Join us for the Annual Peace Lecture – online link to follow.

Tuesday 11 May 2021, 17:00-19:00

Cécile Fabre:

Snatching Something From Death: 

Value, Justice, and Humankind’s Common Heritage

When Notre-Dame Cathedral was engulfed by fire on April 15, 2019, the world (it seemed) watched in horror. On Twitter, Facebook, in newspapers and on TV cables ranging as far afield from Paris as South Africa, China and Chile, people expressed their sorrow at the partial destruction of the church, and retrospective anguish at the thought of what might very well have happened – the complete loss of a jewel of Gothic architecture whose value somehow transcends time and space. My aim in this lecture is to offer a philosophical account and defence of the view that there is such a thing as humankind’s common heritage, and that this heritage makes stringent moral demands on us. I first offer an account of the universal value of (some) heritage goods, and then offer a conception of justice at the bar of which we owe it to one another, but also to our ancestors and successors, to preserve that heritage.

Professor Cécile Fabre is a Fellow of the British Academy, Senior Research Fellow at All Souls College, and Professor of Political Philosophy at Oxford University.

The lecture will be chaired by Professor MM McCabe, FBA, Chair of the British Academy Philosophy Section and Professor of Ancient Philosophy Emerita, King’s College London.

The Peace Lectures are due to Alan Lacey, a life-long pacifist who taught philosophy at King’s College London for some fifteen years, and who left a generous bequest to fund a lecture series promoting peace.