University Professor Jeremy Waldron, who has delivered virtually all of the highest-wattage philosophy lectures across the globe, will add another prestigious accomplishment to his formidable list when he delivers the Gifford Lecture Series at the University of Edinburgh from January 26 to February 5.

The Gifford Lectures, first given in 1888, showcase the preeminent thinkers in the field of natural theology. Waldron’s predecessors include Hannah Arendt, Noam Chomsky, Richard Dawkins, Werner Heisenberg, William James, Alasdair MacIntyre, Iris Murdoch, Carl Sagan, Eleonore Stump, Charles Taylor, and Rowan Williams.

Waldron’s theme, “One Another's Equals: The Basis of Human Equality,” will unfold over the course of half a dozen lectures concerning the meaning and roots of human equality. The first installment will examine the theory of human inequality proffered in Hastings Rashdall’s seminal 1907 work The Theory of Good and Evil. Subsequent lectures will distinguish basic equality from normative positions founded upon it; look at the respective approaches of Thomas Hobbes, Immanuel Kant, and John Rawls; consider the work that basic equality must perform; and analyze the role played by a higher power, culminating in a final lecture exploring the impact of various life stages and profound disabilities on the idea of human equality.

Among the other prestigious public lectures Waldron has delivered are the Tanner Lectures on Human Values, the Storrs Lectures, the Oliver Wendell Holmes Lectures, and the Carlyle Lectures. These lectures, in turn, have been transformed into a series of published books including The Harm in Hate Speech, “Partly Laws Common to All Mankind": Foreign Law in American Courts, and The Rule of Law and the Measure of Property.

Posted January 23, 2015