|James Miller's new book profiles twelve philosophers|
whose solid ideas about truth and human conduct
did not always translate so smoothly to social
and political engagements. See NYT Review here
|The New School in NYC was founded with avant-garde|
principles of teaching and dissemination of ideas
Last week, The New School in New York City raised an idea that I think many of us working closely with critical theory and philosophy in our own work at times ask of ourselves: does philosophy still matter? The New School, founded in 1919 on the heels of the First World War as a school of modern and later avant-garde approaches to teaching and circulation of ideas, has played a key role in uniting leftist American thought with the European philosophical tradition, while fostering the critical theory of the Frankfurt School. Famous students of The New School read like a who’s who of the cultural fabric of American life, and at many times in its history the institution has come under political attack for its outspoken faculty and student activities. That being said, the question of philosophy and its utility in our present moment forms the backdrop for a fascinating panel discussion that took place there this past week only a day after the Egyptian uprising began. The panel itself is inspired by the publication of a provocative new book by James Miller, professor of political science and chair of the Committee on Liberal Studies at The New School for Social Research titled Examined Lives, From Socrates to Nietzsche and includes the following distinguished group of diverse and multi-faceted participants:
- Simon Critchley, professor of philosophy at The New School for Social Research and author of The Book of Dead Philosophers;
- Anthony Gottlieb, author of The Dream of Reason, a three-volume history of philosophy;
- James Miller, professor of political science and chair of the Committee on Liberal Studies at The New School for Social Research;
- Astra Taylor, independent filmmaker and director of Zizek! (2005) and Examined Life,(2008)
- Cornel West, author of Race Matters and Professor at Princeton University.
The New School regularly uploads lectures and panel discussions on its dedicated YouTube Chanel-- a wonderful public resource that is in keeping with the New School's founding mandate.