Oldest Chair of Philosophy Renamed after 400th Anniversary Donation – India Education | Latest Education News | Global education news
The White Chair in Moral Philosophy was Oxford’s first professor of philosophy when it was established 400 years ago. He has now become the Sekyra and White Chair of Moral Philosophy in recognition of the gift of the Sekyra Foundation. The Foundation was created by Czech businessman Luděk Sekyra to support human rights, moral universalism, liberal values and civil society.
Professor Louise Richardson, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Oxford, said: “At Oxford, we are proud of the long-standing ties between our philosophers and Prague, dating back to Jan Hus translating banned works by John Wycliffe in the 14th century. and 15th centuries. It is wonderful that in its 400th year the chair has become the Sekyra and White Chair in Moral Philosophy. We are very grateful to Luděk and the Sekyra Foundation for this generous donation. “
Mr Luděk Sekyra, Founder of the Sekyra Foundation and Owner of the Sekyra Group, said: “Nothing could better characterize the tradition and intellectual excellence that we associate on behalf of the University of Oxford than the Chair of Moral Philosophy established in 1621 by Thomas White. , the oldest university chair of philosophy.
“I often wonder why we so rarely ask ourselves how to live a good life, what constitutes moral progress, what is our responsibility to future generations, why the public sphere is not also a sphere of morality, and how continuity of humanity is affected. by technology and global climate change. These challenges, which have been the subject of my discussions with philosophers at Oxford, among others, help us discover deeper levels of reality, the essence of the life we lead. I am happy to have been able to contribute to this dialogue.
This donation builds on a long history of collaboration between Czech and Oxford-based philosophers. Jan Hus was inspired and built on the works of John Wycliffe in the 14th and 15th centuries, and Wycliffe’s teachings inspired the Hussite movement. Medical students were invited to complete their studies at Oxford after the Czech universities closed in 1939. In the late 1970s, under the Communist regime, Oxford philosophers visited underground philosophy seminars in Prague. In the 1980s, teachers in Oxford founded the Jan Hus Educational Foundation.
Sekyra and White’s Professor of Moral Philosophy leads the study and development of moral philosophy within Oxford and supervises doctoral and master’s students on the subject. The incumbent also chairs the Oxford Moral Philosophy Seminar, which has hosted the world’s foremost moral philosophers over the past decades. Former Chairholders have contributed to debates around the greatest challenges facing humanity. Professor John Broome continues to publish extensively on climate change. Professor Bernard Williams has worked on royal commissions and government committees, including on drug addiction, gambling, social inequality, and film obscenity and censorship. Sekyra and White’s current moral philosophy professor, Professor Jeff McMahan, explores moral issues such as war, abortion, and our treatment of animals.
Professor Chris Timpson, Chairman of the Board of the Faculty of Philosophy at the University of Oxford, said: “The names of the holders of this chair today resonate like the touchstones of a rigorous, humane and philosophical inquiry. urgent. They have fueled revolutions in our philosophical and moral understanding and have trained generations of student researchers to the highest standards. The significant contribution of the Sekyra Foundation ensures that this work will continue – and progress – long into the future. “
Professor Jeff McMahan, Sekyra and White Professor of Moral Philosophy at the University of Oxford, said: “For much of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, Oxford was the best place in the world for the study of moral philosophy. This is in part because some of the holders of White’s Professorship of Moral Philosophy – for example, Sir David Ross, RM Hare and Sir Bernard Williams – are widely considered to have been the best and most important moral philosophers. of the world. world at the time they held the pulpit. The Sekyra Foundation’s endowment of what will become the Sekyra and White’s Chair ensures that this distinguished, 400-year-old position will finally be secure for the future.
A public event on Thursday October 21 marked the anniversary and the giveaway. It was a discussion on the topic “Is procreation morally wrong? Is it compulsory? ‘ between Professor Jeff McMahan, the current incumbent, and the philosophers of the University of Oxford, Professor John Broome and Professor Hilary Greaves. Oxford professor Alison Hills chaired the debate. Mr. Sekyra attended the event, which can be viewed at this link.
The Sekyra Foundation has already supported the developments of the University of Oxford and its colleges. This includes the construction of the Sekyra House, a student center at Harris Manchester College, and the installation of a bench in honor of Václav Havel in the university parks. The Foundation also offers scholarships to postgraduate students in philosophy and legal theory, including human rights issues.