Trinity University Presents Philosophy Trailblazer

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Oct. 2, 2013

Trinity University Presents Philosophy Trailblazer

Derek Parfit will present DeCoursey Lecture, 'We Are Not Human Beings'

Derek ParfitSAN ANTONIO --  British philosopher Derek Parfit, considered by many to be the most original moral philosopher in the English-speaking world, will present the 2013 Trinity University DeCoursey Lecture at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 16, in Laurie Auditorium. The title of his talk is "We Are Not Human Beings." His presentation is free and open to the public.

Parfit specializes in problems of personal identify, rationality, ethics, and the relations among them. His two books Reasons and Persons (1984) and On What Matters (2011) have been called the most important works to be written in the field in more than a century.

He delves into ways the self will exist in the future and draws from science fiction "thought experiments" to develop his ideas, often urging a more impersonal, non-physical, and selfless view of human life. He also explores the field of nonreligious ethics, asking questions about which actions are right or wrong.

Parfit has spent most of his academic career at Oxford where he is an Emeritus Senior Research Fellow at All Souls College, Oxford. He is also a visiting professor of Philosophy at New York University, Harvard University, and Rutgers University. Early in his career he worked as a researcher at The New Yorker and he has held appointments at Harvard, Rutgers, and New York University.

Doors to Laurie Auditorium will open at 6:45 p.m. on the evening of the lecture.  The lecture series is made possible by a gift from the late Gen. Elbert DeCoursey and Mrs. Esther DeCoursey of San Antonio.

For more information, contact Trinity's Department of Academic Affairs at 210-999-8201.