PUBLIC SEMINAR: open, critical, challenging, confronting the pressing issues of the day and fundamental problems of the human condition, expanding the project of The New School for Social Research.

Essays

Republican members of Congress reviewing the Pelosi health care bill, 2009 © House GOP | Flickr
CapitalismEssays

Insurance Companies, Health Care, and You

I recently filled out a “Health Assessment” form for my employer and insurance company.

I was queried not only about my diet, exercise, and existing medical conditions. I was also asked about how happy I was at work, if I approved of my boss’s performance, whether I worried about money, and if I had received any recognition from my community in the past year. The computer — the computer! …

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The slaves of General Thomas F. Drayton, 1862 © Henry P. Moore | Wikimedia Commons
CapitalismEssaysRace

Slaves: The Capital that Made Capitalism

This post, adapted from a lecture in the team-taught course “Rethinking Capitalism” at The New School for Social Research and first published last year, is being reposted today to provide critical insight into today’s headlines. Slavery was central to the development of the American political economy. Ott reviews the recent scholarship that shows how it came to be that Black lives haven’t mattered. -J.G.

Racialized chattel slaves were the …

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The center of the Milky Way viewed from Oregon © Joe Parks | Flickr
DemocracyEssaysTheory & Practice

The Ethics and Politics of Responsible Belief

Prior to his death in June 2007, Richard Rorty turned his attention to religious belief and its place in the public sphere. Rorty had long been presenting himself as the “village atheist” in the domains both of academic philosophy and public intellectualism: he viewed religious belief as the most pervasive form of false metaphysical comfort, and as a political “conversation stopper” that is ineluctably at odds with the sort of foundationless liberal democracy he championed. But late in his career …

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Public Seminar ReviewVolume 1, Issue 2
Second Semester/Summer 2014

The second semester of the Public Seminar is over, and the papers are now in, presented in this our second issue. Here you find short and long essays, supplemented by visual presentations around five major themes: Capitalism and its Alternatives, Democracy and its Enemies, Identities, the Arts and Literature, and Media, Memory and Miscellaneous. Note, though, that the pieces in fact address each other between and among these categories, as they consider “fundamental problems of the human condition and pressing problems of the day, using the broad resources of social research,” staying true to the mission statement of Public Seminar, and to the scholarly and public project of our academic home, The New School for Social Research. -Jeffrey Goldfarb

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