What follows is an edited version of the text of my presentation at Hobart and William Smith Colleges on March 31, 2011 as the 2011 Foster P. Boswell Distinguished Lecturer in Philosophy:
WHAT MICHAEL VICK TAUGHT US
Remember Michael Vick?
Do you remember all the commotion about Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick and his involvement in a dog fighting operation on some property he owned in Virginia?
Of course you do.
A better question would be to ask whether there is anyone on the planet who does not recall this matter, which was covered by the media nonstop for weeks when it first came to light in 2007 and, again, when Vick came out of prison in 2009 and signed with the Philadelphia Eagles. Vick continues to be in the news regularly. In March 2011, he was going to be recognized as a ‘hero’ by a local arts organization in Virginia and there was such controversy about the matter that Vick did not attend the ceremony. People really were furious with Vick and many still are. There are football fanatics who boycott the Eagles because of Vick.