisher, Putman outlines three forms of courage: physical, moral, and psychological. “This book analyzes what psychological courage is and upholds it as a central virtue for human happiness.”

“My hope for the book is that it is read both by people in academia and by an educated public who are interested in the courage it takes to overcome personal psychological problems,” Putman said. “These can range from issues of self-deception to problems in relationships. The book is not a self-help book but an analysis of the courage required to deal with addictions, false excuses, and social pressures and to face honestly our lives and relationships. The book stresses the rewards of courage in our personal lives. In many ways this is a book about the praise that is due courageous people.”

“It’s an ideal text for use in the classroom, as the theoretical innovations in ‘Virtue Theory’ are certain to attract the attention of moral philosophers,” said Mark Brown, chairperson of the Philosophy Department and professor at UW-Marathon County.

Putman was nominated for the award by the UW Colleges Department of Philosophy. As such, he is the first person within his academic department to receive the award. The award was established by UW Colleges retired faculty members Byron Barrington (Emeritus Professor of Psychology) and Gene Musolf (Emeritus Associate Professor of Geography) in May 2000, with an initial endowment, and has been added to with contributions from other retired faculty members.

Putman has a B.A. from Marquette University (Milwaukee), an M.A. from the University of Wisconsin (Madison) and earned the Ph. D. in Social Ethics from the University of Southern California (Los Angeles). He has been teaching at UWFox since 1976 and has been chosen six times over four decades as its “Professor of the Year” (1978, 1987, 1992, 1995, 1996, and 2003).

Posted 11/8/2004