Rachel Barney Gives 2024 Tanner Lectures at Berkeley

Published: June 7, 2024

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In April, Rachel Barney spoke at University of California, Berkeley to deliver the prestigious Tanner Lectures on Human Values. Barney’s three lectures, collectively titled “The Authority of Craft,” centered around recovering Plato’s idea of craft or art, technê, and the craft model: the idea that both the moral virtue of the good person and the political wisdom of the expert ruler are—or could be made into—skilled practices as reliable as shoemaking or carpentry. You can listen to her lectures for free online.

Barney follows in a long line of renowned speakers  in the lecture series, created in 1978 by the philosopher and philanthropist Obert Clark Tanner, who through the series sought to advance and reflect on the scholarly and scientific understanding of issues related to human value. Previous speakers have included Michel Foucault (1979-80), Spike Lee (2010), Ruth Bader Ginsburg (2014-15),  and our very own Arthur Ripstein (2018-19).

Barney has been collecting honours of late: She also recently received a Dean’s Research Excellence Award for her work on Plato’s philosophy. Congratulations on all her accomplishments!