St. Olaf College | News

UMass philosopher to deliver Belgum Memorial Lectures

BakerLynne166x132Lynne Rudder Baker, distinguished professor of philosophy at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, will deliver the annual Eunice Belgum Memorial Lectures at St. Olaf College April 11 and 12.

Both the Thursday and Friday lectures will be streamed live and archived online.

Baker’s first lecture, titled “The Place of Persons in Nature,” asks how humans can be a part of the animal world yet still occupy a unique place within that world. She answers this question by saying, “What distinguishes us from everything else in nature is that we alone have robust first-person perspectives that enable us to be rational and moral agents — not just to have goals, but to assess and change our goals as well.”

The second lecture, “How Persons Persist in Time,” argues that, since a person is something with a first-person perspective, a person continues to exist in time only if he or she continues to exemplify that unique perspective.

The Belgum Lectures, now in their 34th year, honor the memory of Eunice Belgum, who graduated from St. Olaf in 1967.