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April 6, 2004

Harry Frankfurt to deliver 2004 Tanner Lectures

By Lisa Trei

Harry Frankfurt, a Princeton professor emeritus of philosophy, will deliver the 2004 Tanner Lectures on Human Values on April 14, 15 and 16. The President's Office and the Ethics in Society Program jointly sponsor the Tanner Lectures and seminars, which are free and open to the public. Events will be held in Room 124 of Building 160.

Frankfurt has spent much of his career exploring the ways in which people think about themselves intellectually and morally, and how ideals and values shape our lives.

At 5:30 p.m. April 14, Frankfurt will present a lecture titled "Taking Ourselves Seriously." A discussion following the talk will be held at 10 a.m. April 15 with philosophy Professor Eleonore Stump of Saint Louis University and Meir Dan-Cohen, the Milo Reese Robbins Chair in Legal Ethics at the University of California-Berkeley. Frankfurt will deliver a second lecture titled "Getting it Right" at 6 p.m. April 15, followed by a discussion at 10 a.m. April 16 with Stanford philosophy Professor Michael Bratman and Christine Korsgaard, a Harvard professor of philosophy.

Frankfurt has written three books: Demons, Dreamers and Madmen: The Defense of Reason in Descartes' Meditations (1970), The Importance of What We Care About (1988) and Necessity, Volition and Love (1999). He has edited Leibniz: A Collection of Critical Essays (1972), and has written more than 50 scholarly articles, essays and reviews.

Frankfurt came to Princeton from Yale, where he chaired the philosophy department from 1978 to 1987 and lectured in the School of Law. He also has taught at Rockefeller University, the State University of New York and Ohio State University, and held several visiting professorships. Frankfurt has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Guggenheim Foundation. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.


The Tanner Lectures

The Tanner Lectures are held annually at Stanford, Harvard, Yale, Princeton, the universities of California, Michigan and Utah, and in England at Cambridge and Oxford universities. Established in 1978 by Obert Clark Tanner, an industrialist, legal scholar and philosopher, the lectures are meant to advance and reflect upon scholarly and scientific learning relating to human values.

Tanner earned a master's degree from Stanford in 1937 and was an instructor in the Religious Studies Department from 1939 to 1944. In 1945, Tanner joined the philosophy faculty at the University of Utah. He retired in 1972 and served as professor emeritus until his death in 1993.

The Tanner Lectures on Human Values is a nonprofit corporation administered at the University of Utah. In 1927, Tanner began a business specializing in corporate recognition awards. Today, the O. C. Tanner Co. serves as the financial foundation for the Tanner philanthropies, which fund the lecture series.



Lisa Trei, News Service: (650) 725-0224,

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