"Mark Kingwell is a beautiful writer, a lucid thinker and a patient teacher ... His insights are intellectual anchors in a fast-changing world." -Naomi Klein, author of No Logo
Meet the "fast zombie" citizen of the current world. He is a rapid, brainless carrier of preference-driven consumption. His Facebook-style elikes' replace complex notions of personhood. Legacy college admissions and status-seekers gobble up his idea of public education, and positional market reductions hollow out his sense of shared goods. Meanwhile, the political debates of his 24-hour-a-day newscycle are picked clean by pundits, tortured by tweets. Forget the TV shows and doomsday scenarios; when it comes to democracy, the zombie apocalypse may already be here.
Since the publication of A Civil Tongue (1995), philosopher Mark Kingwell has been urging us to consider how monstrous, self-serving public behaviour can make it harder to imagine and achieve the society we want. Now, with Unruly Voices, Kingwell returns to the subjects of democracy, civility, and political action, in an attempt to revitalize an intellectual culture too-often deadened by its assumptions of personal advantage and economic value. These 17 new essays, where zombies share pages with cultural theorists, poets, and presidents, together argue for a return to the imagination-and from their own unruly voices rises a sympathetic democracy to counter the strangeness of the postmodern political landscape.
PRAISE FOR MARK KINGWELL
"Illuminates on almost every page."-The Los Angeles Times
"An original approach to where we are as a civilization."-The Washington Post
"The writing is elegant, often poetic. It appeals to the thoughtful reader who thrives on insights into the way humans interact."-The Globe & Mail
"Smoothly splicing together personal narrative, philosophical inquiry and historical analysis, frequent Harper's contributor [Mark] Kingwell ... wears his learning lightly."-Publishers' Weekly
About the author
Mark Kingwell is a professor of philosophy at the University of Toronto and a contributing editor of Harper’s Magazine. He is the author of eleven books of political and cultural theory, including most recently, Concrete Reveries: Consciousness and the City (2008) and Opening Gambits: Essays on Art and Philosophy (2008). He is the recipient of the Spitz Prize in political theory, National Magazine Awards for both essays and columns, and in 2000 was awarded an honorary DFA from the Nova Scotia College of Art & Design for contributions to theory and criticism.
Patrick Turmel is an assistant professor of philosophy at Université Laval. His main research interests are in moral and political philosophy. He has published articles in ethics and on issues pertaining to cities and justice. He is also co-editor of Penser les institutions (Presses de l’Université Laval).
Other titles by Mark Kingwell
Robots, Rights, and the Politics of Posthumanism
The Adventurer's Glossary
The Ethics of Architecture
Wish I Were Here
Boredom and the Interface
The Best Canadian Essays 2018
Why Baseball Matters