Martha Nussbaum, a U.S. philosopher who has defended a strong role for humanities in education, has won Spain's Prince of Asturias Prize for social sciences.
The jury hailed the Harvard-educated Nussbaum, who teaches at the University of Chicago, as of one the most influential and innovative voices in philosophy today.
It said Wednesday she advocates a universal concept of women's rights that goes beyond cultural relativism _ the idea that one culture is as valid as another and each must be understood on its own terms.
The Asturias award is one of eight prizes handed out yearly by a foundation named for Spain's Crown Prince Felipe. Others categories include arts, sport, communications and scientific research. Last week, Spanish architect Rafael Moneo won the arts prize.