Thinking in an Emergency
April 12, 2011
7:00 PM ET
Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138
This event is free; no tickets are required.
Harvard Book Store is very pleased to welcome acclaimed Harvard professor ELAINE SCARRY as she discusses her newest book, Thinking in an Emergency, an entry in the Amnesty International Global Ethics Series.
For sixty years, modern democratic governments have undermined democracy and increased executive power by invoking the idea of emergency. They have bypassed constitutional provisions concerning presidential succession, the declaration of war, the use of torture, civilian surveillance, and the arrangements for nuclear weapons. In the desire for swift national action, we citizens devalue thinking and ignore ways to check government power, plunging our countries into a precarious state between monarchy and democracy. Drawing on the work of philosophers, neuroscientists, and artists, Elaine Scarry proves decisively that thinking and rapid action are compatible. Practices that we dismiss as mere habit and protocol instead represent rigorous, effective modes of thought that we must champion in times of crisis. Scarry’s bold claim on behalf of fundamental democratic principles will enliven and enrich the ongoing debate about leadership.
Walking from the Harvard Square T station: 2 minutes
As you exit the station, reverse your direction and walk east along Mass. Ave. in front of the Cambridge Savings Bank. Cross Dunster St. and proceed along Mass. Ave for three more blocks. You will pass Au Bon Pain, JP Licks, and TD Bank. Harvard Book Store is located at the corner of Mass. Ave. and Plympton St.
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