School of History, Classics & Archaeology

Munro Lecture - Dr Adam Reed: 'Heart and head: An anthropological approach to the dynamism of moral life'

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How does the patient position- the perspective held by someone or something defined as the recipient of action- inform moral being and ethical stances? What kinds of descriptions can flow from paying closer ethnographic attention to intersections between moral agency and moral patiency? These questions have informed my current investigations into the individual commitment and organizational practice of animal welfare, in Scotland and the wider UK. More specifically, I propose to explore how an animal welfare moral orientation to the world can operate in the field of policy and the process of lawmaking, where the virtue of balance- on occasions invoked through the popular phrase ‘heart and head’- and pragmatist attitudes towards ethical positions tend to dominate. This focus includes a wider consideration of moral positioning in public life. It also broadens to reflect upon the strengths and limitations of what is sometimes termed the ethical turn, to the issue of what kind of distinctive contribution anthropologists can make to the study of moralities and moral persons; and in my case to a particular exploration of what it means to work for and live with an ethical concern to protect animals

This event is free, but ticketed, and open to all. Please reserve tickets at the Eventbrite link.

Dr Reed's Biography

Dr Adam Reed

Adam Reed is a reader in social anthropology at the University of St Andrews. He has conducted research in the United Kingdom and Papua New Guinea and is the author of two monographs: Papua New Guinea’s ‘Last Place’ (2003) and Literature and Agency in English Fiction Reading (2011). These works, alongside edited special issues and edited volumes and numerous articles and book chapters, reflect a circling interest in organizational life, material culture, subjectivity and innovative forms of social relation. Publications contribute to anthropological discussions about the nature of law, ethics, the city and literature, and have led to a range of interdisciplinary engagements, latterly with scholars in English and History. His most recent research has focused on ethical campaigning centered on animal protection and he is currently working on a book, tentatively titled, 'Animal Welfare and the Moralities of the Mainstream'.

Nov 21 2019 -

Munro Lecture - Dr Adam Reed: 'Heart and head: An anthropological approach to the dynamism of moral life'

The next Munro Lecture will be delivered by Dr Adam Reed on 21 November, 2019. This event is free and open to all.

Meadows Lecture Theatre, Doorway 4, Old Medical School, Teviot Place, Edinburgh EH8 9AG