Past Events


Freeing the Mind: What Truly Matters in a Princeton Education
Sep 29, 2023, 4:30 pm

Freeing the Mind: What Truly Matters in a Princeton Education

What’s the point of a Princeton education? What is liberal arts learning all about? How can students make the most of opportunities afforded to them by liberal arts colleges and universities? Two of Princeton’s most distinguished scholars and…

The Supreme Court's Traditionalist Turn
Sep 18, 2023, 4:30 pm

Today’s Supreme Court professes a commitment to originalism—the idea that the Constitution’s meaning is fixed at ratification and binds judges today. But in interpreting the Constitution, the Court often looks to the post-ratification practices of other actors: Presidents, Congresses, or states. The Court has held, for example,…

Whose Privileges? What Immunity? A Symposium for the Sesquicentennial of The Slaughter-House Cases
Sep 16, 2023, 9:30 am

This year marks the 150th anniversary of one of the most influential decisions ever handed down by the U.S. Supreme Court, in The Slaughter-House Cases. Slaughter-House has shaped federal-state jurisprudence for the last century-and-a-half. Join us for a half-day symposium to examine the influence and…

Consciousness As the Political Project: How the Legacy of America's Great Universities Is Being Destroyed From Within
Sep 13, 2023, 4:30 pm

Open to the public.

​George F. Will's newspaper column has been syndicated by The Washington Post since 1974.  Today it appears twice weekly in more than 300 newspapers.  In 1976 he became a regular contributing editor of Newsweek magazine, for which he provided a bimonthly essay…

Free Speech Rights of Students and First-Year Open House
Sep 12, 2023, 5:00 pm

Join Keith Whittington, William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Politics, and Myles McKnight, an alum from Princeton's Class of 2023, as they discuss the free speech rights of Princeton students. Then, stay for a catered dinner and an open house while Robert P. George, McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence and Director of the James Madison Program,…

America's Once and Future History
The Annual Robert J. Giuffra ’82 Conference
Jun 6, 2023

Panels open to the public. See conference schedule at bottom of page.

What is history?  Used in one common sense, history refers to the scholarly, and perhaps even the scientific, study of the human past.  Thought of in this way, history is primarily a matter of the intellect.  History, however…

When Professions Go Woke, Can Dissenters Survive?
Annual Princeton University Reunions Event
May 26, 2023, 1:30 pm

Join Robert P. George, Director of the James Madison Program and McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence, as he engages a panel of professionals in a conversation about the future of dissenters in the working world.

A Little Lower than the Angels: What the American Founders Learned about Human Nature from Adam Smith
An Alpheus T. Mason Lecture on Constitutional Law and Political Thought:The Quest for Freedom
May 10, 2023, 4:30 pm

After surveying the historical evidence for Adam Smith's influence on James Madison, Thomas Jefferson, and John Adams, this lecture will consider ways in which the founders' nuanced view of human nature as a balance between virtue and selfishness may derive (in part) from Smith.

Professor Samuel Fleischacker studied at Yale University, receiving his PhD in 1989. He works in moral and political philosophy, the history of moral and philosophy,and the philosophy of religion. Among the issues that have particularly interested him are the moral status of culture, the nature and history of liberalism, the relationship between moral philosophy and social science, and the relationship between moral and religious values. His publications include The Ethics of Culture (Cornell, 1994), A Third Concept of Liberty (Princeton, 1999), On Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations: A Philosophical Companion (Princeton, 2003), A Short History of Distributive Justice (Harvard, 2004), Divine Teaching and the Way of the World (Oxford, 2011), What Is Enlightenment?  (Routledge, 2012), The Good and the Good Book (Oxford, 2015), and Being Me Being You:  Adam Smith and Empathy (Chicago, 2019). Professor Fleischacker has been a Fellow of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford, the University Center for Human Values at Princeton, and the Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities at Edinburgh University. He taught previously at Williams College.

Artificial Intelligence, Ethics, and a Right to a Human Decision
Harold T. Shapiro Lecture on Ethics, Science, and Technology
May 1, 2023, 4:30 pm

The spectacular emergence into the public domain over the past few months of generative AI applications based on large language models, such as ChatGPT and Bing, has underscored a disturbing time lag between technological advance and regulatory vision. One question raised by this phenomenon is: what is the ethical framework that will enable a compelling regulatory approach to AI to emerge? This lecture will argue that a broadly Aristotelian ethical framework has great promise in this respect and has notable advantages over the utilitarian approach that tends to be rather uncritically adopted by many theorists and policy-makers in the AI domain. The lecture then considers two topics from this perspective 1) the place of work in a meaningful life, and how the impact of developments in AI bear on work as a source of human fulfilment. In particular, are those theorists right who suggest that play can take the place of work in a future shaped by AI? and 2) whether developments in AI require fundamental revisions to our human rights framework. In particular, should we acknowledge a human right to a human decision with the result that certain forms of decision-making should be reserved exclusively to our fellow human beings.

UCHV Event - Author Meets Critics: Andrew Koppelman's Burning Down the House: How Libertarian Philosophy Was Corrupted by Delusion and Greed
Apr 24, 2023, 4:30 pm

Andrew Koppelmann, John Paul Stevens Professor of Law and Professor of Political Science at Northwestern University

Respondent: Leif Wenar, Olive H. Palmer Professor in Humanities and Professor of Political Science and Professor of Law Senior Fellow, Woods Institute for the…