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Tanner Lecture

Michigan is one of nine institutions worldwide that hosts an annual Tanner Lecture on Human Values. Tanner Lectures are funded through the generosity of the late Professor of Philosophy, industrialist, and philanthropist, Obert Clark Tanner, and his wife, Grace Tanner. Professor Tanner wrote:

I hope these lectures will contribute to the intellectual and moral life of mankind. I see them simply as a search for a better understanding of human behavior and human values. This understanding may be pursued for its own intrinsic worth, but it may also eventually have practical consequences for the quality of personal and social life.

Although the Tanners established the supporting endowment in 1978, Joel Feinberg's April 1977 lecture at Michigan inaugurated the international series of Tanner Lectures.

Each year, Michigan has a Tanner Lecture combined with an interdisciplinary symposium to which we invite distinguished scholars from around the world. These events are free and open to the public. The complete list of Tanner Lecture Programs at Michigan is available here.

2019–2020 Tanner Lecture

Theorizing Racial Justice

Dr. Charles Mills

City University of New York, Professor of

Philosophy, The Graduate Center


Wednesday, February 12, 2020


Auditorium, Rackham Graduate School

The 2019-2020 Tanner Lecture at the University of Michigan will be given by prominent philosopher Charles Mills. This year's Tanner Lecture will look at racial justice from a philosophical point of view: whether it’s worth singling out, how it’s demarcated from other kinds of justice, what are its different dimensions, the relation between distributive and corrective justice, which normative framework to employ, etc. The lecture will build on an essay published by Mills in 2018, “Racial Justice.” A more detailed abstract will be provided closer to the event date.


Symposium on the Tanner Lecture

Thursday, February 13, 2020
Amphitheater, Rackham Graduate School


Charles Mills, City University of New York

Samuel Freeman, University of Pennsylvania

 Michele Moody-Adams, Columbia University

Nikhil Pal Singh, New York University