March 1, 2017 at 5:30 pm

Spetnagel Ethics Lecture | Is Living Longer, Living Better? March 27

Dr. Larry S. Temkin

Dr. Larry S. Temkin

The Ohio University Philosophy Department’s annual Spetnagel Ethics Lecture features Dr. Larry S. Temkin discussing “Is Living Longer, Living Better?” on Monday, March 27, from 7 to 9 p.m. in Walter Hall 235.

Temkin is Distinguished Professor and Chair of Philosophy at Rutgers University.

He will discuss the topic of genetic enhancements in relation to current longevity research and the prospect of conquering aging. After addressing speculations about the tedium of immortality as well as worries about the perils of it, he will consider a number of practical and social concerns that might arise in a society whose members lived super long lives. He will then argue for his own views about the shape of human life and the important impersonal reasons to prefer an outcome where countless different generations live finite lives, to an outcome where vastly fewer people live really long lives, even if everyone in the latter outcome would be better off than everyone in the former outcome.

This event is co-sponsored by the Ohio University Institute for Applied and Professional Ethics and the Translational Biomedical Sciences program.

Temkin graduated number one from the University of Wisconsin/Madison (B.A. Honors Degree, 1975), before pursuing graduate studies at Oxford University (1978-79), and Princeton (Ph.D., 1983). Temkin’s book Inequality (Oxford University Press, 1993), was hailed by critics as “brilliant and fascinating,” “an extraordinary achievement,” and as “one of the most important six or seven contributions to analytical political philosophy in the … whole of [the twentieth] century.” His book Rethinking the Good: Moral Ideals and the Nature of Practical Reasoning (Oxford University Press, 2012) has been described as a “tour de force,” “a genuinely awe-inspiring achievement,” and “an utterly original work of philosophy, almost breathtakingly so.”

Temkin has lectured extensively worldwide, including for the World Health Organization, the World Bank, and the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (funded by the Gates Foundation), and his individualistic approach to inequality has been adopted by the World Health Organization and the Gates Foundation in their measurements of the Global Burden of Disease. Temkin has received fellowships from Harvard University’s Safra Foundation Center for Ethics, All Souls College Oxford, the National Institutes of Health, the Australian National University, the National Humanities Center, the Danforth Foundation, and Princeton University’s Center for Human Values, where he was the Laurance S. Rockefeller Visiting Professor for Distinguished Teaching. In Fall 2017, Temkin will deliver the Uehiro Lectures at Oxford, and in Spring 2018, he will be a Visiting Fellow at Corpus Christi College, Oxford. Temkin is also the recipient of eight major teaching awards.

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