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Our most contentious controversies today are moral. Political neutrality has failed. We disagree not only about questions of efficiency and democracy but also about what is right to do and who we are becoming as a people. We have not yet understood the implications of this shift in public reasoning from discourse about political ideals to debates about moral imperatives.To disagree well and to flourish together despite our differences, we need to understand the sources of our moral ideas. This lecture will examine the roots of our disagreement and advance a proposal for doing difference well. We can preserve civil liberties and pluralism by grounding rights in moral reasons, which provide a more secure foundation for civil rights.

A free livestream of this lecture will be available to view @ 12 noon Eastern on January 23 for those who cannot join in person.

Adam MacLeod headshot
Adam J. MacLeod, J.D.
Faulkner University, Thomas Goode Jones School of Law

Professor of Law

Adam J. MacLeod is Professor of Law at Faulkner University, Thomas Goode Jones School of Law. He is co-editor of Christie and Martin’s Jurisprudence (4th edition, West Academic 2020) and Foundations of Law (Carolina Academic Press 2017). He is the author of Property and Practical Reason (Cambridge University Press 2015) and of articles, essays, and book reviews in peer-reviewed journals and law reviews in the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia. His most recent book is The Age of Selfies: Reasoning About Rights When the Stakes Are Personal (Rowman and Littlefield 2020).

Professor MacLeod has been a Thomas Edison Fellow in the Center for the Protection of Intellectual Property at George Mason University and a visiting fellow in the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions at Princeton University. He is faculty member in the James Madison Program’s graduate seminar on the Moral Foundations of Law. He teaches courses concerning property, intellectual property, jurisprudence, and private rights theory, and speaks in academic and public venues about private rights and private ordering. He contributes to journals of news and public opinion such as the Washington Times, New Boston Post, Public Discourse, and Library of Law & Liberty.

Professor MacLeod received his B.A., summa cum laude, from Gordon College and his J.D., magna cum laude, from the University of Notre Dame Law School. After law school, he served as law clerk to Chief Justice Christopher Armstrong and Justice Benjamin Kaplan of the Massachusetts Appeals Court and to Chief Judge Lewis Babcock of the United States District Court for the District of Colorado. He entered private practice in the Boston area, where he litigated and tried cases, and has held appointments as a special Deputy Attorney General of Alabama and special counsel to the Governor of Alabama. He is a Professorial Fellow of the Alabama Policy Institute. Professor MacLeod lives in Montgomery, Alabama with the joys of his life, his wife and daughters.

Event Details

Start Date

End Date


Acton Institute | Mark Murray Auditorium
98 E. Fulton Street
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
United States


11:30 a.m. Doors open
12:00 p.m. Lecture begins
12:30 p.m. Q&A
1:00 p.m. Lecture ends


$15 General | $10 Student
Includes box lunch and beverage

(Please RSVP at least 48 hours in advance to guarantee a box lunch.)

Group discounts for schools and other organizations available.

Event livestream is free and will be available to view @ 12 noon Eastern on January 23 for those who cannot join in person.


Directions to the Acton Institute

Metered street parking is available. Please bring sufficient change with you for meters or pay for parking with the Motu Parking app on your smartphone (iOS and Android).

Paid parking lots are also available nearby. Please enter building off of Sheldon Blvd.

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