McGill philosopher Charles Taylor receives first-ever Berggruen Prize

Philosopher Charles Taylor was awarded the prestigious Berggruen Prize, along with $1 million US from the California-based non-partisan think-tank, the Berggruen Institute.

Professor emeritus selected for contributions to sciences, public affairs and humanities

Charles Taylor (centre) was awarded the Berggruen Prize at a ceremony in New York Thursday. (CBC)

McGill University philosopher Charles Taylor was honoured at a gala in New York City Thursday evening, officially becoming the first-ever recipient of the Berggruen Prize.

"This is really moving for me, because it's a recognition of the kind of work that I do as having real significance for helping us find what to do in this very confusing world," Taylor told CBC News.

Taylor, 85, was revealed to be the winner in October. Along with the title, he was awarded $1 million US from the California-based non-partisan think-tank, the Berggruen Institute.

According to the Institute's website, the award aims to "reward thinkers whose ideas are intellectually profound but also able to inform practical and public life across the range of world civilizations."

Taylor was chosen by an independent jury. 

He has also been the recipient of a number of other prestigious academic awards, including the Templeton Prize for Progress Toward Research and Japan's Kyoto Prize for arts and philosophy.

He is a professor emeritus at McGill and a member of the Order of Canada. 

"You work, you scribble away in your own corner and it's very great to get this kind of recognition of the value of your work," he said.