Claremont McKenna College


February 19, 01

Vol. 16 , No. 07   


View Entire Issue (Vol. 16 , No. 07)


Civil Liberties and Public Morality
ROBERT GEORGE
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 21, 2001

Why prevent victimless crimes? Why not let people act as they please as long as they do no harm to others? Many Americans agree that government has no business meddling in the "private lives" of its citizens, but Robert George thinks that this opinion needs to be reexamined. McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence at Princeton University, Robert P. George persuasively argues that private virtue is a matter of public concern. George embraces "natural law theory" while questioning the central doctrines of modern liberal jurisprudence. He argues that moral legislation can play a legitimate role in maintaining a social environment conducive to virtue and inhospitable to at least some forms of vice.

In Making Men Moral: Civil Liberties and Public Morality (1995), George defends the society which seeks to "make men moral" as long as the moral legislation is rightly grounded in natural law. In so doing, he replaces legal positivism - the notion that actions are right or wrong because government says so - with objective moral truths discoverable by reason.

Natural law theory is enjoying a revival of interest in a variety of scholarly disciplines including law, philosophy, political science, and theology. Robert George stands at the forefront of this movement. In addition to Making Men Moral, he is author of In Defense of Natural Law (1999) and The Autonomy of Law: Essays on Legal Positivism (1999). He has also published articles in the areas of jurisprudence and constirutional law. George is a member of the editorial board of the American Journal of Jurisprudence and the board of directors of the Philosophy Education Society. He has received a Judicial Fellowship from the Supreme Court of the United States and is a former Presidential appointee to the United States Commission on Civil Rights.

Robert George received a law degree from Harvard Law School and a doctorate in philosophy from Oxford University. Professor George's talk is sponsored by CMC's Henry Salvatori Center for the Study of Individual Freedom in the Modern World.




Marian Miner Cook Athenaeum

The Marian Miner Cook Athenaeum was conceived as a place where students and faculty could gather for intellectual discourse in an intimate and relaxed setting and integrate their academic and social lives. Public programs are scheduled Monday through Thursday during the academic year and are publicized through the bi-weekly newsletter, The Fortnightly.

While events are primarily for students, the Athenaeum hosts lunches, dinners, and receptions for academic classes, student organizations, and official functions of the College.

Upcoming Speakers View Full Schedule

Make a Meal Reservation Weekly Dinner Menu

The Fortnightly

The Fortnightly contains program news of the current speakers and topics for the Marian Miner Cook Athenaeum at Claremont McKenna College.

Read Current Issue

Speakers Database

A searchable archive of past Marian Miner Cook Athenaeum speakers with information on topics and links to related Fortnightly issues.

Search the Speaker Database

Follow M.M.C. Athenaeum

Contact

Marian Miner Cook Athenaeum

Claremont McKenna College
385 E. Eighth Street
Claremont, CA 91711

Phone: (909) 621-8244
Fax: (909) 621-8579
Email:

Campus Location

385 E. Eighth Street
Claremont, CA 91711