Judith N. Shklar is the John Cowles Professor of Government at Harvard University. She was born in Riga, Latvia and received the B.A. and M.A. degrees from McGill University in 1949 and 1950. She earned her Ph.D. at Harvard in 1955. She has served as president of the American Society for Political and Legal Philosophy and as vice president of the American Political Science Association.

Professor Shklar has held fellowships from the American Association of University Women, the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and All Souls College, Oxford She has been a Fellow of the John D. and Catherine T MacArthur Foundation. In 1986, she was the Carlyle Lecturer at Oxford, and in 1988, the Storrs Lecturer at Yale. She has spent her entire academic career as a member of the Harvard University faculty. Professor Shklar is the author or editor of seven books.

Professor Shklar’s lecture exhibits all the characteristic traits that prompted ACLS to invite her to deliver the Haskins lecture. Her capacity for perceptive observations and trenchant analysis, her ability to elucidate complex ideas, her willingness to tackle the most difficult intellectual problems, and her absolute candor are all here in abundance. Most of all, Judith Shklar’s unshakable independence of mind appears in this lecture, as it does in all that she has written.

The 1989 Charles Homer Haskins Lecture