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School of Politics, Philosophy, and Public Affairs Potter Memorial Past Lecturers

Potter Memorial Past Lecturers

Past Lecturers

#58 Roberta Millstein

UC Davis
“Thinking about Aldo Leopold’s Land Ethic: Conceptual and Ethical Issues”
October 11, 2023 POSTPONED to SPRING 2024

#57 Elisabeth Lloyd

Indiana University
“The Female Orgasm Debates: How Social & Theoretical Biases Influence Science”
March 26, 2020 – CANCELLED

#56 John Martin Fischer

University of California, Riverside
“Near-Death Experiences: A New Interpretation”
April 4, 2019

#55 Amy Allen

Penn State
“The End of Progress”
To see Lecure:
To see Transcript:
November 29, 2017

#54 Christia Mercer

Columbia University
“Criminal justice, mass incarceration, and the undermining of democracy”
March 30, 2017

#53 Elliott Sober

University of Wisconsin-Madison
“Darwin and Intelligent Design”
September 10, 2016

#52 Alfred Mele

Florida State University
“Free Will and Neuroscience: What Do Old-School and New-Wave Studies Show?”
January 23, 2014

#51: Allen Buchanan

Duke University
“Why Evolutionary Explanations of Morality Fail “
January 17, 2013
Audiostream: Real

#50: Geoffrey Sayre-McCord

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
“Evolution and Rational Agency”
October 27, 2011
Audiostream: Real

#49: Hubert L. Dreyfus

University of California, Berkeley
“Luring Back the Gods: Polytheism from The Odyssey to Moby Dick
September 17, 2010

#48: Nancy Sherman

Georgetown University
“The Untold War: The Guilt They Carry”
March 25, 2010

#47: Daniel C. Dennett

Tufts University
“From Animal to Person: How Cultural Evolution Builds Human Minds”
September 11, 2008
Videostream: Real / Windows Media

#46: Bernard Rollin

Colorado State University
“Animal Rights as a Mainstream Phenomenon: Emerging Social Ethics for Animals”
March 4, 2008

#45: Harry Frankfurt

Princeton University
“Getting It Right”
October 5, 2006

#44: Linda Martín Alcoff

Syracuse University
“The Critique of Identity Politics”
September 29, 2005

#43: Noam Chomsky

Massachusetts Institute of Technology
“Imminent Crises: Responsibilities and Opportunities”
April 22, 2005
Videostream: Real / Windows Media

#42: Andrew Light

New York University
“Restoring Landscapes of Memory”
October 30, 2003

#41: Philip J. Ivanoe

University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
“Filial Piety as a Virtue”
September 12, 2002

#40: Robert C. Solomon

University of Texas at Austin
“Nietzsche’s Fatalism”
October 11, 2001

#39: J.N. Mohanty

Temple University
“Philosophy at the End of the Twentieth Century: Retrospect and Prospect”
November 2, 2000

#38: Lucius T. Outlaw Jr.

Haverford College
“Is There Such a Thing as African American Philosophy?”
September 1999

#37: Julia Annas

University of Arizona
“Should Virtue Make You Happy?”
October 1998

#36: Simon Blackburn

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
“The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters: Postmodernism and Its Critics”
October 1997

#35: J. Baird Callicott

University of North Texas
“Current Concepts in the Philosophy of Conservation”
February 1997

#34: Michael Bratman

Stanford University
“A Theory of Planning: Problems and Puzzles of Rationality”
Fall 1995

#33: Agnes Heller

New School for Social Research
“Is There an Ethics of Personality?”
Fall 1994

#32: Patricia Smith Churchland

University of California, San Diego
“Looking for the Mind in the Brain: A Neurobiology of Awareness”
Fall 1993

#31: Gordon D. Kaufman

Harvard University, The Divinity School
“Modern Evolutionary Theory and the Reconception of God”
Fall 1992

#30: Bas van Fraassen

Princeton University
“The World of Empiricism”
Spring 1992

#29: John Perry

Stanford University
“What Is the Self?”

#28: Nancy Cartwright

Stanford University
“Scientific Theories: Pictures or Fables?”

#27: Bernard Williams

University of California, Berkeley
“The Place of Deceit in Public Life”

#26: John Searle

University of California, Berkeley
“Minds, Brains, and Computers”

#25: Gregory Vlastos

University of California, Berkeley
“Was Plato a Feminist?”

#24: Herbert Dreyfus

University of California, Berkeley
“From Socrates to Expert Systems: The Limits of Calculative Rationality”

#23: Paul Churchland

University of California, San Diego
“Representation, Computation, Implementation: A New Theory of the Brain”

#22: Nelson Pike

University of California, Irvine
“God as Bridegroom and Mother: A Study of Two Christian Mystical Metaphors”

#21: Joel Feinberg

University of Arizona
“Obscene Words and the Law”

#20: Frederick Olafson

University of California, San Diego
“Philosophy and Humanistic Education”

#19: Herbert Fingarette

University of California, Santa Barbara
“Insanity and Other Mental Disability Defenses in Criminal Law”

#18: John Hick

Birmingham University (UK) and Claremont Grad School
“God Has Many Names”

#17: Alison Jaggar

University of Cincinnati

#16: Kai Nielsen

University of Calgary
“Is It as Irrational to Believe in God as It Is to Believe in the Easter Bunny?”

#15: K. T. Fann

York University (Canada)
“The Political Philosophy of Mao Tse-Tung”

#14: J. O. Urmson, Henry Waldgrave Stuart

Stanford University
“What Is Philosophy?”

#13: Karl Potter

University of Washington
“The Background of Skepticism—East and West”

#12: Richard Wasserstrom

University of California, Los Angeles
“Sexual Deviance and the Law”

#11: Donald Brown

University of British Columbia
“Moral Law and Immoral Law”

#10: Jonathan Bennett

University of British Columbia
“The Conscience of Huckleberry Finn”

#9: Terence Penelhum

University of Calgary
“Being Unable to Prove the Existence of God”

#8: Wallace Matson

University of California, Berkeley
“How Identical Are Mind and Brain?”

#7: Morris Weitz

Ohio State University
“The Concept of Style in Art History”

#6: John Wisdom

Cambridge University
“Eternal Life”

#5: Huston Smith

Massachusetts Institute of Technology
“The Nature of Man: Some Recent Evidence from Science”

#4: A.I. Melden

University of California, Irvine
“Philosophy and the Understanding of Human Fact”

#3: D. F. Pears

“Oxford Wittgenstein’s Critique of Private Language”

#2: Richard McKeon

University of Chicago
“Liberty: The Interplay of Philosophy and History”

#1: Antony Flew

North Staffordshire

The Lectureship

The Frank Fraser Potter Memorial Lectureship was initiated shortly after his death in 1959 by an anonymous gift from a former student.

This generous donation supported the initial lecture, given in 1961 by Antony Flew of Oxford University, as well as several succeeding addresses by equally outstanding philosophers.

The Division of Humanities and Social Sciences, forerunner to the College of Liberal Arts (now the College of Arts and Sciences), lent support on several occasions, and the lectureship is currently sustained by an endowment accumulated over the years with donations by the friends and colleagues of the Potters.