The John Locke Lectures are among the world's most distinguished lecture series in philosophy. This list of past lecturers shows that most of the greatest philosophers of the last half century have been Locke Lecturers. The series began in 1950, funded from the generous bequest of Henry Wilde.
The Faculty acknowledges the generous support of these lectures by Oxford University Press and All Souls College.
Professor Susan Wolf (UNC)
Selves Like Us
A long tradition in philosophy identifies what it is to be human with rational agency, but this gives us a distorted and diminished conception of who we are and of what is important about us. There is so much more - including, for example, our capacities to create art, to appreciate beauty, to develop a sense of humor, and to wonder about the meaning of life. Artificial intelligences, extraterrestrials, even corporations may be rational agents, but this wouldn’t be nearly enough to make them ‘selves like us’, creatures with whom we can live in a rewarding sort of community, with whom we can be lovers and friends. A richer conception of what makes us distinctively human can help us recover an appreciation of aspects of ourselves whose value has been neglected and can help us develop more adequate conceptions of human responsibility, character, and freedom.
More information can be found on the John Locke Lecture page here.