Professor Rae Langton gave the 2015 Bentham Lecture on 'Feminism and Humanism' at UCL on Wednesday 11 November.
At the core of ethics is a kind of humanism, according to Kant’s ‘principle of humanity’. We are never to treat each other as mere tools, or objects, or machines, but always as full human beings, capable, within certain limits, of determining our own lives. The same principle guides feminism: the struggle against sexual objectification, in violence or pornography, and the insistence that women be treated as full human beings. Viewed this way, feminism is a kind of humanism.