A Book Club on Confident Pluralism?

I wouldn’t read a book with that title unless it were recommended to me by someone I know. But @Eddie, if you read it and thought it interesting enough to discuss, I’d listen to your thoughts.

And since we’re on the topic of books of interest, I received my copy of John Inazu’s Confident Pluralism, a book that comes very highly recommended by @swamidass and is a sort of founding document for PS. If @Eddie or anyone else is interested in reading it in some kind of coordinated fashion (book club anyone?) I’d be game. I have a couple of other books I’m chewing on at the moment, so it’s hard to get rousted to start another but that’s what peer pressure is for. :smirk: And more seriously, I suspect that Inazu has the potential to inspire, whereas the Hedin book seems unlikely to do that.


I think this is an excellent idea. If you’d like to coordinate a virtual discussion, I can make it known in our networks and even give you an honorarium for your trouble. I’d also welcome an article from you on the book when you are done.

John Inazu is a first amendment lawyer and prof here at WUSTL. He might be willing to join the virtual discussion about the book too.

The question of how we are to live together in a common society across differences is fundamentally important to our current moment. John’s work is really important in mapping a way forward.


If I get around to reading it, and I think it has any new insights on the fine-tuning question, I’ll be happy to post a few thoughts here. But I can’t say when that will be, as I’ve got a reading backlog as it is.

I’ll have a look at it on Amazon one day, to get a sense of what it’s about. But again, I’m backlogged on my reading. In addition to some academic books on political philosophy and on Newton that I keep trying to finish, one of my Christmas presents was The Coddling of the American Mind by Lukianoff and Haidt – a book that should be of interest to those who are interested in contemporary education and the modern university in particular.

I am very open to this (with apologies to @Eddie for a bit of threadjacking). The main issue is time [insert description of near-impossible workload] so I’m not sure I could wrangle this solo but we should do something along these lines to talk about the book. I know it’s important, and not just for PS.


Those interested in the book can see the TOC and read the preface (added in 2018) at Google Books linked below. I bought my copy at Harvard Book Store if you want to do business with a great local book seller. The publisher site is nice too.

You’ll see that the book is not very long, and consists of 8 chapters in two sections: Constitutional Commitments and Civic Practices. As you can tell from the title of the first section, the book is about American pluralism. I’m sure it’s principles are reasonably extensible outside the US but people should keep that in mind.

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I think there will be at least a few people interested from the mailinglist.

My suggestion is to keep the overhead low, and just do one or meetings to discuss perhaps scheduled about 4 to 6 weeks from now. If you can set up the time that would work best for you, we can start advertising, and see who signs up.

Of course, you may want to find out who can be a co-leader with you, but if the overhead is low, this might not be needed.

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