Human Exceptionalism

Leon Kass Awarded National Endowment for Humanites Most Prestigious Honor

Good for Leon Kass and well deserved! The country’s most eloquent and articulate defender of intrinsic human dignity will be giving the NEH Jefferson Lecture, the Endowment’s most prestigious honor. From the press release:

Dr. Leon R. Kass, a widely published author, award-winning humanities teacher, and one of America’s leading moral philosophers and experts on medical ethics, will deliver the 2009 Jefferson Lecture in the Humanities, the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) announced today. The annual NEH-sponsored Jefferson Lecture is the most prestigious honor the federal government bestows for distinguished intellectual achievement in the humanities.

“Leon Kass is an outstanding scholar, a gifted teacher, and one of our nation’s leading humanists,” said NEH Acting Chairman Carole M. Watson. “He has brought the wisdom of the humanities to bear on many topics, from bioethics to courtship, and his dedication to undergraduate teaching in the humanities has benefited a generation of students.”

Kass was vilified by utilitarian bioethicists during his tenure as head of the President’s Council because he opposes human cloning and stands up for human exceptionalism. In an age when the social outlaws and radicals get most of the attention, it is gratifying to see one of the true greats receive the credit he deserves.


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