Dr. Kenneth Kemp to Speak on Profiles in Humility at Philosophy Colloquium

Dr. Kenneth Kemp, associate professor in the Philosophy Department, will speak at this month's Philosophy Colloquium on Thursday, Feb. 17. The title of his talk is “Profiles in Humility: Jean-Baptiste Lamarck, Nathaniel Greene, Samuel Sewall, and George Wallace.”

The colloquium will be held from noon to 1 p.m. in Room 126, John R. Roach Center for the Liberal Arts. Everyone is welcome.

In his Pulitzer-Prize-winning book of 1955, President John Kennedy presented eight profiles of political courage. Following his lead,  Kemp in his paper will try to illustrate the virtue of humility by presenting four brief biographical sketches, examples of humility in two different contexts.

The first context is that of receiving an assignment to do unglamorous work. The second is that of having committed a grave and very public injustice. Kemp will illustrate the first in the lives of French biologist Jean-Baptiste Lamarck and American Revolutionary general Nathanael Greene; the second, he will illustrate in the lives of the 17th-century Massachusetts judge Samuel Sewall and 20th-century Alabama governor George Wallace.

According to Kemp, humility is a virtue we all need to cultivate. Retelling stories of humble deeds can help us in our efforts to do that.