CORVALLIS, Ore. – The Oregon State University Department of Philosophy’s Ideas Matter 2009 series, which will focus on the United Nations’ Declaration of Human Rights, begins on Thursday, Jan. 15.

Bill Uzgalis of the OSU Department of Philosophy, will speak on “How Human Rights Came About.” All lectures in the series begin at 7 p.m. in Gilfillan Auditorium, 2601 S.W. Orchard Ave. on the OSU campus. They are free and open to the community.

On Dec. 10, 1948, the United Nations adopted and proclaimed a Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In his lecture, Uzgalis will explore the nature of natural and human rights and their connections with revolution, government and international law. He also will explore arguments that historically have been used to extend rights to oppressed groups such as Jews, the poor, slaves, and women, and forces that have tended to defeat extensions of human rights.

The rest of the series includes:

• Jan. 22: “The Declaration at 60: The Journey from Rights to Goals,” Ibrahim Gassama, University of Oregon;
Jan. 29: “Humanitarian Intervention and Human Rights – A Dialogue,” David Reidy, University of Tennessee, and Michael Blake, University of Washington;
Feb. 5: “Human Rights and Linguistic Subterfuge in the Bush League,” J. Jeremy Wisnewski, Hartwick College;
Feb. 12: “Immigration, Human Rights, and Global Justice Framework,” Jorge Valadez, Our Lady of the Lake University;
Feb. 19: “Are Women Human Yet? (With a Nod to Catharine MacKinnon),” Lani Roberts, OSU;
Feb. 26: “Sequels of Political Violence in Refugees: Providing Reparation and Treatment with the Human Rights Frame,” Ruth Vargas Forman, Oregon Health & Science University;
March 5: “Environmental Degradation as a Human Rights Issue,” Steven Vanderheiden, University of Colorado at Boulder.

For more information on the series, go to at

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Leonora Rianda,