Jeremy Waldron
Jeremy Waldron

Jeremy Waldron

University Professor
New York University School of Law

Dignity, Rank, and Rights

Lecture I: Dignity and Rank
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
4:10 p.m. – 6:30 p.m., Toll Room, Alumni House
With commentary by Michael Rosen

Lecture II: Law, Status, and Self-Control
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
4:10 p.m. – 6:30 p.m., Toll Room, Alumni House
With commentary by Don Herzog and Wai Chee Dimock

Seminar and Discussion with commentators
Thursday, April 23, 2009
4:10 p.m. – 6:30 p.m., Toll Room, Alumni House
With commentary by Michael Rosen, Don Herzog, and Wai Chee Dimock

The lectures and the seminar are free and open to the public.

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MP3 Format: Lecture OneLecture TwoSeminar & Discussion

About Jeremy Waldron


Jeremy Waldron is a distinguished legal and political theorist trained in philosophy. Waldron is best known for his work in jurisprudence, the theory of politics, and moral and political philosophy. He is interested in liberal theories of rights, issues of economic and social justice, the political significance of moral disagreement, and the basis of our political ideals in a multicultural society. Waldron’s work in political theory has focused on Aristotle, Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, Jeremy Bentham, John Stuart Mill, and Hannah Arendt.

During his career, Waldron has published extensively. His books include The Right to Property (1988), The Law (1990) published in the “Theory and Practice in British Politics” series, Law and Disagreement (1999), and God, Locke, and Equality: Christian Foundations of Locke’s Political Thought (2002). Waldron has also written for numerous law reviews, including those of Yale, Fordham, Harvard, California, and Columbia. His book reviews appear frequently in TheNew York Review of BooksLondon Review of Books, and New York Times Book Review.

Waldron received his B.A. in philosophy in 1974 and LL.B. in 1978 from the University of Otago, New Zealand. He attended Oxford University, earning the D.Phil. in law in 1986. He taught at Otago, Oxford, and the University of Edinburgh, before taking a position at Boalt Hall School of Law in 1987. In 1996, he left Berkeley to teach at Princeton University (1996-1997), and from 1997 to 2005 Waldron served as the Maurice and Hilda Friedman Professor of Law at Columbia University Law School. While at Columbia, he was the director for the Center for Law and Philosophy. In July 2006, Waldron joined the faculty of NYU’s School of Law. A frequent international lecturer, Waldron was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1998.

Waldron presented the John Robert Seeley Lectures in Social and Political Studies at Cambridge University in 1996. He was the Carlyle Lecturer at Oxford University in 1999 and in spring 2000 gave the University Lecture at Columbia University. In 2004, Waldron presented the Wesson Lectures on Problems of Democracy at Stanford University. He was elected as a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1998.

Conversation with History Interview

About the Commentators

Michael Rosen

Professor of Government, Department of Government
Harvard University

Michael Rosen is a leading scholar in the field of European (particularly German) philosophy and political theory. He has written extensively on German Idealism, Marxism and Critical Theory, as well as on topics in contemporary political theory.

Rosen’s publications include Hegel’s Dialectic and Its Criticism (1982), The Need for Interpretation (1983), and On Voluntary Servitude: False Consciousness and the Theory of Ideology (1996). Rosen also translated Kant’sOpus Postumum in The Cambridge Edition of the Works of Immanuel Kant(1993) with Eckart Förster, and edited the Oxford Handbook of Continental Philosophy (2007) with Brian Leiter.

Rosen received his B.A. and a D.Phil. from Balliol College, Oxford in 1974 and 1980, respectively. He has taught in the departments of philosophy of Harvard University (1981-82), Merton College, Oxford (1982-85), and University College London (1985-90). From 1990 to 2006 he was Fellow and Tutor in Philosophy at Lincoln College, Oxford. In 2006, Rosen was appointed Professor of Government at Harvard University. In 2007, he gave the Benedict Lectures at Boston University on “The Shibboleth of All Empty-Headed Moralists: Dignity in Ethics and Political Theory.” In 2010 he will be Isaiah Berlin Visiting Professor in the History of Ideas at Oxford University.

Don Herzog

Edson R. Sunderland Professor of Law
University of Michigan Law School

Don Herzog is a distinguished scholar of political science and law. Herzog’s research interests include political theory and public law, with an emphasis on Anglo-American materials from the sixteenth century to today. His main focuses are political, moral, legal, and social theory; constitutional interpretation; torts; and the First Amendment.

Herzog received an Honorable Mention Award for his book, Poisoning the Minds of the Lower Orders (2000) from the Professional/Scholarly Publishing Division of the Association of American Publishers in 1999. His other publications includeWithout Foundations: Justification in Political Theory (1985), Happy Slaves: A Critique of Consent Theory (1989), Cunning (2006), “Up from Individualism” (California Law Review, 1998), and “Externalities and Other Parasites” (Chicago Law Review, 2000).

Herzog is the Edson R. Sunderland Professor of Law at the University of Michigan Law School. He received an A.B. from Cornell University in 1978 and both an A.M. and a Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1980 and 1982 respectively, where he studied government.

Wai Chee Dimock

William Lampson Professor of English and American Studies
Yale University

Wai Chee Dimock is a prominent scholar of American literature. She is interested in how literature relates to law, science, and the world. Her approach includes close analysis of her subject throughout many periods in history.

Dimock’s book, Through Other Continents: American Literature across Deep Time (2006), received Honorable Mention for both the James Russell Lowell Prize of the Modern Language Association and the Henry Levin Prize of the American Comparative Literature Association. Her other publications include:Empire for Liberty: Melville and the Poetics of Individualism (1989),Rethinking Class: Literary Studies and Social Formations (1994), Residues of Justice: Literature, Law, Philosophy (1996), and Shades of the Planet: American Literature as World Literature (2007). She also co-edited “Literature and Science: Cultural Forms, Conceptual Exchanges” (special issue of American Literature, 2002), and “Remapping Genre” (special issue of Publications of the Modern Language Association, 2007).

Dimock received her B.A. from Harvard University and Ph.D from Yale University in 1976 and 1982, respectively. She taught as Professor of English at Yale University from 1997-2002, and Professor of English at Brandeis University from 1994-1997. She served as an associate professor at several universities including Harvard, Brandeis, UC San Diego, and Rutgers from 1982-1994. Dimock has been the William Lampson Professor of English and American Studies at Yale University since 2003.