Jim Taylor, philosophy professor at Westmont, discusses the importance of listening and respect in a free lecture, Character Matters: Civility in Uncivil Times, 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 13, at the University Club, 1332 Santa Barbara St.

Taylor will explain how our public conversation is wounding our nation at the seams and preventing us further from solving our problems. “What would it take to listen to each other with respect and openness?” he said. “We need a renewed commitment to crucial, neglected qualities of character.” 

Taylor grew up in Oregon, Washington and California, and graduated from Westmont with a degree in philosophy. He earned a master’s degree in theology at Fuller Theological Seminary and completed a master’s degree and doctorate in philosophy at the University of Arizona.

Taylor has published two books “Introducing Apologetics: Cultivating Christian Commitment” and “Learning for Wisdom: Christian Education and the Good Life.” His numerous articles and book chapters include The New Atheism and Models of God: The Case of Richard Dawkins, The Lewis-Anscombe Debate: A Philosophical Reformulation, Physicalism, Dualism, and Resurrection, and Hume on Miracles: Interpretation and Criticism.

He has been teaching at Westmont since 1994, earning Teacher of the Year in Humanities in 1997.

Seating for the Westmont Downtown lecture is limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis. For more information, call 805-565-6051.