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The Clough Center for the Study of Constitutional Democracy

John Marshall Lectures in Political Philosophy

the clough center for the study of constitutional democracy

The Clough Center’s John Marshall Lectures in Political Philosophy are sponsored by the Collins Family Foundation, of Delaplane, Va., which operates under the stewardship of Dr. David C. Collins, founder of Learning Tree International, and Mary Collins. The lecture series is named in honor of the great Chief Justice (1801-1835) of the U.S. Supreme Court, and American Founder, John Marshall (1755-1835). Dr. and Mrs. Collins have a longstanding interest in Marshall’s life and work. For over twenty years, they have funded the preservation and restoration of Marshall's childhood home in Markham, Virginia, which has served as an educational resource visited, to date, by some 42,000 young people. 

The John Marshall Lecture Series is administered by Political Science Professor Robert Faulkner, who is author of (amongst many other works) The Jurisprudence of John Marshall (Princeton, 1968; Greenwood Press,1980) and of a new edition of John Marshall’s Life of George Washington (Liberty Fund, 2000).

John Marshall

Preservation & Stabilization of The Hollow
This report chronicles the work Dr. Collins had done to restore the John Marshall boyhood home.

fall 2014 Program


Science is Power: Politics and Knowledge in the Thought of Francis Bacon

Friday, September 12, 2014
8:00 a.m.
McGuinn 521, Boston College
Registration required by 9/10

Learn more or register for Science is Power »


spring 2014 Programs


Strings Attached: Untangling the Ethic of Incentives
Ruth Grant, Duke University

Friday, March 28, 2014
4:00 p.m.
Higgins 300, Boston College
Strings Attached Flyer »

Ruth Grant is a Professor of Political Science at Duke University, specializing in political theory with a particular interest in early modern philosophy and political ethics. She is the author of John Locke's Liberalism and of Hypocrisy and Integrity: Machiavelli, Rousseau and the Ethics of Politics. She is also the editor of two collections of essays; Naming Evil, Judging Evil and In Search of Goodness. Her most recent book is Strings Attached: Untangling Ethics of Incentives. Her work originally focused on the historical study of liberal thought and has moved increasingly toward contemporary ethics. Her articles have appeared in a variety of journals including APSR, Political Theory, Journal of Politics, and Politics and Society. She has received fellowship awards from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Council of Learned Societies, the National Humanities Center, and the Russell Sage Foundation, and a teaching award from Duke University.


Tyranny Ancient and Modern: Paideia versus Method
Waller Newell, Carleton University

Due to Illness, Prof. Waller Newell has had to cancel the luncheon discussion scheduled for tomorrow, Wednesday, March 19. We regret this and will reschedule.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014
12:00 p.m.
10 Stone Ave, Boston College
RSVP required by March 14 @

Waller R. Newell is Professor of Political Science and Philosophy and co-director of the Centre for Liberal Education and Public Affairs at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada. He was educated at the University of Toronto, where he received a B.A. in Arts and Sciences and an M.A. in Political Economy, and at Yale University, where he received a Ph.D. in Political Science. He has been a John Adams Fellow at the University of London (1997), a Fellow of the Eccles Centre at the British Library (1997), a Fellow of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C. (1990-91), the National Humanities Center in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina (1985-86), and a Junior Fellow of Massey College, the University of Toronto (1974-75). He has also held a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship for University Teachers and a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Postdoctoral Fellowship.

His teaching and scholarship are focused on the history of political philosophy. His specializations include classical political philosophy (including Plato, Aristotle and Xenophon) and German Idealism with its ramifications for contemporary phenomenology, critical theory and post-modernism (including Hegel, Nietzsche and Heidegger).


Fall 2013 Programs


Exchange and Self-falsification: J.J. Rousseau and Adam Smith in Dialogue
Charles L. Griswold, Boston University

Friday, November 8, 2013
4:00 p.m.
Higgins 300

Rousseau claims in the Discourses and elsewhere that we can no longer appear as who or what we are. On his account, this lamentable development is expressed in commercial exchange (though not only there). What does Rousseau mean by this remarkable claim? Is it defensible? By way of answering these questions about "self-falsification," as Griswold calls it, this talk considers a famous passage from Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations about exchange with the butcher, brewer, and baker. Conclusion: suitably interpreted, Rousseau's point is well worth consideration. Drawing on this "dialogue" between Rousseau and Smith, Griswold offers thoughts on what both being oneself and freedom might mean for each thinker.
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