Deranged Democracy Part II: How can we Govern Ourselves if Everyone has Lost their Minds?
Price for Members: $70
Price for Non-Members: $105
Date/Time:Tuesdays September 6, 13,20,27 and October 4.
Instructor: David Peritz, Ph.D. Politics, Oxford University
Having surveyed the reasons, in the first Part of this course, democratic theorists of
the Enlightenment placed such faith in the rationality of ordinary people, we
examine in the second Part what we have learned from more empirical studies of
human nature and history in the two hundred plus years since the era of democratic
revolutions. This history certainly tempers Enlightenment confidence in the power
of reason, and our own moment also gives pause for doubt. Further, recent research
in cognitive science and philosophy alike suggest that it is hard to sustain a model
of human behavior that places reason and rationality in the driver’s seat, as
opposed to emotion, identity, unconscious bias and like forces. This course will
survey these issues by examining the intersection of cognitive science, psychology,
philosophy and political theory to ask whether the Enlightenment’s faith in
democracy was misplaced. Or, instead, are there reasons to believe that democracy
can maintain its claim to legitimacy even after reason has been decentered in our
understandings of human nature?. (ONLINE)
David Peritz, Ph.D. Politics, Oxford University
Start time: 10:00 a.m.
End time: 12:00 p.m.