Feb 9

Colloquium: Michael Fuerstein (St. Olaf)

Wednesday, February 9th, 2011
4:30 – 6:30 pm / Sayles Hill #252

Michael Fuerstein (St. Olaf), "Deweyan Experience in Democratic Deliberation"

All are welcome. Participants will be expected to have read the paper in advance. To request a copy, please e-mail Daniel Groll no more than 2 weeks in advance of the presentation.

Abstract: "Deliberative democracy" is perhaps the dominant contemporary conception of democracy. On standard versions of this view, democracy aims, not merely at the exercise of majoritarian voting and basic political liberties, but also at an inclusive, egalitarian "exchange of reasons" among all points of view. Through that exchange, citizens are to seek consensus on government policy. Mining some of the insights of John Dewey, I argue that this focus on exchanging reasons reflects an unhealthy disregard for the vital role of emotion-laden experience in the moral evolution of citizens. A proper appreciation of that role has a number of significant implications for democratic theory, one of which is that action must often precede moral consensus.

Sponsored by Philosophy. Contact: Daniel Groll, philosophy, x4219