Rationalism, Pluralism, & Freedom Book Panel

Jan 21, 2016
George Mason University, Fairfax Campus Mason Hall, Room D180

While the state and intermediate groups such as voluntary associations, churches, ethnocultural groups and universities can both protect individual liberty, they may also threaten it by aggravating each other’s worst tendencies. Liberal political thought rests on this tension between the rationalist suspicion of intermediate group power and a pluralism that preserves its suspicion for the state. Can the pressure between rationalist and pluralist suspicions be reconciled? In Rationalism, Pluralism & Freedom (Oxford University Press, 2015), Jacob Levy reconstructs and defends pluralism, but argues that these views are irreconcilable, not susceptible of harmonization or synthesis, and must be lived with instead of overcome.

Please join the F.A. Hayek Program for Advanced Study in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University for a panel discussion featuring Jacob Levy and his new book, Rationalism, Pluralism, & Freedom.

 We will be pleased to hear from author Jacob Levy, as well as panel chair Peter Boettke, and commenters Alan Levine and Richard Boyd.

For any further questions, please contact Bethany Stalter at bstalter@mercatus.gmu.edu or (703) 993-4889.

Jacob Levy is Tomlinson Professor of Political Theory at McGill University; founder and coordinator of the Research Group on Constitutional Studies at McGill University; as well as a member of the Montreal Groupe de Recherche Interuniversitaire en Philosophie Politique. He is the author of The Multiculturalism of Fear (Oxford University Press, 2000), and co-editor of Nomos LV: Federalism and Subsidiarity (New York University Press, 2014), and Colonialism and Its Legacies (Lexington Press, 2011). [JH1] His research interests include the history of liberal thought, pluralism and associations, multiculturalism and nationalism, and federalism.

Peter Boettke is University Professor of Economics and Philosophy at George Mason University, the BB&T Professor for the Study of Capitalism, and the director of the F. A. Hayek Program for Advanced Study in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. In addition to these roles, he is also the President-Elect and Program Chair of the Southern Economic Association. He specializes in Austrian economics, economic history, institutional analysis, public choice, and social change.

Alan Levine is associate[JH2]  professor of political theory, director of the Political Theory Institute, and affiliate associate professor of philosophy at American University. He is also the founder and president of the Washington D.C. Political Theory Colloquium and has worked for the Department of State at Dakar, Senegal. He specializes in the theoretical principles of the United States, the concept of “America,” and ancient, renaissance, modern, and postmodern political theory.

Richard Boyd is associate professor of government and director of the Program in Social and Political Thought at Georgetown University. He is the author of Uncivil Society: The Perils of Pluralism and the Making of Modern Liberalism (Lexington/ Rowman & Littlefield, 2004), and co-editor of Tocqueville and the Frontiers of Democracy (Cambridge, 2013). His research interests include the intellectual history of liberalism, civil society and pluralism, economic and sociological theory, the theory and practice of immigration and citizenship policies in the United States, and the ethical dimensions of the recent financial crisis.