The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences

William H. Timbers ’37 Lectures

Yale Professor Daniel Markovits on Economic Equality and Inequality

In his pubic lecture titled “Meritocracy and Its Discontents,” Markovits sets out to discuss the interrelationship of meritocracy and aristocracy. As Markovits argued, both aristocracy and meritocracy foster the same ideological conceit that is an unjust allocation of advantage. Markovits’ argument constituted three points: (1) modern meritocracy has transformed the character of economic inequality; (2) the hyper-meritocracy that has developed in the United States today benefits no one; and (3) merit itself has become a sham.

During a lunch with Dartmouth students on the day of his lecture, Markovits started by describing the prevalence of economic equality in the U.S.

“Things I care about most at the moment include economic equality and inequality,” said Markovits. “Inequality in the market has increased dramatically since 1970 and may begin to happen elsewhere in the world. My intent is to describe the situation we find ourselves in, show why its unsuited to being addressed by traditional arguments about redistribution, and articulate new arguments in the face of changing circumstances.”

Public Program: The William H. Timbers '37 Lecture - "Mechanical Brains and Responsible Choices: Challenges of Neuroscience to Responsibility" this Wednesday

Please join us for the William H. Timbers ’37 Lecture: “Mechanical Brains and Responsible Choices: Challenges of Neuroscience to Responsibility” with Michael Moore in Rockefeller 003 at 4:30 pm in October 8, 2014.

What is the cause of human behavior? Is it something abstract that exists in our psychological consciousness, or is it the result of a fundamental physical chain of processes that gets transferred form neuron to neuron? A 2013 article from The New York Times stated, “Once we understand the brain well enough, we will be able to understand behavior…We will see that people don’t really possess free will; their actions are caused by material processes emerging directly out of nature.” If humans don’t possess control over their own mental processes, does it mean that scientists will eventually have the capability to control behavior if they are able to solve the biological chain of psychological processes?

Will Kymlicka Presents: "Animals and the Frontiers of Citizenship" - Tuesday, Feb 5, 2012 at 4:30 PM in Rocky 003

Could man’s best friend be man’s equivalent with regard to citizenship? From the pets that we love to the animals we fear and admire, it seems there is a clear distinction between animal and human—with the right of citizenship being reserved exclusively for humans. However, are animals deserving of protection beyond animals cruelty, potentially even citizenship?

Professor Will Kymlicka is the Chair in Political Philosophy at Queen’s University, and focuses his studies on multicultural citizenship. He questions whether animals are the type of being with whom humans can establish fair terms of cooperating citizenship. Furthermore, if citizenship were extended to “unruly beasts,” would it erode the highest forms of humanity and justice embodied within the traditional idea of citizenship?

The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences