Contemporary Authors in Bioethics:
Danielle Allen, PhD
Our Declaration: A Reading of the Declaration in Defense of Equity
Unfortunately, this event has been cancelled due to inclement weather.
Troubled by the fact that so few Americans actually know what the Declaration of Independence says, Danielle Allen, a political philosopher renowned for her work on justice and citizenship, set out to explore the arguments of the Declaration, reading it with both adult night students and University of Chicago undergraduates.
Keenly aware that the Declaration is riddled with contradictions - liberating some while subjugating slaves and Native Americans - Allen and her students nonetheless came to see that the Declaration makes a coherent and riveting argument about equality. They found not a historical text that required memorization, but an animating force that could and did transform the course of their everyday lives.
In an "uncommonly elegant, incisive, and often poetic primer on America's cardinal text," Our Declaration now brings these insights to the general reader, illuminating the "three great themes of the Declaration: equality, liberty, and the abiding power of language" (David M. Kennedy).
About the Author
Danielle Allen, PhD, is director of the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics and James Bryant Conant University Professor at Harvard University. She is a political theorist who has published broadly in democratic theory, political sociology, and the history of political thought. Widely known for her work on justice and citizenship in both ancient Athens and modern America, Allen is the author of numerous books. She is the co-editor of the award-winning Education, Justice, and Democracy (2013, with Rob Reich) and From Voice to Influence: Understanding Citizenship in the Digital Age (2015, with Jennifer Light). She is a chair of the Mellon Foundation Board, past chair of the Pulitzer Prize Board, and a member of the Open Society Foundations' U.S. Programs Board, as well as a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Philosophical Society.