Some Philosophical Reflections on Our Political Ideals

Professor Akeel Bilgrami

February 22, 2018 · 12-1PM

Columbia University, Fayerweather Hall, Room 411

The Committee on Global Thought (CGT) Lunchtime Seminars are a forum for Columbia University faculty and visiting scholars to present current research characterizing and assessing issues of global importance.

Read more about the CGT Lunchtime Seminars.

About the Speaker

Akeel Bilgrami is a Sidney Morgenbesser Professor of Philosophy. He is a founding member of the Committee on Global Thought. He earned his philosophy degree from Bombay University before attending Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar. There, he earned another Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (1974). He has a PhD from the University of Chicago (1983),  and joined the Philosophy Department in 1985 after spending two years as an Assistant Professor at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

His book of selected essays on the moral psychology of politics entitled Secularism, Identity, and Enchantment was published by Harvard University Press in March 2014.  He is also contracted to publish two small books in the very near future, one called What is a Muslim? (Princeton University Press) and another on Gandhi’s philosophy, situating Gandhi’s thought in seventeenth century dissent in England and Europe and more broadly within the Radical Enlightenment and the radical strand in the Romantic tradition (Columbia University Press).

He teaches courses and seminars regularly in the department on Philosophy of Mind and Language and also in the Committee on Global Thought and Political Science on issues in Politics and Rationality as well as Religion and Politics in a Global Context.

Background Reading

Akeel Bilgrami provided recommended reading in advance of the Lunchtime Seminar. Download the PDF.

See more photos from the event here.

Spring 2018 Schedule

Below is the Lunchtime Seminar schedule for Fall 2017. The seminars take place on Thursdays from 12-1pm in Fayerweather Hall, Room 411 unless otherwise noted. Please check back for updates to the schedule.

February 22

Akeel Bilgrami, “Some Philosophical Reflections on Our Political Ideals”

March 8

Esteban Calvo, “From Cells to Society: Rethinking Public Policy in a Changing World”

March 29

Peter Marcotullio, “Climate Change and Urban Heat: Exploring Patterns and Factors of Future Global Vulnerability”

April 5

Ursula Staudinger, “As You Sow, So Shall You Reap: Gender-Role Attitudes and Late-Life Cognition”

April 19

Yasmine Ergas, “Markets in Mothers and Markets in Children”


The seminars take place on Thursdays from 12-1pm in Fayerweather Hall, Room 411 unless otherwise noted.