The Merlan Lecture

The Scripps College graduating class of 1969 established and dedicated the Merlan Lecture to honor the memory of their beloved professor, Philip Merlan. Philip Merlan was a professor at Scripps college for 25 years, during which time he also held visiting positions at Bonn, Columbia, Munich, and Oxford. He is the author of more than 300 hundred papers on topics as diverse as the history of philosophy — particularly ancient, medieval, and early modern philosophy — as well as jurisprudence, and literature. His books, From Platonism to Neoplatonism and Monopsychism, Mysticism, and Metaconsciousness, are classic works of philosophy.

Franciszka Merlan’s name was added to the lectureship in 1983. Franciszka Merlan was committed to her husband’s work. She edited a posthumous eight volume series of his papers. She was also a respected scholar and teacher in her own right, holding positions at Columbia, Krakow, Pomona, and Scripps. Her name was added as a tribute to her contribution to her students, to Philip Merlan’s work, and to Scripps College.

Past Lectures

Name Speech
2016 Harry Frankfurt Moral Reason and the Necessities of Love.
2015 Professor Derek Parfit Can We Avoid the Repugnant Conclusion? On a Problem in the Ethics of Population.
2013 Professor Christine Korsgaard On Having a Good
2011 Professor Ronald Dworkin Einstein’s God: Must Religion Be Supernatural?
2010 Professor Daniel Dennett Difficulties with Darwin’s Dangerous Idea: What Fodor and Nagel Don’t Understand
2008 Professor Peter Singer Global Poverty: What Are Our Obligations?
2006 Professor Catharine A. MacKinnon Women’s September 11th: Rethinking the International Law of Conflict
2005 Professor Amartya Sen Why Should Justice Be Seen To Be Done?
2004 Professor Thomas Nagel The Problem of Global Justice
2003 Professor Jonathan Lear An Earnest Plea for Irony
2001 Professor Alfred Mele Human Agency Par Excellence