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Category: 2015 – Professor Jeremy Waldron Gifford Lecture Series

In a sensitively structured and cogent conclusion to his Gifford Lecture Series, Professor Jeremy Waldron tonight set out his argument for the full, unequivocal inclusion of those who are ‘profoundly disabled’ within his schemata for ‘basic human equality’. As he described his ‘bottom line’: ‘those who are profoundly disabled are human persons too, endowed with […]

Turning his attention now to human equality and its relationship to concepts of God, Professor Waldron offered the following alternative challenges: Can there be a religious argument for equality which holds firm in the present day? Or accepting some original theological foundations for human equality, can the ‘jist of the argument be detached from its […]

Building on his adoption last week of John Rawls’ concept of ‘range properties’, that above certain thresholds we all can be considered as bearing ‘equal’ moral capacity irrespective of our variation within the range, Professor Waldron tonight concentrated on working through the challenges and implications that would follow. In other words, if the concept of […]

What are the basic features of the cluster of principles that we would associate with human equality? How do we move from the general to the particular to answer the fundamental question: if the presence of a ‘continuous’ equality amongst humans is to be accepted, or even a ‘distinctive’ equality which would raise us to […]

Exploring ‘The Logic of Human Equality’, in his second Gifford Lecture Professor Waldron delved tonight into the technical framework that he saw as an essential pre-requisite of developing in his remaining lectures a coherent and robust validation of the essence of ‘basic human equality’. Description and Prescription Professor Waldron began by distinguishing between the ‘descriptive’ […]

In a stimulating opening Gifford Lecture tonight, Professor Jeremy Waldron emphasised the urgency of not only eradicating ‘surface inequality’ in public legal relations, but in carrying out a theological and philosophical examination of what may underpin human equality in a world where ‘grotesque differences in economic lives’ create the risk of ‘leech and leak’ to […]

The magnificent surroundings of the neo-classical Playfair Library in Old College will shortly play host to Professor Jeremy Waldron’s Gifford Lectures for 2015. It promises to be an engaging and inspiring series, striking at the root of what might define our equality as humans in philosophical, theological or legal terms. With a backdrop internationally of continuing violence and […]

‘What does it mean to say we are all one another’s equals?’ and ‘ On what is this human equality based?’ These are some of the key questions that Professor Jeremy Waldron intends to explore in the six Gifford Lectures taking place at Edinburgh University in late January to early February. Those questions are crucial to the strong current directions in […]

The prestigious Gifford Lectures have been delivered annually since 1888 by a succession of distinguished international scholars. The Gifford Lectureships (held at the Universities of Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen and St. Andrews) were established under the will of Lord Adam Gifford (1820-1887), a former student of the University of Edinburgh and Senator of the College of […]


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