Ronald E. Moore Humanities Symposium

What Makes Us Human?

November 3-5, 2016
Dee J. Kelly Alumni & Visitors Center, 2820 Stadium Drive, Fort Worth, TX

Join us for a symposium featuring scholars from a wide variety of disciplines, including anthropology, philosophy, evolutionary biology, fine arts, cognitive science/artificial intelligence and literature. All events are free and open to the public!

Symposium Schedule

Keynote Speakers – Seating is limited, so reservations are highly encouraged!

Carl Safina
Keynote address: Thursday, Nov. 3, 7 p.m.
Award-Winning Writer and Conservationist
Author of Beyond Words:What Animals Think and Feel

Make Reservations Here for Safina

Diane Ackerman
Keynote address: Saturday, Nov. 5, 3 p.m.
New York Times Bestselling Author, Poet, and Naturalist
Author of The Human Age: The World Shaped By Us

Make Reservations Here for Ackerman

Symposium Presenters

Philip Bechtel (Fort Worth, TX), “Definitions”

Christian Coseru (College of Charleston), “Does Altruism Make Us All Too Human?”

Tracy Hammond (Texas A&M), “What Activity Recognition and Artificial Intelligence Teach Us About Being Human”

A.P.D. Mourelatos (University of Texas at Austin), “Three Critiques of Anthropomorphism in Early Greek Philosophy”

Symposium Panelists

Giri Akkaraju (Texas Christian University)

Rita Brock (Texas Christian University)

Andy Fort (Texas Christian University)

Richard Galvin (Texas Christian University)

Mark Moore (Earthville Network)

Mauricio Papini (Texas Christian University)

Mark Thistlethwaite (Texas Christian University)

Carol Thompson (Texas Christian University)

Sponsored by  TCU AddRan College of Liberal Arts, the College of Science & Engineering, John V. Roach Honors College, Department of Philosophy, TCU Press and the Office of the Provost. For more information, contact Beth Philp ( or 817 257 7370). Find us on Facebook (

About the Ronald E. Moore Humanities Symposium

Dr. Ronald E. Moore was a generous benefactor and patron of TCU and Fort Worth for decades.  In addition to establishing scholarships, personally supporting students, and serving on numerous campus and city boards, Dr. Moore provided financial support for a number of symposia at TCU, including “The International Socrates Symposium and Workshop in Ancient Philosophy,” “The Thomas Jefferson Symposium,” “Nietzsche and the Philosophical Life,” “Living through Poetry,” and “Consciousness.” The Ronald E. Moore fund was established to support recurring symposia in the humanities, broadly construed.

The spirit of the humanities stretches back at least to the ancient Greeks, particularly the Greek philosopher Socrates, who famously proclaimed, “The unexamined life is not worth living.” Socrates’ interests were primarily in moral philosophy or ethics. He dedicated his life to the pursuit of knowledge of the virtues, which he considered necessary for living a good life. One of his central beliefs that he put into practice is that a life wherein one fails to question fundamental assumptions about the human condition and what is valuable for humans is one that lacks purpose and meaning. Ironically, Socrates himself professed to know nothing worthwhile, but he never quit his relentless pursuit of wisdom.

The mission of the Ronald E. Moore Humanities Symposium:

  • Promote high-quality academic scholarship by providing a forum for various intellectuals to present their work related to these various topics that have formed the core of the humanities tradition, and to engage with other participants and audience members.
  • Stimulate public discussion of the fundamental questions about the human experience among the TCU student body, faculty, and larger community.

About Ronald Moore

Dr. Moore was born in Kansas City, Mo., on Sept. 8, 1939. Rising from humble beginnings (his first job was mowing grass along the highway in Miami, Texas), he became the first in his family to earn a postgraduate degree. He went on to make his mark in both business and the arts and to share the fruits of his successes with the world. Following his graduation in philosophy from TCU in 1965, he worked with several nonprofits before returning to TCU, where he graduated with one of the university’s first MBA degrees in 1975, with honors. After several years as a banking and finance executive, he entered the medical field as an executive at several surgical care centers across the U.S., earning a reputation as a nationally-recognized expert in developing and promoting ambulatory surgery centers (then a new concept, which was proven viable in part through his successes). From 1989–1996, he served as the ambulatory care consultant to the Surgeon General of the U.S. Air Force, where he helped to reduce military health care costs by promoting the shift toward conducting surgeries on an outpatient basis. And in 1991 he leveraged his leadership in this emerging field to launch his own ambulatory surgery center business, Surgex, which achieved great success while making health care more accessible for many.

But it was never all business for Dr. Moore: he was also an accomplished singer, songwriter, musician, composer and conductor. Singing in bands throughout his years at TCU (and famously playing nearly every instrument on stage), he made several record albums and had a top-40 hit (as “Ronnie Moore”) before he even graduated. Moving on from popular music after college, he stood before orchestras on numerous occasions, conducting well-known classical pieces including Faure’s “Requiem,” Vivaldi’s “Gloria,” Schubert’s “Mass in G,” and the Brahms “Requiem.” In 2002, he wrote the lyrics for a libretto, “Love’s Trilogy,” and in 2003 he composed “Last Light,” a CD of art songs that were performed in both the U.S. and South America. Along with his professional and musical activities, Dr. Moore pursued a passion for poetry and literature. His first collection of poems, “Alterity,” was published by Current Press in 2006, and his second collection, “If in Later Years,” was published by TCU Press in 2014. Dr. Moore also had a number of his poems included in “8 Voices: Contemporary Poetry of the American Southwest,” published by Baskerville Publishers in 2012. Throughout the years, he also published poems in several well-known literary journals, including the North American Review and Descant. In 2001 he became the president and owner of Baskerville Publishers, two books of which won awards from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, while a third is being adapted by award-winning director Tom Ford for a major motion picture, “Nocturnal Animals,” in 2016.

An inveterate world traveler, Dr. Moore visited 104 countries and had residences in both Argentina and Montenegro. Not content with mere tourism, he stayed long enough to dig below the surface, observing and experiencing all that he could. He was especially interested in the formation of culture across time and space, as well as life’s bigger questions such as why we believe what we believe, why we fight, and how we love. What Dr. Moore learned in his travels informed his views of the world and our place in it, and inspired him to make a difference. In 1992, he founded the Ronald E. Moore Foundation as a platform for his philanthropy, and he served as its president since its inception. A fearless promoter of human rights, Dr. Moore was a charter member of the Executive Director’s Leadership Council for Amnesty International and a charter member for the International Campaign for Tibet’s Partners’ Council. Dr. Moore also served on the Advisory Board of Machik, a foundation promoting education and empowerment in Tibet, one of the causes dearest to his heart even long before his first meeting with the Dalai Lama in 1996.

Back at home in Fort Worth, Dr. Moore was a great patron of the arts and humanities. For over three decades, he served the Fort Worth community with tireless dedication and unswerving support, and his board memberships and administrative responsibilities were extensive. At three different times he was a board member of the Fort Worth Opera, even serving twice as its president (he also served on the board of the Santa Barbara Symphony). In addition to staging the classics, he drew a younger crowd to the opera with “Holy Blood and Crescent Moon,” an opera written by Stewart Copeland of legendary rock band The Police. Dr. Moore also served as the founding chair of the board for the Mimir Chamber Music Festival and organized and chaired the Latin American Music Festival. At his alma mater, he was the founding chair for the TCU International Board of Visitors for Fine Arts and he also served on the TCU Chancellor’s Council and on the John V. Roach Honors College Board of Visitors. Additionally, he established and helped to endow five different TCU scholarships and the Ron Moore Humanities Symposium (, endowed the TCU Frances Moore Choral Hall, and personally funded the studies of half a dozen international students at TCU.

A recipient of many awards, Dr. Moore was named as a Fort Worth Decision Maker by the Fort Worth Business Press in 1998, and in 2009 he received TCU’s highest alumni honor, the Royal Purple Award. In 2015, he received an honorary Doctor of Letters degree from TCU in recognition of his many distinguished achievements and his service to the university, the community, and the world. Though accomplished as a businessman, musician, composer and poet, Dr. Moore’s greatest impact was in helping others. He is remembered most of all for his kindness and generosity, which touched many in Fort Worth and around the world.


2014: Ronald E. Moore Humanities Symposium: Consciousness
March 27-29, 2014
Welcoming internationally renowned philosophers to present recent scholarship on consciousness and the human mind.

2011 Ronald E. Moore Humanities Symposium: What is Living By Poetry
March 31-April 2, 2011
Bringing together 9 nationally and regionally recognized poets–including former US Poet Laureate Billy Collins and Editor of Poetry Magazine Christian Wiman–to read from their own work and to discuss issues relevant to the writing lIfe and to the enduring value and significance of poetry in the 21st century.