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Distinguished Lecture Series

Publications by speakers at Boise State's Distinguished Lecture Series

Jonathan Haidt

Jonathan Haidt

Social Psychologist at New York University

Spring 2024 Distinguished Lecturer

Jonathan Haidt is a social psychologist at New York University’s Stern School of Business. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1992. Haidt’s research examines the intuitive foundations of morality, and how morality varies across cultural and political divisions.

Recent and Seminal Works:

The Coddling of the American MindGen Z is suffering from rapidly rising rates of anxiety, depression, and fragility. This book explains why, and how to reverse the trends.

The Righteous Mind: Drawing on his twenty-five years of research on moral psychology, Haidt shows how moral judgments arise not from reason but from gut feelings. He shows why liberals, conservatives, and libertarians have such different intuitions about right and wrong, and he shows why each side is actually right about many of its central concerns.

The Happiness Hypothesis: A book about ten Great Ideas. Each chapter is an attempt to savor one idea that has been discovered by several of the world's civilizations—to question it in light of what we now know from scientific research, and to extract from it the lessons that still apply to our modern lives and illuminate the causes of human flourishing.

Additional articles, podcasts and reviews are available through Jonathan Haidt's webpage.

Dr. Cornel West

 Dr. Cornel WestDr. Cornel West

Professor - Philosopher - Author - Activist

October 2023 Distinguished Lecturer

Dr. West is the former Professor of the Practice of Public Philosophy at Harvard University and Professor Emeritus at Princeton University. Affectionately known to many as Brother West, he is the Dietrich Bonhoeffer Chair at Union Theological Seminary. Dr. West teaches on the works of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, as well as courses in Philosophy of Religion, African American Critical Thought, and a wide range of subjects -- including  the classics, philosophy, politics, cultural theory, literature, and music.

Recent and Seminal Works:

Race Matters: Addresses some of today's most urgent issues for black Americans - from discrimination to despair, from leadership to the legacy of Malcolm X. West has the courage to break taboos of silence in the black community, while always acknowledging the realities of race in America.

Democracy Matters: Explores the threats to democracy that exist both in the United States and in the Middle East, discussing the corruption that plagues our own democracy, the failure to foster peace in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and other crises.

Cornel West: A Critical Reader: This comprehensive text offers a systematic and thematic approach to West's philosophical work. It moves the reader through his distinctive form of prophetic pragmatism, his historicist and improvisational philosophy of religion, his socialist, democratic and truncated Marxist political philosophy, and his reflections on a range of cultural issues.

Black Prophetic Fire: In an accessible, conversational format, Cornel West, with distinguished scholar Christa Buschendorf, provides a fresh perspective on six revolutionary African American leaders

Dr. Robert George

Dr. Robert P. GeorgeDr. Robert P. George

Legal Scholar - Political Philosopher - Public Intellectual

October 2023 Distinguished Lecturer

Robert P. George serves as the sixth McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence and Director of the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions at Princeton University, a program founded under his leadership in 2000. George has frequently been a Visiting Professor at Harvard Law School. Robert George has served as Chairman of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom as well as a presidential appointee of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights and the President’s Council on Bioethics. 

Recent and Seminal Works:

Mind, Heart, and Soul: Intellectuals and the Path to Rome: In a series of fascinating interviews, a cradle Catholic (Robert P. George) and an adult convert (R. J. Snell), offer the stories of sixteen converts, each a public intellectual or leading voice in their respective fields, and each making a significant contribution to the life of the Church.

Making Men Moral: Civil Liberties and Public Morality: In 'Making men moral' Robert P. George defends the traditional position on morals legislation against criticisms advanced by leading contemporary liberal theorists

The Clash of Orthodoxies: Law, Religion, and Morality in Crisis: George argues that on controversial issues like abortion, embryonic stem-cell research, euthanasia, same-sex unions, civil rights and liberties, and the place of religion in public life, traditional Judeo-Christian beliefs are rationally superior to their secular liberal alternatives.

Additional articles and essays are available through Dr. George's webpage.