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Mark Kingwell

20 November 2012 | Email This Post Email This Post | Print This Post Print This Post

The public intellectual and academic Mark Kingwell discusses his new collection, Unruly Voices: Essays in Democracy, Civility and the Human Imagination (Biblioasis, 2012), with Joseph Planta.

Unruly Voices: Essays in Democracy, Civility and the Human Imagination by Mark Kingwell (Biblioasis, 2012).

Click to buy this book from Amazon.ca: Unruly Voices

Text of introduction by Joseph Planta:

I am Planta: On the Line, in Vancouver at TheCommentary.ca.

We’ve just witnessed the American election, and we’ve seen politics get a little coarser and a little more negative than previously. What accounts for the lack of civility in the political discourse? Well, my guest now, Mark Kingwell looks beyond politics, as well to popular culture, the media, technology, literature, architecture, among many other things, in his new book, a collection of very thoughtful, sometimes challenging, often thought provoking pieces: Unruly Voices: Essays in Democracy, Civility and the Human Imagination. 17 essays are in this book, and they bring together a lot. In the time we have with Professor Kingwell, I’ll get him to share some of his observations, some of his ideas, and some of the prescriptions he might have for a democracy that lacks empathy and civility. Actually, a necessary question is whether civility is the same thing as manners? Mark Kingwell is a noted public intellectual, a contributing editor to Harper’s Magazine, and a professor of philosophy at the University of Toronto. He has written seventeen books including bestsellers and prizewinners such as A Civil Tongue, The World We Want, Better Living, Glenn Gould, and Concrete Reveries. He joins me from Toronto this day. This book is published by Biblioasis. I’m very pleased to welcome to the Planta: On the Line program, Mark Kingwell; Professor Kingwell, good morning.