Previous Lectureships

Information about previous Terry lectureships, including links to select video of past lectures, can be found by clicking on the headings below. Use the search fields to find lectureships by the name of the lecturer or the year.

2016-17 | Kwame Anthony Appiah

The Anatomy of Religion

Kwame Anthony Appiah is a Ghanaian-American philosopher, cultural theorist, and novelist whose interests include political and moral theory, the philosophy of language and mind, and African intellectual history. He received his B.A. and Ph.D. at Clare College at Cambridge University. Since Cambridge, he has taught at Yale, Cornell, Duke, and Harvard. Currently a professor at the New York University Department of Philosophy and the New York University School of Law, he delivered a series of lectures entitled The Anatomy of Religion on April 18, 19, and 25 in 2017.

Lectures available on YouTube

April 18, 2017 Gods & Spirits
April 19, 2017 Churches & Symbols
April 25, 2017 Religion After Darwin

2015 | Janet Browne

Becoming Darwin: History, Memory, and Biography

Janet Browne is Aramont professor of the History of Science at Harvard University where she teaches the history of biology, including the history of evolutionary theory. Her interests range widely over the life sciences, botany, the history of gardens, collecting, expeditions, museums, and natural history. Currently chair of the History of Science Department, she delivered a series of lectures entitled Becoming Darwin: History, Memory, and Biography on November 3, 5, and 10 in 2015. 

Lectures available on YouTube

November 3, 2015 Economist of Nature
November 5, 2015 Stories of a Scientific Life
November 10, 2015 Icon

2014 | Wendy Doniger

The Manipulation of Religion by the Sciences of Politics and Pleasure in Ancient India

Wendy Doniger, the Mircea Eliade Distinguished Service Professor of the History of Religions in the Divinity School; also in the Department of South Asian Languages and Civilizations, the Committee on Social Thought, and the College, at the University of Chicago, delivered a series of lectures on The Manipulation of Religion by the Sciences of Politics and Pleasure in Ancient India on October 7, 9, and 15, 2014. 

Lectures available on YouTube

October 7, 2014 The Politics of Sexuality in Ancient India
October 9, 2014 Glossing Anti-Dharma with Dharma
October 15, 2014 How Widespread Was Skepticism In Ancient India

2013 | Philip Kitcher

Secular Humanism

Philosophy professor Philip Kitcher delivered a series of four lectures on secular humanism in March 2013.

Kitcher, who was born in London in 1947, received his B.A. from Cambridge University and his Ph.D. from Princeton. He has taught at several American universities and is currently John Dewey Professor of Philosophy at Columbia.

He is the author of books on topics ranging from the philosophy of mathematics, the philosophy of biology, the growth of science, the role of science in society, Wagner’s Ring and Joyce’s Finnegans Wake.

A Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Kitcher was the first recipient of the Prometheus Prize, awarded by the American Philosophical Association for work in expanding the frontiers of science and philosophy. He has been President of the American Philosophical Association (Pacific Division) and Editor-in-Chief of Philosophy of Science.

Lectures Available on YouTube

March 26, 2013 “Beyond Doubt”
March 28, 2013 “Ethics as a Human Project”
April 2, 2013 “Mortality and Meaning”
April 4, 2013 “Depth and Depravity”

2012 | Keith S. Thomson

Jefferson and Darwin: Science and Religion in Troubled Times

Keith S. Thomson delivered a series of four Terry lectures, “Jefferson and Darwin: Science and Religion in Troubled Times,” in October and December 2012.

In the last 300 years, science and religion, however construed, have diverged so much as almost no longer to be recognizable to each other, according to Thomson, a biologist and an historian of science. In his first two lectures Thomson examined the interplay between science and religion in the 18th and 19th centuries, principally in the lives and thoughts of two familiar, but very different intellectual giants, Thomas Jefferson and Charles Darwin.

Jefferson, often condemned because he was a deist rather than a Christian, nonetheless was a firm adherent to the principles of Natural Theology and the literal truth of “Genesis,” according to Thomson. Darwin, having been brought up within Natural Theology and having studied to become a cleric, ended up an agnostic.

After looking back at both the creativity and contradictions that this engendered, Thomson examined the conflicts between science and religion in contemporary culture.

A graduate of the University of Birmingham, England, (B.Sc. 1960) and Harvard (Ph.D. 1963), Thomson has held a number of positions at Yale, including Dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and Director of the Peabody Museum of Natural History. He is currently Professor Emeritus of Natural History at the University of Oxford and the Executive Officer of the American Philosophical Society.

Thomson is the author of more than 200 scientific papers and 12 books, including The Young Charles Darwin, which was published by Yale University Press in 2009 and Jefferson’s Shadow: the Story of his Science (Yale 2012).

Other books include Morphogenesis and Evolution (Oxford 1988), Living Fossil (Norton 1991), The Common but Less Frequent Loon and Other Essays (Yale 1993), HMS Beagle, the Story of Darwin’s Ship (Norton 1995 and Phoenix 2003), Before Darwin: Reconciling God and Nature (Yale 2005), The Legacy of the Mastodon: the Golden Age of Fossils in America (Yale 2008). Thomson also has a regular column, “Marginalia,” in the magazine American Scientist.

Lectures Available on YouTube

Jefferson and Darwin: Science and Religion in Troubled Times

October 9, 2012 “Thomas Jefferson: Ancient and Modern”
October 11, 2012 “The Devil and Mr. Darwin: Creation and The Origin”
December 3, 2012 “Apes and Academics, Debates and Sermons”
December 4, 2012 “Science, Religion, and the Contest for Authority


2010 | Joel R. Primack and Nancy Ellen Abrams


Cosmic Society: The New University and the Human Future

Full of dark matter collapsing the galaxies into being and dark energy accelerating them apart, the evolving universe, according to 2009-10 Terry lecturers Joel R. Primack and Nancy Ellen Abrams, has turned out to be wildly more interesting than the image of an empty space scattered with celestial objects. To the extent that people around the world accept scientific reality, they argue, we have grounds for agreement for the first time on a shared creation story based on modern cosmology and biology.

Using astronomical videos, some based on actual observations; others, visualizations of calculations produced by Professor Primack and his team on some of the world’s most powerful supercomputers, the lecturers invite audiences to experience our history and probable future on cosmic scales and, with a clearer understanding of the modern scientific universe, to explore the possibilities for human behavior.

Joel R. Primack, Professor of Physics at the University of California, Santa Cruz, specializes in the formation and evolution of galaxies and the nature of the dark matter that makes up most of the mass in the universe. Professor Primack received his A.B. from Princeton in 1966 and his Ph.D. from Stanford in 1970. He was a Junior Fellow of the Society of Fellows at Harvard from 1970-3. After helping create what is now called the “Standard Model” of particle physics, Professor Primack began working in cosmology and became a leader in the new field of particle astrophysics. He is one of the principal originators and developers of the theory of Cold Dark Matter, which has become the basis for the standard modern picture of structure formation in the universe. With support from the National Science Foundation, NASA, and the Department of Energy, he is currently using supercomputers to simulate and visualize the evolution of the universe under various assumptions. With wife Nancy Abrams, Joel Primack has taught a popular course, “Cosmology and Culture,” at UCSC for more than a decade. They are co-authors of the book, “The View from the Center of the Universe: Discovering Our Extraordinary Place in the Cosmos,” published in 2006.

Nancy Ellen Abrams received a B.A. in the history and philosophy of science from the University of Chicago, a law degree from the University of Michigan, and a diploma in international law from Mexico’s Escuela Libre de Derecho. She was a Fulbright Scholar and a Woodrow Wilson Designate.

Ms. Abrams has long been interested in the role of science in shaping politics and has worked in this area for the Ford Foundation and U.S. Congress’s Office of Technology Assessment. As a congressional staff member, she helped develop a procedure, “Scientific Mediation,” to help government agencies make wise policy decisions in areas where the relevant science is crucial yet uncertain or controversial. Also interested in science’s border with myth, Ms. Abrams has worked as a scholar to place the discoveries of modern cosmology into a cultural context and, as a writer and songwriter, to communicate their possible meanings at a deeper level. In addition to the book with husband Joel Primack, she has co-authored articles on quantum cosmology and Kabbalah, as well as numerous articles on science policy, space policy, and cultural implications of modern cosmology.

Lectures Available on YouTube

Cosmic Society: The New University and the Human Future

October 20, 2009 “The New Universe”
October 21, 2009 “Stardust Plus Time Equals Us”
October 27, 2009 “This Cosmically Pivotal Moment”
October 28, 2009 “Cosmic Society”

Abrams and Primack’s book, The New Universe and the Human Future: How a Shared Cosmology Could Transform the World, published from the lecture, is available at Yale University Press.

2009 | Marilynne Robinson

Absence of Mind: The Dispelling of Inwardness from the Modern Myth of the Self

Marilynne Robinson, author of the novel Gilead, which won the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for fiction and the 2004 National Book Critics Circle Award for fiction, offered a series of four lectures “Absence of Mind: The Dispelling of Inwardness from the Modern Myth of the Self.”

Ms. Robinson is also the author of Housekeeping, which won the PEN/Ernest Hemingway Award for First Fiction, as well as the Richard and Hinda Rosenthal Award from the Academy of American Arts and Letters. Housekeeping was also nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. Her third novel, Home, was a finalist for the 2008 National Book Award.

Ms. Robinson, who currently teaches at the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop, received a Lila Wallace-Reader’s Digest Writer’s Award in 1990 and the Mildred and Harold Strauss Living Award from the American Academy of Arts in 1998. She is the author of two books of nonfiction, Mother Country and The Death of Adam.

Lecture Series

Absence of Mind: The Dispelling of Inwardness from the Modern Myth of the Self

(Ms. Robinson’s lecture “Thinking Again” is available on YouTube by clicking the link below.)

March 24, 2009 “On Human Nature”
March 26, 2009 “The Strange History of Altruism”
March 31, 2009 “The Freudian Self”
April 2, 2009 “Thinking Again”

Absence of Mind, the book based on her Terry lectures, is available from Yale University Press.

2008 | Donald Lopez

The Scientific Buddha: Past, Present, Future

Donald Lopez is Arthur E. Link Distinguished University Professor of Buddhist and Tibetan Studies at the University of Michigan and chair of the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures. He has written extensively on aspects of religions of Asia, and his books include Prisoners of Shangi-La: Tibetan Buddhism and the West; The Story of Buddhism; and Buddhism and Science: A Guide for the Perplexed. Professor Lopez also serves as chair of the Michigan Society of Fellows.

In exploring the relationship between religion and science, some have argued that among the world’s religions, Buddhism is the most compatible with science. Over the course of his lectures, Professor Lopez examines the origins of the association of the Buddha with modern science, considers what is at stake in that association and suggests new directions for the role of the Buddha in scientific research.

Lectures Available for Video Streaming

October 1, 2008 “A Purified Religion”
October 2, 2008 “Building a Better Buddha”
October 6, 2008 “The Problem with Karma”
October 7, 2008 “The Future of the Past”

2008 | Terry Eagleton

Faith and Fundamentalism: Is Belief in Richard Dawkins Necessary for Salvation?

Terry Eagleton, John Edward Taylor Professor of English Literature at the University of Manchester, has been a Fellow of four Oxford and Cambridge colleges and has held the Thomas Warton Chair of English Literature at the University of Oxford. Professor Eagleton has authored scores of studies of literary, cultural, and political criticism and written plays for both stage and television in Britain and Ireland, as well as a screenplay for Derek Jarman’s film Wittgenstein. Terry Eagleton is a Fellow of the British Academy.

Mr. Eagleton’s book based upon his Terry lectures, Reason, Faith, and Revolution: Reflections on the God Debate, is available from Yale University Press.

Lectures Available on YouTube

Faith and Fundamentalism: Is Belief in Richard Dawkins Necessary for Salvation?

April 1, 2008 “Christianity Fair and Foul”
April 3, 2008 “The Limits of Liberalism”
April 8, 2008 “Faith and Reason”
April 10, 2008 “Culture and Barbarism”

2008 | Ahmad Dallal

Islam, Science, and the Challenge of History

Ahmad Dallal is Associate Professor of Arabic and Islamic Studies and Chair of the Arabic and Islamic Studies Department of Georgetown University. Professor Dallal has taught at Stanford University (2000-3), Yale University (1994-2000), and Smith College (1990-4), having earned a Ph.D. in Islamic Studies from Columbia University and a B.E. in Mechanical Engineering from the American University of Beirut. His academic training and research cover the history of the disciplines of learning in Muslim societies, including both the exact and the traditional sciences, as well as modern and early modern Islamic thought and movements. His books and articles are focused on the history of science, Islamic revivalist thought, and Islamic law. He is currently finishing a book-length comparative study of 18th century Islamic reform entitled Islam without Europe, Traditions of Reform in Eighteen Century Islamic Thought. Professor Dallal arrived in New Haven from Morocco, after having completed a year-long research sabbatical.

The book based on Professor Dallal’s Terry lectures, Islam, Science, and the Challenge of History, is available from Yale University Press.

Lectures Available on YouTube

February 19, 2008

“Beginnings and Beyond”
An examination of the social and cultural forces that provided the conditions for the formation and development of the Arabo-Islamic culture of science.

February 21, 2008 “Science and Philosophy”
An overview of key characteristics of the practice of science in classical Muslim societies and the intertwined relationship among three systems of knowledge: religion, philosophy, and science
February 26, 2008 “Science and Religion”
Epistemological foundations that brought coherence to multiple traditions of scientific practice
February 28, 2008 “In the Shadow of Modernity”
Aspects of the predicament of science in modern Muslim societies

For a list of Arabic names of scientists and religious scholars referenced by Professor Dallal in his lectures, click here.

2006 | Terry Centennial Anniversary Conference

The Religion and Science Debate: Why Does It Continue?

The Dwight H. Terry Lectureship celebrated its 100th anniversary with a two-day conference entitled “The Religion and Science Debate: Why Does It Continue?” Public Broadcasting System journalist Margaret Warner moderated the closing panel of the two-day symposium, a schedule of which appears below. Video of select lectures are available by clicking the highlighted links below. 

A book based on the conference, The Religion and Science Debate: Why Does It Continue? is available from Yale University Press.

Thursday, September 14, 2 pm

“No Contradictions Here: Science, Religion, and the Culture of All Reasonable Possibilities

Gerhard R. Andlinger Professor of Sociology and Director of the Center for the Study of Religion, Princeton University

Robert Wuthnow has conducted path-breaking research on diverse facets of American religion, including economics, politics, arts, and psychology.

Thursday, September 14, 4 pm

“Religion vs. Science? From the White House to Classroom”

Ambrose Swasey Professor of Physics, Professor of Astronomy, and Director of the Center for Education and Research in Cosmology and Astrophysics, Case Western Reserve University

Lawrence Krauss is a theoretical physicist with wide research interests, including the interface between elementary particle physics and cosmology, where his studies include the early universe, the nature of dark matter, general relativity, and neutrino astrophysics. He is the author of several bestselling books, including The Physics of Star Trek.

Friday, September 15, 9 am

“Science and Religion: Why Does the Debate Continue?”

John A. O’Brien Professor of Philosophy, University of Notre Dame

Alvin Plantinga is a contemporary American philosopher known for his work in epistemology, metaphysics, and the philosophy of religion. 

Friday, September 15, 11 am

“Darwin, God, and Dover: What the Collapse of ‘Intelligent Design’ Means for Science and for Faith in America”

Professor of Biology, Brown University

Kenneth R. Miller is a biologist who attempts to reconcile evolutionary theory with Christianity. He was an expert witness in the 2005 Dover, PA, lawsuit challenging a school board mandate to incorporate intelligent design into the curriculum.

Friday, September 15, 2 pm

“Aggressors, Victims, and Peacemakers: Historical Actors in the Drama of Science and Religion”

Hilldale and William Coleman Professor of the History of Science and Medicine, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Ronald Numbers has written or edited more than two dozen books, including The Creationists, Darwinism Comes to America, and Disseminating Darwinism: The Role of Place, Race, Religion and Gender.

Friday, September 15, 4 pm

Panel discussion

Senior Correspondent, “The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer”

Margaret Warner is a career journalist who spent ten years at Newsweek magazine before joining “The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer” in 1993.

2006 | Barbara Herrnstein Smith

Natural Reflections: Human Cognition at the Nexus of Science and Religion

Barbara Herrnstein Smith is Braxton Craven Professor of Comparative Literature and English and director of the Center for Interdisciplinary Studies in Science and Cultural Theory at Duke University. She also holds the position of Distinguished Professor of English at Brown University.

After initially training in biology, experimental psychology, and philosophy at City College in New York, Smith attended Brandeis University, where she received her doctorate in English and American Literature. Before joining the faculty at Duke in 1987, she taught at Bennington College and at the University of Pennsylvania, where she held the position of University Professor. Her current teaching and research focus on twentieth century reconceptions of knowledge and science, contemporary accounts of language and cognition, the relations between the sciences and the humanities, and the naturalistic tradition in the study of religion.

Professor Smith has authored and edited a number of books and articles on language, literature, and critical theory, including Poetic Closure: A Study of How Poems End (1968), On the Margins of Discourse: The Relation of Literature to Language (1978), and Contingencies of Value: Alternative Perspectives for Critical Theory (1988). Her most recent books are Belief and Resistance: Dynamics of Contemporary Intellectual Controversy (1997) and Scandalous Knowledge: Science, Truth and the Human (2006).

She is a past president of the Modern Language Association and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 2001, she was named an honorary fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science “for distinguished contributions to…a common scientific and humanistic understanding of knowledge and its advancement.”

Lectures Available for Video Streaming

Natural Reflections: Human Cognition at the Nexus of Science and Religion

October 17, 2006 “The New Naturalism I: Cognitive Machinery”
October 19, 2006 “The New Naturalism II: Evolutionary Riddles”
October 24, 2006 “Deep Readings: The New Natural Theology”
October 26, 2006 “Reflections: Science and Religion, Natural and Unnatural”

Natural Reflections: Human Cognition at the Nexus of Science and Religionthe book based on her Terry lectures, is available from Yale University Press.

2004 | David Sloan Wilson

Evolution for Everyone

David Sloan Wilson is Professor of Biological Sciences with a joint appointment in Anthropology at Binghamton University (State University of New York). He is also director of EvoS, a program founded in 2003 that seeks to make evolutionary theory part of the common discourse for all subjects relevant to human affairs and the natural world.

Professor Wilson received his B.A. from the University of Rochester in 1971 and his Ph.D. in 1975 from Michigan State University. He originally planned to be an aquatic biologist but soon discovered that evolutionary theory provided a way to study the full pageant of life. His theoretical approach enabled him to conduct research on a diversity of subjects and organisms, from microbes to humans, and to publish in anthropology, biology, economics, philosophy, psychology and religion journals. He is author of The Natural Selection of Populations and Communities (1980), Unto Others: The Evolution and Psychology of Unselfish Behavior (with philosopher Elliott Sober, 1998), and Darwin’s Cathedral: Evolution, Religion, and the Nature of Society (2002). The Literary Animal: Evolution and the Nature of Narrative (with Jonathan Gottschall, 2005) represents an intellectual homecoming for Professor Wilson, as he is the son of novelist Sloan Wilson, author of The Man in the Grey Flannel Suit.

Professor Wilson is a past Guggenheim fellow (1986), Vice-President of the American Society of Naturalists (1997), and recipient of SUNY’s Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activities (2003).

Lectures Available on YouTube

Evolution for Everyone

January 18, 2005 “A Sociological Breakthrough”
January 20, 2005 “Groups as Organisms and Organisms as Groups”
January 25, 2005 “The Human Social Organism”
January 27, 2005 “Applied Evolutionary Theory”

2003 | Mary Douglas

Writing in Circles: Ring Composition as a Creative Stimulus

The late Mary Douglas was one of the world’s leading intellectuals for fifty years. Her work as a cultural anthropologist, springing first from fieldwork in the Belgian Congo from 1949 to 1950, earned her early fame.

Two of her books in particular, Purity and Danger (1966) and Natural Symbols (1970), are true classics, studied by generations of scholars and graduate students. The range of her research was remarkable, from African societies to the classifications of biblical law, from sociology to religion, from food to dirt. Many of her ideas have become the “common sense” of several academic fields, influencing thought not only in anthropology, but also in the social sciences in general as well as history, literature, religious studies, and cultural studies.

Her work, as did her Terry Lectures, focused on the fundamentals of the way human beings think and perceive.

Lecture Series

Writing in Circles: Ring Composition as a Creative Stimulus

October 21, 2003 “How to Recognize a Ring Composition”
October 22, 2003 “Structures in Alternating Bands of Light and Dark”
October 28, 2003 “Straight Reading Makes Nonsense of Circular Writing”
October 30, 2003 “Speculations on the Idea of a Major Cultural Change”

2003 | H.C. Erik Midelfort

Exorcism and Enlightenment: Johann Joseph Gassner and the Demons of 18th-Century Germany

H. C. Erik Midelfort is the C. Julian Bishko Professor of History and Religious Studies at the University of Virginia, where he has taught since 1970. He has also taught at Stanford, Bern, Stuttgart, and Harvard Universities, and most recently was Visiting Scholar, Wolfson College, Oxford, England.

Born in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, in 1942, Professor Midelfort attended public schools until his matriculation at Yale University. After completing his B.A. in 1964, he continued at Yale, earning a Ph.D. in 1970. His dissertation, published as Witch Hunting in Southwestern Germany, 1562-1684: The Social and Intellectual Foundations, won the Gustav Arlt Award in the Humanities in 1973. His recent work in the complex history of psychiatry, folly, madness, and mental hospitals, has resulted in several articles and two books: Mad Princes of Renaissance Germany (1994) and A History of Madness in Sixteenth-Century Germany (1999), both of which won the Roland Bainton Prize of the Sixteenth Century Studies Conference for the best books of their years. The latter book also won Phi Beta Kappa’s Ralph Waldo Emerson Award.

Lecture Series

Exorcism and Enlightenment: Johann Joseph Gassner and the Demons of 18th-Century Germany

February 18, 2003 “The Experience of Demons and Exorcism”
February 25, 2003 “Healing: Gassner’s Patients and their Reports”
March 25, 2003 “Interpretation: Enlightened and Traditional Biblical Views of Demons and Exorcism”
April 1, 2003 “Conversation and Ridicule: The Structure of Enlightened Controversy”

2001 | Francisco J. Ayala

From Biology to Ethics: An Evolutionist’s View of Human Nature

Francisco J. Ayala—geneticist, evolutionary biologist, and philosopher of science—is one of the leading thinkers of our day. As society is confronted increasingly by the onrush of genomic research the ethical and moral implications of which have only barely begun to be perceived, he has elucidated the evolutionary transition from primates to humans with compelling insight. While rejecting the logical positivist view of ethics and morality in favor of the biological approach, he has charted a course significantly different than that of the socio-biologists, at once unique and synthetic.

As the Tercentennial Terry lecturer, he discussed the impact of the developments of modern biology on our ethical systems. The overall title for his lectures was: “From Biology to Ethics: An Evolutionist’s View of Human Nature.” The titles for his four lectures were: “The Emergence of Humankind;” “Good Natured: Animal Behavior and the Evolution of the Moral Sense;” “Biological Evolution versus Cultural Evolution;” and “Beyond Biology: The Evolution of Moral Codes.”

Professor Ayala is the Donald Bren Professor of Biological Sciences and Professor of Philosophy at the University of California, Irvine. He has been President and Chairman of the Board of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. From 1994 to 2001, he was a member of the U.S. President’s Committee of Advisors on Science and Technology.

Born in Madrid, Spain, Professor Ayala has lived in the United States since 1961 and became a U.S. citizen in 1971. He has published more than 750 articles and is author or editor of 15 books. The books include: Variation and Evolution in Plants and Microorganisms (2000); Genetics and The Origin of Species (1997); Tempo and Mode in Evolution (1995); Modern Genetics (2nd ed., 1984); Population and Evolutionary Genetics: A Primer (1982); Evolving: The Theory and Processes of Organic Evolution (1979); Evolution (1977); Molecular Evolution (1976); and Studies in the Philosophy of Biology (1974).

Professor Ayala is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society and a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the California Academy of Sciences. He has been a Guggenheim Fellow and was a Fulbright Fellow twice.

Lecture Series

From Biology to Ethics: An Evolutionist’s View of Human Nature

October 15, 2001 “The Emergence of Humankind”
October 16, 2001 “Good Natured: Animal Behavior and the Evolution of the Moral Sense”
October 18, 2001 “Biological Evolution versus Cultural Evolution”
October 19, 2001 “Beyond Biology: The Evolution of Moral Codes”

2000 | Peter Singer

One World: The Ethics and Politics of Globalization

Peter Singer is among the most influential and most controversial moral philosophers alive. Positing a utilitarian view, he has helped shape debates worldwide concerning animal rights and the ethical dilemmas posed by new medical technologies that blur the boundaries between life and death. He has also made significant contributions to debate about international economic justice, in which he has long been interested.

In his Terry lectureship he discussed ethical problems related to globalization. The overall title for his lectures was: “One World: The Ethics and Politics of Globalization.” The titles for his four lectures were: “Ethics for One World;” “One Environment;” “One Economy;” and “Ethics and Politics.”

Professor Singer joined the University Center for Human Values at Princeton University as Ira W. DeCamp Professor of Bioethics in 1999. Founded in 1990, the Center supports teaching and research about ethical and evaluative issues in public and private life.

Born in Melbourne, Australia in 1946, Professor Singer was educated at the University of Melbourne and the University of Oxford. He has taught at the University of Oxford, New York University, and La Trobe University. In 1977, he was appointed to a chair in philosophy at Monash University in Melbourne and subsequently was the founding director of that university’s Centre for Human Bioethics.

Professor Singer was the founding president of the International Association of Bioethics and, with Helga Kuhse, founding coeditor of the journal Bioethics. He first became well known internationally after the publication of his book Animal Liberation in 1975. His other books include Democracy and Disobedience; Practical Ethics; The Expanding Circle: Ethics and Sociobiology; Marx; Hegel; Animal Factories (with Jim Mason); The Reproduction Revolution (with Deane Wells); Should the Baby Live?: The Problem of Handicapped Infants (with Helga Kuhse); How Are We to Live?: Ethics in an Age of Self-Interest; Rethinking Life and Death: The Collapse of Our Traditional Ethics; and Ethics into Action: Henry Spira and the Animal Rights Movement. Singer’s works have appeared in nineteen languages. He is also the author of a major article on ethics in the current edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica.

Lecture Series

One World: The Ethics and Politics of Globalization

October 31, 2000 “Ethics for One World”
November 2, 2000 “One Environment”
November 8, 2000 “One Economy”
November 9, 2000 “Ethics and Politics”

Singer’s book, One World: The Ethics and Politics of Globalization, published from the lecture is available at Yale University Press.

1999 | Bas C. Van Fraassen

The Empirical Stance

Bas C. van Fraassen joined Princeton University’s Department of Philosophy in 1982. His interests include philosophy of science (especially subjects related to probability theory and to the foundations of physics), philosophical logic, and empiricism. He is the author of An Introduction to the Philosophy of Time and Space (1970), Formal Semantics and Logic (1971), The Scientific Image (1980), Laws and Symmetry (1989), and Quantum Mechanics: An Empiricist View (1991).

Born in Goes, the Netherlands, in 1941, Professor van Fraassen immigrated with his family to Canada in 1956. He attended the University of Alberta (B.A.(Hon.), Philosophy, 1963), and the University of Pittsburgh (M.A. 1964; PH.D., Philosophy, 1966). He has taught at Yale University, the University of Toronto, the University of Southern California, and Princeton University. He is editor of the Journal of Philosophical Logic and co-editor of the Journal of Symbolic Logic. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a Foreign Member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Lecture Series

The Empirical Stance

October 19, 1999 “Against Analytic Metaphysics”
October 21, 1999 “Empiricism as Will and Idea”
October 26, 1999 “Scientific Revolution/Conversion as a Philosophical Problem”
October 28, 1999 “What is Science—and What Is It To Be Secular?”

van Fraassen’s book, The Empirical Stance, published from the lecture, is available at Yale University Press.

1998 | David Hartman

Struggling for the Soul of Israel: A Jewish Response to History

Not in Print

1996-97 | Reverend John Polkinghorne

Belief in God in an Age of Science (published in 1998)
Available at Yale University Press

1993-4 | Walter J. Gehring

Genetic Control of Development (Master Control Genes in Development and Evolution: the Homeobox Story, published in 1998)
Available at Yale University Press

1988-89 | Joshua Lederberg

Science and Modern Life

1986-87 | Eric R. Kandel

Cell and Molecular Biological Explorations of Learning and Memory

1985-86 | Stephen Jay Gould

Darwin and Dr. Doolittle: ‘Just History’ as the Wellspring of Nature’s Order

1979-80 | Hans Jonas

Technology and Ethics (The Imperative of Responsibility, published in 1984)
Not in Print

1978-79 | Adin Steinsaltz

1977-78 | Hans Kung

Freud and the Problem of God (published in 1979)
Available at Yale University Press

1976-77 | Philip Reiff

1975-76 | David Baken

And They Took Themselves Wives: Male Female Relations in the Bible (published in 1979)
Not in Print

1973-4 | Father Theodore M. Hesburgh

The Humane Imperative: A Challenge for the Year 2000 (published in 1974)
Not in Print