Samuel Imbo will pose a question at a lecture tonight in Bemidji that struck him on a return trip to Kenya years ago.
Imbo, a professor of philosophy and director of the African-American studies program at Hamline University in St. Paul, will present the sixth-annual Don and Gladys McDonald Philosophy Lecture tonight at Bemidji State University.
The lecture, titled "What is Wrong With Polygamy?" will be offered free to the public at 7 p.m. in Hagg-Sauer 107 at BSU.
Imbo, who spoke to ethics classes Wednesday at BSU, said he hopes to accomplish two things in his lecture tonight.
One of his aims, he said, is to get people thinking about how knowledge is produced. He said he wants people to reflect on how they arrive at their own decisions because that will help them understand how others arrive at decisions.
He said his other aim for the lecture is to talk about polygamy, which he noted is a very specific moral issue in which "people have genuine differences of opinion."
Imbo said he began thinking about the topic many years ago during a return trip to his home country of Kenya. He met a young woman there who identified herself matter-of-factly as the third wife of a local prominent teacher.
Imbo said he then began thinking about whether polygamy was right or wrong, and how he reached his own view.
Imbo said tonight's lecture presented him an opportunity to pose his question.
"The opportunity and the topic came together nicely," he said.
Imbo, who teaches African philosophy, ethics and social, political and legal philosophy at Hamline University, has published two books on African philosophy. His research focuses on comparative philosophy, African philosophy and social and political philosophy.
He completed his undergraduate work at the University of Nairobi and earned his master's and doctorate degrees in philosophy from Purdue University.
The McDonald Philosophy Lecture is sponsored by the BSU College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Humanities and philosophy program.