The Angry UFOlogist

Anti-Science and the Assault on Democracy: A Conversation with Michael J. Thompson

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In this segment from the Middle Theory podcast, Micah speaks with Michael J. Thompson, a professor of political theory in the Department of Political Science at William Paterson University. His areas of focus are in theories of justice, critical theory, Marxism, German Idealism, moral philosophy and the history of political thought, and his forthcoming books include The Specter of Babel: Toward a Reconstruction of Political Judgment (SUNY Press) and Twilight of the Self: The Eclipse of Autonomy in Modern Society (Stanford University Press). He is also the founding editor of Logos: A Journal of Modern Society and Culture.

In the introduction to his co-edited anthology, Anti-Science and the Assault on Democracy: Defending Reason in a Free Society, the editors write: “It is our contention that tendencies that defend anti-science views in the name of “democratic pluralism”—whether invoked by the Left or the Right—are actually destructive of a broader culture and the mind-set appropriate for a democratic society. Rather than enhancing the capacity for rational debate and critical discourse, we could see this as a return to premodern forms of subservience to authority and a deeply entrenched irrational refusal to submit beliefs to rational scrutiny. In this respect, we believe that we are witnessing a peculiarly new manifestation of anti-science belief systems that are, in spirit, akin to a premodern worldview but carry new consequences in contemporary society and politics.”

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