The RavenCast: Paul Dumouchel on Democracy, Violence, and the Risks of Tyranny

Is Democracy under siege?

Suzanne Ross and Paul Dumouchel discuss that provocative question in this episode of the RavenCast.

Their conversation was originally published last October as part of our interview series titled “Raven Reviews Election 2016: Weekly Interviews on 6 Crucial Topics.” Our culture continues to ask these questions. So, we decided to share this important conversation with you again. The video and show notes are below.

Show Notes

Paul introduces us to the mimetic theory, the driving force behind his thinking.

What is the “Barren Sacrifice”?

Was the 2016 presidential election the most divisive we’ve ever seen?

How does democracy work? What are the current dangers to democracy?

Does the state have too much power to wield violence?

Are white people growing increasingly indifferent to the evils of racism?


Paul Dumouchel is Professor of philosophy at the Graduate School of Core Ethics and Frontier Sciences, Ritsumeikan University, Kyoto, Japan. He is co-author with Jean-Pierre Dupuy of L’Enfer des choses, René Girard et la logique de l’économie (Paris: Seuil, 1979) and author of Emotions essai sur le corps et le social (Paris: Les Empêcheurs de Penser en rond, 1999). He co-edited with Jean-Pierre Dupuy L’auto-organisation de la physique au politique (Paris: Seuil, 1983), edited Violence and Truth  (Stanford University Press, 1988), Nationalisme et multiculturalisme en Asie (Paris: L’Harmattan, 2010) and with Rieko Gotoh he co-edited Against Injustice: The New Economics of Amartya Sen (Cambridge University Press, 2009). His more recent books are Economia dell’invidia (Massa: Transeuropa, 2011), The Ambivalence of Scarcity and Other Essays (Michigan State University Press), and, with Reiko Gotoh, Social Bonds as Freedom (Berghahn Books). His latest book, The Barren Sacrifice: An Essay on Political Violence (Michigan State University Press)was first published as Le sacrifice inutile essai sur la violence politique (Paris: Flammarion, 2011). His forthcoming book published by Harvard University Press is titled Living with Robots: Artificial Empathy and Philosophy of Mind. It will be released next year.

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