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REF NO.: 65

SUBJECT: Henrietta Harvey lecturer to examine the moral life
DATE: Oct. 25, 2005

Note to editors

The most important consideration of ethical discussion is what ought we to do, according to Henrietta Harvey Distinguished Lecturer, Dr. Robert Pippin, Universityof Chicago. He kicks off the lecture series this fall with a lecture titled Hegel on Agency and Self-Knowledge, an in-depth examination of the moral question from the perspective of the nineteenth-century philosopher, Hegel. The lecture will be held on Friday, Oct. 28 in the Arts and Administration Building, room AA-1046 starting at 4 p.m. A reception will follow the lecture in the arts atrium. Members of the public are invited to attend. Admission is free and parking is available in Area 15, across from the School of Music.

According to Dr. Pippin, as moral and practical beings in society we hold people responsible for various actions and we demand reasons from them for these actions. He says that Hegel’s practical philosophy takes up this issue, but his highly unusual answers have been severely criticized as politically dangerous, anti-individualist and illiberal. Dr. Pippin, however, defends Hegel’s unusual answers to these crucial moral questions.

Dr. Suma Rajiva, Department of Philosopy, at Memorial is delighted to have someone of Dr. Pippin’s caliber and reputation coming to lecture and interact with students and faculty.

“Robert Pippin is one of those philosophers who started off as a very specific scholar, wrote two very well known books on Kant and Hegel, but he has since branched out to look at modernity in light of the history of philosophy. He has a broad interdisciplinary interest that appeals to a wide audience and can relate what he is doing philosophically to a lot of other areas. That is very appealing.”

Dr. Robert Pippin is the Evelyn Stefansson Nef Distinguished Service Professor, Department of Philosophy and chair, Committee on Social Thought, University of Chicago. He works on the modern German philosophical tradition (Kant to the present), contemporary Continental philosophy in general, moral theory, social and political philosophy, theories of modernity, and various topics in ancient philosophy. He also has a number of inter-disciplinary interests that involve philosophical issues in literature, art history and film.

While at Memorial, Dr. Pippin will also deliver the keynote address at the Atlantic Region Philosophical Association Regional Meeting being held at Memorial on October 28 and 29, 2005. He will also meet with graduate students in the M.Phil. (Humanities) program for seminars on Hegel and history and Kant and subjectivity, and give a lecture in the Department of Philosophy on Thursday, Oct. 27 from 2-3:30 p.m.on Henry James. The lecture titled On Maisie’s Knowing her own Mind: The Problem of Self-knowledge in James’ What Maisie Knew will be held in the chemistry building, room C-3053.

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