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April 27, 2005

Avishai Margalit, Hebrew University scholar, to deliver Tanner Lectures

Avishai Margalit, the Schulman Professor of Philosophy at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, will deliver the 2005 Tanner Lectures on Human Values on May 4, 5 and 6. The President's Office and the Barbara and Bowen McCoy Program in Ethics in Society jointly sponsor the Tanner Lectures and seminars, which are free and open to the public.

The author of The Decent Society (1998), The Ethics of Memory (2002) and Occidentalism: The West in the Eyes of Its Enemies (with Ian Buruma, 2004), Margalit has written widely about ethics, culture, religion and contemporary Israeli politics. He is a founder of Peace Now, the Israeli peace movement that has called for the recognition of the rights of Palestinians to self-determination in their own state, alongside Israel.

In a lecture and discussion series titled "Rotten Compromise and Honorable Peace," Margalit will deliver talks titled "Indecent Compromise" on May 4 and "Decent Peace" on May 5. Both lectures will begin at 5:30 p.m. at the Oak Lounge in Tresidder Union. A discussion session will follow the morning after each of the lectures. The sessions are scheduled for 9 to 11 a.m. on May 5 and 10 a.m. to noon on May 6 at SIEPR A in the Landau Economics Building.

Margalit was born in Jerusalem in 1939. After performing military service and living on a kibbutz, Margalit earned bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees in philosophy from Hebrew University. He began teaching in the Department of Philosophy at the Hebrew University in 1970. Margalit has been a visiting scholar at Harvard, Princeton and Oxford universities and in 2001 received the Spinoza Lens Prize, awarded by the International Spinoza Foundation, for making a "significant contribution to the normative debate on society." He is a frequent contributor to the New York Review of Books.

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 the 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.



Barbara Palmer, News Service: (650) 724-6184,


Debra Satz, director, Barbara and Bowen McCoy Program in Ethics in Society: (650) 723-2133,


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