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Interchange – George Kateb: Accentuate the Negative


With our guest, George Kateb, who has been called “the most interesting and important philosopher of liberalism alive today,”* we’ll focus on oppression and resistance. Our texts for this conversation will center on three essays from Kateb’s 2006 collection of essays, Patriotism and Other Mistakes: “Is Patriotism a Mistake,” “Socratic Integrity,” and “Wildness and Conscience: Thoreau and Emerson,” as well as selections from his 2011 book Human Dignity and his latest work Lincoln’s Political Thought.

The essays, says Kateb, “deal with serious oppression of people by public authorities. Human Dignity is in part a defense of human rights: rights that are meant to protect people against oppression by public authorities. Oppression causes physical and mental suffering and can also create violations of human dignity, some of them causing what I call unfelt oppression (ie, Huxley’s Brave New World); [then turning to] Lincoln’s Political Thought, where suffering and extreme violation of human dignity through dehumanization and degradation are caused by slavery. Thoreau invokes conscience but doesn’t rule out violence, and Lincoln comes to understand that only military violence could end the violence of slavery and its defenders.”

*John Burt, author of Lincoln’s Tragic Pragmatism

George Kateb is the William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Politics Emeritus at Princeton. An influential political theorist with an international reputation, he is a champion of democratic individuality and a critic of its many challengers. He is the author of Utopia and Its Enemies (1963); Political Theory; Its Nature and Uses (1968); Hannah Arendt: Politics, Conscience, Evil (1984); The Inner Ocean: Individualism and Democratic Culture (1992); Emerson and Self-Reliance (1994); Patriotism and Other Mistakes (2006); Human Dignity (2011); and Lincoln’s Political Thought (2015)

Charles Ives: Piano Sonata No. 2, “Concord, Mass., 1840-60″
i. Emerson
ii. Hawthorne
iii. The Alcotts
iv. Thoreau

Performed by Gilbert Kalish, piano; Samuel Baron, Flute; John Graham, viola

Patriotism: What Is It Good For?
Existential Democratic Individuality: A Conversation with George Kateb

Photo credit: www.thinkingaloud.com

Producer & Host: Doug Storm
Board Engineer: Jonathan Richardson
Executive Producer: Joe Crawford

Interchange – Recommended Listening: The Best of Interchange 2013


Recommended Listening: “The Best of Interchange 2013″
Hosts and producers of Interchange chose their favorite shows out forty-Eight original programs produced by Interchange staff and volunteers last year.
Programs highlighted tonight:

W. Kamau Bell: Jokester Without Borders
The Airbrushed Woman: Feminism and Women’s Magazines
Kand McQueen: Boys, Girls, and Beyond
Christoph Irmscher: Against Complacency: Thoreau’s “Civil Disobedience”
Rahaf Safi and Shadi Alkattan: Understanding Syria
Fred Cate: Government Surveillance, Then and Now
Magnus Johnson and Jim Connor: Elder Heart
Ron Whitehead and Frank Messina: Carried by Poetry
Pat Kellar: The Making of Hoagy Carmichael

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