The H.L.A. Hart Memorial Lecture

University College



The lecture this year, which is the 36th in the series funded by the Tanner Lectures on Human Values, will be given by Professor Sally Haslanger, Ford Professor of Philosophy and Women’s and Gender Studies at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.


One important way to promote social justice is to change the laws to distribute rights, primary goods, and other benefits and burdens more fairly.  But justice isn't only about distribution, and law is not always the best way to promote social change.  As Lawrence Lessig has argued, law can serve as a way to change social norms; but legal changes that are insensitive to entrenched cultural norms are often unhelpful.  This lecture sketches an account of social structure as a complex of social meanings, material conditions, and normative constraints, and points to multiple levers for social change, with special attention to the importance of community activism and social movements.

The lecture will be followed by a question and answer session, followed by a drinks reception in the Fellows’ Garden (weather permitting).

Please confirm attendance by e-mailing

The event is organised by University College