Department of Philosophy



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The Department of Philosophy Colloquium Series presents

the annual Graham Kennedy Lecture

Mark Kingwell (University of Toronto)

"The Decline of Civility and the Collapse of Democracy"

In the ‘post-truth’ era of POTUS 45 and others, what remains of the basic democratic promise? That is, can we still rely on the prospect of political legitimacy emanating from a robust public square animated by rational citizens? In this talk, I revisit some early arguments of mine concerning the role of civility in democratic politics, probing the ongoing legitimation crisis typical of political realms dominated by transactional reduction, regulatory capture, and tactics of comprehensive mendacity. I conclude by asking: Is the situation serious but not hopeless? Or hopeless but not serious?

THURSDAY, September 21st, 2017

WATSON HALL, ROOM 517 @ 4:00 p.m.



*If you have accessibility requirements, please contact Susanne Cliff-Jüngling (


Tentative Fall Colloquium Schedule, titles TBA

September 21: Mark Kingwell, Toronto, Kennedy Lecture

"The Decline of Civility and the Collapse of Democracy"

September 28: Henrike Moll, University of Southern California

October 5: Benoît Godin, INRS​ 

"X-innovation: A Story of Appropriation and Contestation"

October 12: Henry Laycock, Queen’s 

October 19: Rahul Kumar, Queen’s

October 26:  Nigel DeSouza, Ottawa 

November 2: David Murakami Wood, Queen’s (Sociology)

November 9: Katherine Wayne, Ottawa 

November 16:Charlotte Blattner, Queen’s 

November 23: Patti Lenard, Ottawa, co-sponsored by Political Studies

"Sanctuary and Fairness to Whom?"

November 30: TBA