Philosopher to Deliver Lecture on Arab Spring, Israeli Spring at UM

February 19, 2014

MISSOULA – Avishai Margalit, one of the foremost living philosophers and a brilliant commentator on contemporary moral issues facing Western societies, will deliver a lecture about the Arab Spring and the Israeli Spring as part of the University of Montana President’s Lecture Series at 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 28, in the University Center Ballroom.

Margalit’s lecture, “The Arab Spring and the Israeli Spring,” also will be the Henry Bugbee Annual Lecture on Philosophy. Earlier that same day, he will deliver a seminar titled “Betrayal: Political and Personal” from 3:10 to 4:30 p.m. in Gallagher Business Building Room 123. Both events are free and open to the public.

Margalit has taught at Oxford University and Stanford University, and has held both a Rockefeller Fellowship and the George F. Kennan professorship at Princeton University. He currently serves as the Shulman Professor of Philosophy emeritus at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and as the Edward A. Heafey Jr. visiting professor at the Stanford University Law School. His seminar at Stanford, “Betrayal and Loyalty, Treason and Trust,” draws on a rich variety of philosophical, historical and literary works.

In addition to his teaching, Margalit provides independent-minded analysis of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the broader struggle between Islam and the West for The New York Review of Books and other publications. He has written several books, including “Idolatry,” “The Decent Society,” “Views in Review: Politics and Culture in the State of the Jews,” “The Ethics of Memory,” “Occidentalism: The West in the Eyes of its Enemies” and “On Compromise with Rotten Compromises,” which was the 2012 winner of the Philosophical Book Award from the Hannover Institute of Philosophical Research.

Margalit was awarded the Spinoza Lens Award by the International Spinoza Foundation in Amsterdam in 2001; the 2007 EMET Prize for excellence in academic and professional achievements, given by the Israeli prime minister for civic education; and the 2010 Israel Prize in Philosophy, the highest honor awarded by the state of Israel. The Israel Prize committee described Margalit as “one of the most important philosophers in the state of Israel and one of the most valued in the world today.”

The President’s Lecture Series at UM consists of 10 talks on vital topics by distinguished guest speakers throughout the academic year. For more information on the series, visit http://umt.edu/president/events/lectures/ or call UM history Professor Richard Drake at 406-243-2981.

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Contact: Richard Drake, UM history professor and President’s Lecture Series organizer, 406-243-2981, richard.drake@mso.umt.edu.