The MCC 2018-19 Lecture Series opens on Thursday, Oct. 11, when “Why Not Lying is Not Enough” will be addressed by Sherman J. Clark, the Kirkland & Ellis Professor of Law at the University of Michigan Law School.
Free and open to the public, the event, which is linked to the 2018 ahFest theme of “Truth,” begins at 7 p.m. in Stevenson Center Room 1100.
“Something is wrong with our public discourse,” explains Clark. “We worry about civility, but that does not get to the heart of the matter. More substantively, we worry about the erosion of truth, but lies are not the only troubling form of speech.”
“Persuasive arguments can have an impact on those persuaded—on their character, and thus on their capacity to thrive as individuals and as democratic citizens. The impact in each case may be marginal, but small doses add up. When we argue, therefore, whether in an effort to win elections, push public policy, or make social change, we should be aware of not just what we persuade people to do but also what we do to people through the process of persuasion.”
“Dr. Clark’s talk is perfectly tied to this year’s theme of Truth for ahFest,” noted MCC Philosophy Instructor Andy Wible, who coordinates the college’s Lecture Series. “Civility requires better public discourse than we have had. I look forward to hearing from Dr. Clark how we can do better.”
Clark teaches courses in Torts, Evidence, and Legal Ethics at the U of M Law School, which he joined in 1995. After graduating from the Harvard Law School, Clark practiced with Kirkland & Ellis in Washington D.C. His research interests include legal ethics, evidence, sports law, legal education, and law and literature. He is most interested in the ways in which law and politics, including legal and political rhetoric, may shape our character and thus impact our capacity to thrive—both as individuals and as a democratic community.
For more information on the MCC Lecture Series, contact Andy Wible at (231) 777-0626.