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Liberalism and the Moral Psychology of Identity
In his lecture, Akeel Bilgrami will argue that the deepest philosophical challenge to liberalism comes not from communitarianism but rather lies in the field of moral psychology and it is the notion of identity which is its location rather than the notion of community. He will consider Mill’s meta-inductive arguments for liberty and Rawls’s contractualist argument for his first principle (of liberty) to elaborate this argument, focusing on Islamic identity in particular as a foil.
Akeel Bilgrami got a B.A in English Literature from Elphinstone College, Bombay University and went to Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar where he read Philosophy, Politics, and Economics. He has a Ph.D in Philosophy from the University of Chicago. He is the Sidney Morgenbesser Professor of Philosophy at Columbia University, where he is also a Professor on the Committee on Global Thought. He was the Director of the Humanities Center at Columbia University for seven years and is currently the Director of its South Asian Institute. His publications include the books Belief and Meaning (1992), Self-Knowledge and Resentment (2006), and Secularism, Identity and Enchantment (2014). He is due to publish two short books in the near future: What is a Muslim? and Gandhi's Integrity. His long-term future work is on the relations between agency, value, and practical reason.