Digital Dialogue 46: Public Philosophy

Cori Wong who is a graduate student in the department of Philosophy here at Penn State working on affective embodiment and oppression.

I invited her to the Digital Dialogue because she and I have been been involved with a very interesting initiative designed to cultivate the public practice of philosophy.
This endeavor centers around the Public Philosophy Network website designed to cultivate, sustain and develop the practice of public philosophy.
Cori herself has been doing some very interesting work with YouTube that has recently received a great deal of popular success.  In response to the YouTube video from a young women at UCLA who posted an anti-Asian racist rant about people talking in the library. Cori’s video, embedded below, has received almost 10,000 views at the time of this posting.

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  • dirkusa says:

    In an email I suggested to Cori that she look into the work of Paul Rabinow along the lines of taking academic thinking (in his case a kind of Dewey-like pragmatism after Foucault) out into the extra-academic world as he is a leading example in these efforts/struggles.
    Until such work becomes part of the official/structural agenda of universities it will likely be unsustainable as other demands intrude.
    I'm not sure how "philosophy" as discussed here differs from 'theory" in other depts and if it is just a matter of 'consciousness-raising' in the style of so called critical thinking than one might want to look into the growing research psychology research around the limits of such approaches to making substantial changes in peoples embodied attitudes/life-styles.
    For those of us who lived through the many failed attempts at interdisciplinary studies in the last decade I can tell up and coming academics that if they don't change the politics/structures of the academy than efforts to do something substantially new/different will fail. So before you all go public I would suggest trying your hand at changing the academy.
    It might also be worth looking into Jane Addams' attempts to work with, rather than on, the public.

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