ON-Lion Letter

The current debate about the role of the humanities, as well as the sometimes-forgotten boundaries and limitations of what can finally be claimed by social science, provided Pepperdine University a robust environment in which to revisit the legacy of Bradley Prize recipient James Q. Wilson with a two-day conference in late February and early March.  Even given Wilson’s storied and complete allegiance to "the data," he had the courage to explore doggedly the most-important questions related to human character, the moral sense, and America’s continuing experiment in governance that is unarguably exceptional.


Wilson was the Ronald Reagan Professor of Public Policy at Pepperdine when he died in 2012.


The Pepperdine conference, “Character and the Moral Sense:  James Q. Wilson and the Future of Public Policy,” featured panels and speakers that considered:  the continuing search for moral responsibility in public policy; whether public policy can be the nexus for a conversation between science, social science, and the humanities; the moral sense and American exceptionalism; and ways in which to strengthen and enrich the curricula of schools of public policy, public administration, and public affairs.


The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation in Milwaukee supported the conference, some sessions of which are viewable online.

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