To what extent is neoliberalism undermining democracy and distorting the values of science? Can and should science be treated as an exemplar for a more dialogic democracy? Are universities and public intellectuals able to develop a more dialogically engaged public? What role should there be for ‘experts’ in a more dialogic democracy? Does information and communications technology present a potential to enhance democracy or increase the control and manipulation of knowledge and the public by corporations?
This timely volume explores these pressing questions, in a dialogue based on developing and applying the recovery of the ‘critical Popper’, which highlights his contemporary relevance to the critique of neoliberal political economy in the age of technocapitalism.
This book will be discussed in an online roundtable on the Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective. Information about the SERRC can be found here: https://social-epistemology.com/
Acknowledgements / Introduction / PART 1: LINKING PHILOSOPHY AND POLITICS / 1. Anti-Authority: Comparing Popper and Rorty on the Dialogic Development of Beliefs and Practices Justin Cruickshank / 2. A Bridge over Turbulent Waters Raphael Sassower / 3. Context and Contestation Justin Cruickshank / 4. Problem-Solving: Critical Contingencies Raphael Sassower / 5. There Are No Dangerous Ideas Joseph Agassi / PART 2: SCIENCE, PROBLEM-SOLVING AND SOCIOLOGY / 6. Science, Democracy and the Sociology of Power
Isaac Ariail Reed / 7. Criticism versus Dogmatism Justin Cruickshank / 8. The Problem of Demarcation Isn’t Going Away Raphael Sassower and Seif Jensen / PART 3: DEMOCRACY, EDUCATION AND THE ROLE OF INTELLECTUALS IN PUBLIC LIFE / 9. Democracy, Criticism and the Problems Facing Dialogue Justin Cruickshank / 10. Beyond Lamentations: Overcoming Neoliberalism? Raphael Sassower / 11. The Politics of Definitions and Neoliberal Interventionism Justin Cruickshank and Ioana Cerasella Chis / 12. Appealing to Academics to Become Public Intellectuals Raphael Sassower / 13. The Cost of Public Intellectuals Ioana Cerasella Chis and Justin Cruickshank / 14. Radical Public Intellectuals
Raphael Sassower / PART 4: FROM PUBLIC INTELLECTUALS TO POLITICAL
ECONOMY AND TECHNOLOGY / 15. Public Intellectuals and the Political Economy of Food
Justin Cruickshank and Ioana Cerasella Chis / 16. Desiderata of the Future of Political Economy Raphael Sassower / 17. The Neoliberal Political Economy of Science and
Higher Education Justin Cruickshank / 18. The Problem of Technocapitalism
Ioana Cerasella Chis and Justin Cruickshank PART 5: DEMOCRACY, DIALOGUE, EXPERTS
AND ELITES / 19. Envisioning Peaceful Democratic Dialogues Raphael Sassower / 20. Democracy, Experts and Elites: The Case of Brexit Justin Cruickshank with Ioana Cerasella Chis / Conclusion / Bibliography / Index / About the Authors
“This is a superb book. It is both a philosophical examination of the idea of plural epistemological communities and a practical exemplification of the virtue of understanding democracy as an open conversation. Written in the context of a rise in populism, it shows that a hopeful and temperate approach to issues that divide our political communities is possible.”
This extremely impressive book spins off from a judicious re-evaluation of surprising parallels between Popper and Rorty to a wide-ranging discussion of the politics of knowledge, and politics more generally, in modern societies. This transatlantic exchange is inevitably what Cruickshank calls a 'slow dialogue', but it is a very worthwhile one, as the UK and US slide towards their respective catastrophes.
Justin Cruickshank, Raphael Sassower, and their other interlocutors probe incisively the dialogic bases of beliefs and their relation to political practice. They debate Popper, Rorty, other important theorists and epistemology more broadly via discussion of pressing political and policy issues that illuminate the mounting crises of neoliberalism and need to rethink capitalism and democracy, as we currently know them.
This book is composed as an experiment on the function of intellectuals in a testing time, the crisis of neo-liberal democracies. Established scholars have teamed up with rising stars in a series of exchanges designed to determine whether the critical spirit of intellectual life is better served by a singular individual who represents diversity in his or her person or by a self-organizing collective forging its way toward some normative ideal. As Cruickshank, Sassower and their collaborators admit, both options may be needed to swim against the ever changing currents of capitalism.
Justin Cruickshank is Senior Lecturer in Sociology at the University of Birmingham. He is the author of Realism and Sociology (2002) and editor of Critical Realism: The Difference it Makes (2003).
Raphael Sassower is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. He is the author or co-author of twenty books, including Compromising the Ideals of Science (2015), The Price of Public Intellectuals (2014), Religion and Sports in American Culture (2014), and Digital Exposure: Postmodern Postcapitalism (2013).