Annual Uehiro Lectures in Practical Ethics

About the Series

The annual public Uehiro Lecture Series captures the ethos of the Uehiro Centre, which is to bring the best scholarship in analytic philosophy to bear on the most significant problems of our time, and to make progress in the analysis and resolution of these issues to the highest academic standard, in a manner that is also accessible to the general public. Philosophy should not only create knowledge, it should make people’s lives better.

In keeping with this, the Annual Uehiro Lectures are published as a book series by Oxford University Press and we are pleased to announce the recent publication of the latest in the series by 2017 Uehiro Lecturer, Professor Larry S. Temkin, Being Good in a World of Need. Published in January 2022, the book was selected to feature in Oxford University Press' digital campaign 'Philosophy in Focus'. Explore free content and recommended reading here. Search the archives here.

Upcoming Lectures

Photograph of Thomas Hurka

We are delighted to announce that Professor Thomas Hurka will deliver the 2023 Annual Uehiro Lectures in Practical Ethics, to be held at the Oxford Martin School. The lecture series is entitled "Knowledge and Achievement: Their Value, Nature, and Public Policy Role", and individual lecture titles are given below. 

Booking is now open for in-person attendance and the registration links are listed below.  We aim to release video recordings of all three lectures as soon as we can once the series has concluded. Further details on this to follow.

All are welcome to register to attend these free, public lectures - we hope you will be able to join us! 

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Lecture 1: Friday 13 October, 4.30 – 6.30pm
Knowledge and Achievement as Organic Goods

Lecture 2: Wednesday 18 October, 4.30 – 6.30pm
Degrees of Value in Knowledge and Achievement

Lecture 3: Friday 20 October, 4.30 – 6.30pm
Knowledge and Achievement as Public Policy Goals

Book Series
Professor Larry Temkin

We are pleased to announce details of the latest publication in the Uehiro Series in Practical Ethics, published by Oxford University Press.

Being Good in a World of Need

by Larry S. Temkin (2017 Uehiro Lecturer)

In a world filled with both enormous wealth and pockets of great devastation, how should the well-off respond to the world's needy?

This is the urgent central question of Being Good in a World of Need. Larry S. Temkin, one of the world's foremost ethicists, challenges common assumptions about philanthropy, his own prior beliefs, and the dominant philosophical positions of Peter Singer and Effective Altruism. Filled with keen analysis and insightful discussions of philosophy, current events, development economics, history, literature, and age-old wisdom, this book is a thorough and sobering exploration of the complicated ways that global aid may incentivize disastrous policies, reward corruption, and foster “brain drains” that hinder social and economic development.

Using real-world examples and illuminating thought experiments, Temkin discusses ethical imperialism, humanitarian versus developmental aid, how charities ignore or coverup negative impacts, replicability and scaling-up problems, and the views of the renowned economists Angus Deaton and Jeffrey Sachs, all within the context of deeper philosophical issues of fairness, responsibility, and individual versus collective morality. At times both inspiring and profoundly disturbing, he presents the powerful argument that neglecting the needy is morally impermissible, even as he illustrates that the path towards helping others is often fraught with complex ethical and practical perils. Steeped in empathy, morality, pathos, and humanity, this is an engaging and eye-opening text for any reader who shares an intense concern for helping others in need.

Philosophy in Focus

We are delighted that Professor Temkin's book has been selected to feature in Oxford University Press' digital campaign 'Philosophy in Focus'.

For February 2022, 'Philosophy in Focus' shines a light on 'social justice' where OUP authors address questions on human rights, equality, social responsibility, and what is needed to achieve social justice. Explore a range of free content on topics such as race, gender, feminism, religion, democracy, the ethics foreign policy and more.

Explore free content and recommended reading here. Search the archives here.

More details on the Uehiro Lecture series on OUP website.

The Uehiro Lectures by Year
Uehiro lectures podcast album logo

Audio recordings of the Lectures from 2011 onwards are freely available to download from Oxford Podcasts.  Where available, other resources can be found on the Past Lectures pages below.


Videos of some of the Uehiro Centre's Annual Lectures, including Allen Buchanan (2009), Janet Radcliffe Richards (2012), Tim Scanlon (2013), Michael Otsuka (2020) and Peter Railton (2022) are available on our YouTube channel (full playlist below).
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