2016-17 "Who's Human Now?" Series

Who's Human Now?

Historical and Philosophical Ideas About Humanity and Personhood

Calling someone a person is said to give us special reasons to afford them a certain kind of treatment.  Sometimes it is said to constrain our behavior towards them, or to obligate us to advance their interests.  In other cases calling someone a person means that we regard them as, in at least some cases, responsible for the things that they do.  Overall persons are said to have a kind of value—a kind of value that is, as Kant said, “beyond all price.”  In short, persons possess dignity, at least in theory.

When we call someone a person, what do we mean, and what are we trying to do?  Legally, politically, and socially, who counts as a person now, and who will count as a person in the future?  These questions motivate this year's Sidore Lecture Series, organized by professors Julia Rodriguez (Department of History), Ruth Sample (Department of Philosophy), and Charlotte Witt (Department of Philosophy; Department of Classics, Humanities, and Italian Studies).
Featured speakers and videos of their talks (where available) are below.

Thursday, September 29
Priscilla Wald, R. Florence Brinkley Professor of English, Duke University
From Angels to Replicants: “What is Human Now?” 
2:15 p.m. in MUB Theater II

Thursday, October 27
Anita Superson, Professor of Philosophy, University of Kentucky
Feminism and Liberalism on Bodily Autonomy: Not Such Strange Bedfellows After All
2:15 p.m. in MUB Theater II

Tuesday, February 14
Elizabeth Lunbeck, Professor of the History of Science in Residence at Harvard University
“Acting Human”: The Psychopath and the Rest of Us
3:40 p.m. in MUB Theater II

Tuesday, March 7
David Livingstone Smith, Professor of Philosophy, University of New England in Biddeford, Maine
Less Than Human or Defectively Human?  Thoughts on the Denigration of Women
Mari Mikkola, Professor for Practical Philosophy at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Treating Someone as Something: Dehumanization and Objectification
3:40 p.m. in MUB Theater II

Tuesday, March 28 (Rescheduled from November)
Steven M. Wise, President of the Nonhuman Rights Project
The Nonhuman Rights Project's Struggle to Attain Legal Rights for Nonhuman Animals
3:40  p.m. in Richards Auditorium (Murkland 115)

Tuesday, April 25
Lori Gruen, William Griffin Professor of Philosophy, Coordinator of Wesleyan Animal Studies
The Politics of Personhood: Who Counts and What's at Stake?
3:40 p.m. in MUB Theater II

The Saul O Sidore Memorial Lecture Series was established in 1965 in memory of Saul O Sidore of Manchester, New Hampshire. The purpose of the series is to offer the University community and the state of New Hampshire programs that raise critical and sometimes controversial issues facing our society. The University of New Hampshire Center for the Humanities sponsors the programs.