Overdoing Democracy

Ed Tarkington in Chapter 16:

In prose both sophisticated and accessible to the lay reader, Robert B. Talisse’s Overdoing Democracy sets forth the case for a national reckoning on how our addiction to politics is undermining the purposes for which democracy was conceived.

Talisse, who serves as W. Alton Jones Professor and chairs the philosophy department at Vanderbilt University, specializes in pragmatism. The term bears a broader, more complex definition when referring to the philosophical tradition descending from Charles Peirce and William James to the likes of Robert Brandom, Richard Rorty, and Talisse himself; nevertheless, if we take being ‘pragmatic’ to mean dealing with things realistically with the goal of a workable method or solution, the term is doubly appropriate to Overdoing Democracy.

Talisse introduces the text with an anecdote all too familiar in the Trump era: a conversation with a friend worried that her large family Thanksgiving dinner might “erupt into a bitter clash between politically opposed relatives.” This dilemma is so common, it seems, that a Google search for “Survive Thanksgiving politics” yields more than 40 million hits.

More here.

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