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Distinguished philosopher to deliver Sackler lecture (Released: 4/14/97)

by Sherry Fisher, Office of University Communications.

STORRS, Conn. -- Internationally acclaimed philosopher Bernard Williams will deliver a public lecture April 23 at the University of Connecticut.

Williams will discuss "Human Rights: The Challenge of Relativism," at 7:30 p.m. in the Doris and Simon Konover Auditorium in the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center.

The lecture is the second of the Sackler Distinguished Lecture Series supported by a gift from philanthropists Raymond and Beverly Sackler.

"Williams is best known for his subtle and imaginative discussions about what is left out in other peoples' philosophies," says Joel Kupperman, professor of philosophy at UConn. Once described in the London Sunday Times as "The cleverest man in Britain," Kupperman noted, "He is especially known for his ability to think complicated thoughts very quickly."

Williams, who was born near London, England, has been the Monroe Deutsch Professor of Philosophy at the University of California, Berkeley since 1988. He has taught at All Souls College at Oxford, New College at Oxford, University College London and Bedord College London. He was a Knightbridge Professor of Philosophy at Cambridge and a Fellow and provost of King's College Cambridge. He was a White's Professor of Moral Philosophy at Oxford from 1990 - 1996 and has held visiting appointments at Princeton and Harvard. He is a fellow of the British Academy and a Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Williams has worked principally in moral philosophy, but also in the philosophy of mind, the history of philosophy and the theory of knowledge. His books include Making Sense of Humanity, 1995, Shame and Necessity, 1993, and Ethics and the Limits of Philosophy, 1985.

The Sackler Distinguished Lecture Series was established to bring internationally renowned speakers to the University of Connecticut campus to discuss human rights issues.

The Sackler family continues to be longtime generous supporters of philanthropic activities, particularly in areas of art, medicine, biological and natural sciences, mathematics and archaeology. Raymond and his wife, Beverly, are patrons of museums and galleries around the world, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, the British Museum in London and the Louvre Museum in Paris. Sackler also received an honorary knighthood from Queen Elizabeth II in recognition of his contributions to medicine science and the arts in Britain.