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Oct 20, 2023

Interviewer: JOSHUA ROSE. In his recent book, The Principle of Political Hope, political theorist LOREN GOLDMAN attempts to avoid the sense of inevitability that creeps into political thought, either as optimistic faith in unstoppable progress or pessimistic despair at a broken world. Engaging with thinkers such as Immanuel Kant, Ernst Bloch, Charles Peirce, William James, and John Dewey, Goldman holds up hope as a productive middle ground, combining belief in the possibility of a better world with acceptance of the risk of failure. In his wide-ranging discussion with host Joshua Rose, he explores core questions of political life. Does history have a discernable direction and, if so, what role does that leave for purposive action? Are there clear standards of right and wrong by which to judge political outcomes? Should the individual be constrained by the collectivity? Above all, he argues for experimentation as a goal in itself and as an antidote to politics based on rigid certainties.