Kant stop won’t stop!
An all-night philosophy marathon at the Brooklyn Public Library’s Central branch starting on Jan. 28 will have brainy types tackling questions of morality, consciousness, and the biggest head-scratcher facing political philosophers today: what’s the deal with Trump? One thinker aims to help Brooklynites who stay up all night worrying about the state of the country with his early-morning talk “Reasoning after Trump,” which moves past doom-and-gloom thinking.
“I kind of want to challenge people who are feeling dour and pessimistic that things can be alright,” said Bhaskar Sunkara, a political writer, editor, and publisher of Jacobin magazine. “Trump doesn’t have a mandate and the main way we confront him is with, to me, a degree of hope and optimism.”
Sunkara, a Fort Greene resident, will deliver his Trump treatise at 1:30 am, near the midway point of the 12-hour marathon, which will also feature talks from dozens of philosophers and thinkers, screenings, readings, and music.
There may be no reasoning with the commander-in-chief, said Sunkara, but liberals should try engaging his supporters on issues they both care about.
“I think with a strong minority of his supporters, maybe a third of them can be won over to a different set of ideas,” he said. “At the very least, we need to try to engage them with good faith arguments.”
The talk will last about 20 minutes, he said, followed by a free exchange of ideas with the audience.
Other political panels that night include “The post-truth era: Modern politics and the linguistic turn” and “Understanding totalitarianism,” along with lighter topics such as “What would Socrates do with pornography?”
Sunkara said he’s not a night owl and is usually in bed by midnight, but has a special strategy to keep himself awake throughout the program.
“I don’t drink coffee, which is actually a good thing because if I have one cup at 6:30 pm I’ll be wired until 3 am,” he said.
The marathon will include a breakfast at 5:30 am for those staying up for the final activity: a 7 am dance performance from Trisha Brown Dance Company.
A Night of Philosophy and Ideas at Brooklyn Public Library Central branch (10 Grand Army Plaza at Eastern Parkway in Prospect Heights, www.night