Our March Chapter Meeting will feature Michael Fuerstein, professor of Philosophy at St Olaf College. The following description is from Prof. Fuerstein:
One common complaint about contemporary American democracy is that it has become hopelessly polarized. How can we hope to govern ourselves when we disagree so profoundly on questions of fundamental value and, indeed, on the proper role of government itself? The answer to this question depends on more fundamental issues concerning the ideal of democratic governance itself, issues which rarely receive adequate public attention. Is democracy a competition among private interests? Or is it an attempt to advance the common good? And what do we mean by “common good” in the first place? Does democracy require that we try to achieve some kind of consensus? Or is democracy best served by the vigorous clash of ideas? What kind of civic discourse is genuinely democratic? Professor Fuerstein will discuss historical and contemporary philosophical views of the democratic ideal and how these different views bear on our civic obligations under circumstances of deep conflict.
Michael Fuerstein earned his Ph.D. in philosophy at Columbia University in 2009 and is presently Assistant Professor at St. Olaf College, where he teaches courses in social, political, and moral philosophy. Prior to arriving at St. Olaf he was a postdoctoral fellow at the Center for Cultural Analysis at Rutgers University. His research focuses on the relationship between scientific and other knowledge-making institutions and the institutions of liberal democracy. His work has appeared in scholarly journals such as The Journal of Political Philosophy and Episteme, as well as public venues such as the Minneapolis Star Tribune, and he has given lectures in many locations throughout North America and Europe.
10:00 - 10:30 Social Time
10:30 - 10:45 HofMn business meeting/Announcements
10:45 - 12:00 Speaker and Q & A