What is ‘human equality’? Looking forward to the Gifford Lectures 2015

‘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 public life which view the levelling of differences towards legal, economic or social equality as a central aim. Unless we dig down to form an understanding of the ‘why’ and ‘what’ of basic human equality, then the purpose, content and goal of its implementation in the ‘how’ might remain somewhat elusive.

Professor Waldron’s lectures will provide us with the opportunity to consider and debate our understanding of ‘human equality’. As someone with a background in both law and theology, I can immediately see their relevance and importance for teachers, students and practitioners in both of those fields. That might equally be said, however, in relation to philosophy, politics, sociology, education, and I’m sure many other disciplines.

The hope is that a wide constituency of those for whom the question of human equality is important from various angles might be enthused by the lectures, and then share their thoughts and comments in a lively discussion on this blog. After each lecture, I will be blogging a short summary and raising issues and questions to open the floor to you for discussion. So please do engage with the lectures and the blog if you can, and feel free to publicise both of them elsewhere and encourage others to attend and comment.

The lectures are ticketed, although entry is free. Look forward to seeing you for the first lecture at the Playfair Library, Old College, South Bridge, Edinburgh, on Monday 26th January 2015 from 5.30pm to 6.30pm.

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