The Proper Dignity of Human Being: Later Heidegger and the Philosophical Tradition
Sean D. Kelly, Harvard University
The Annual Evelyn Barker Memorial Lecture, part of the Spring 2024 Humanities Forum

In 1947, Martin Heidegger wrote what is now known as his “Letter on Humanism,” which is rich and revealing. At the center of the Letter stands a singular, pointed claim: that all previous “humanisms,” have failed to recognize the “proper dignity of human being.” Drawn from a book in progress, this talk will explore questions of our proper dignity, and the threat to it posed by the technological age.


Sean Kelly earned an Sc.B. in Mathematics and Computer Science and an M.S. in Cognitive and Linguistic Sciences from Brown University in 1989. After several years as a graduate student in Logic and Methodology of Science, he finally received his Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of California at Berkeley in 1998. He taught in Philosophy and the Humanities at Stanford and in Philosophy and Neuroscience at Princeton before joining the Harvard Faculty in 2006. His work focuses on various aspects of the philosophical, phenomenological, and cognitive neuroscientific nature of human experience. Kelly is the co-author, with Hubert Dreyfus, of The New York Times bestselling book All Things Shining: Reading the Western Classics to Find Meaning in a Secular Age (2011), and he is currently working on a book for Harvard University Press entitled The Proper Dignity of Human Being.


Admission is free.


This lecture is organized by the Department of Philosophy and is co-sponsored by the Dresher Center for the Humanities.

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Add to Calendar 20240411 America/New_York 1000 Hilltop Circle Baltimore MD 21250 Humanities Forum: Evelyn Barker Lecture with Sean D. Kelly