Oct. 29, 1998
Vol. 18, No. 3

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    Olin Center Lecture Series focusing on character of nations

    The philosophical concept that describes nations as having characters all their own is being discussed during the John M. Olin Center Lecture Series titled "The Souls of Nations and the Prospects for Democracy."

    "For a long time, literature and philosophy spoke as if each nation had an essence or character or soul that defined it or distinguished it from universal human nature, in which that character was also understood to participate," said Joseph Crospey, Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus in Political Science and an organizer of the series.

    "To speak of national character today seems to be difficult, possibly offensive, and yet unavoidable, even in an age of heralded globalism," said Crospey. "We all recognize the characteristic manners of various nations, even as we also know the horrors produced by perverted theories about national character. We wish to ask questions such as what is a nation and what is the relevance for politics of national identity."

    The following is a list of Fall Quarter lectures that will discuss the national identities of specific nations. All lectures are scheduled to begin at 4:30 p.m. in the Social Science Research Building, 1126 E. 59th St., Room 122.

    REmi Brague, professor of philosophy at the University of Paris I, will present "French Unconsciousness" Wednesday, Nov. 4.

    Anthony Yu, the Carl Darling Buck Distinguished Service Professor in the Humanisties, will speak on "Enduring Change: Confucianism and Human Rights" Wednesday, Nov. 18.

    The following lectures are scheduled during the Winter Quarter.

    Professor Hillel Fradkin of the American Enterprise Institute will discuss Israel Wednesday, Jan. 20; J.C.D. Clark, professor of history at the University of Kansas, will speak about England Wednesday, Feb. 3; Andrew Delbanco, professor of English at Columbia, will discuss the United States Wednesday, Feb. 17.

    Lecturers scheduled to present talks in the series during the Spring Quarter are: Donna Orwin, professor of Slavic languages and literatures at the University of Toronto, who will discuss Russia Thursday, April 15, and Dieter Henrich, professor at the Institute for Philosophy of Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich, who will discuss Germany Wednesday, May 12.