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John Lysaker is the Next Speaker in the Mudd Lecture Series John Lysaker, a professor of philosophy at Emory University, will give a lecture on Jan. 30 at 5 p.m.

John-Lysaker_Mudd-Lecture_013023-328x400 John Lysaker is the Next Speaker in the Mudd Lecture SeriesJohn Lysaker

John Lysaker, the William R. Kenan Professor of Philosophy at Emory University, will present a lecture on Jan. 30 at 5 p.m. in the Stackhouse Theater as part of Washington and Lee University’s Mudd Center for Ethics’ series on “Beneficence: Practicing and Ethics of Care.”

Lysaker’s lecture, which is free and open to the public, is titled “Become Who You Aren’t: Friendship as Spectacle.” This event can also be accessed via Livestream.

Lysaker’s research centers around phenomena such as the good life, the nature and social function of art, and the nature of the self and its fate in schizophrenia. He approaches his work through the interdisciplinary lenses of ethics, the philosophy of art and literature, philosophical psychology, and nineteenth and twentieth-century American and continental philosophies. Lysaker has a particular interest in the study of friendship, examining it as a site of non-obligatory goodwill and care, and exploring the enriching impact a benevolent regard for others has on a person’s life.

“John Lysaker is interested in a wide range of topics related to art, literature and the good life. Most recently, his work has focused on friendship, hope, love and forgiveness,” said Karla Murdock, director of the Mudd Center. “Professor Lysaker’s lecture will address friendship as an inspiration and vehicle for practicing beneficence and care, paying particular attention to the benefits of friendships that bridge differences between us.”

Lysaker earned a bachelor’s degree from Kenyon College and a doctorate from Vanderbilt University. Before joining the faculty at Emory University in 2009, he taught philosophy and comparative literature at the University of Oregon. Lysaker has authored several books and numerous articles primarily exploring the writings of various thinkers, poets and artists, such as Ralph Waldo Emerson, Anselm Kiefer and Brian Eno. He is currently working on two book-length projects, including an extended meditation on friendship.

The Mudd Center was established in 2010 through a gift to Washington and Lee from award-winning journalist Roger Mudd, a 1950 graduate of the university. By facilitating collaboration across traditional institutional boundaries, the center aims to encourage a multidisciplinary perspective on ethics informed by theory and practice. Previous Mudd Center lecture series topics have included Race and Justice in America, The Ethics of Citizenship, Markets and Morals, Equality and Difference, The Ethics of Identity and The Ethics of Technology.

For more information and a complete schedule of events, visit the series webpage.