Akeel Bilgrami Shadow

The Enlightenment, Enchantment, and the Mentality of Democracy

Professor Akeel Bilgrami

September 15, 2015 · 12-1PM

Fayerweather Hall Room 411

The CGT Lunchtime Seminars are an open forum for Columbia faculty and visiting scholars to discuss current research with MA students and other graduate students and faculty. This stimulating discussion is open to faculty and Columbia University graduate students only. No registration is required.

About the speaker

Akeel Bilgrami is Sidney Morgenbesser Professor of Philosophy. He is a founding member of the Committee on Global Thought. Akeel Bilgrami got a first degree in English Literature from Bombay University but defected to philosophy because he found the former too hard. He went to Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar and there got another Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (1974). He has a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago (1983), after writing a dissertation, “Meaning as Invariance,” on the subject of the indeterminacy of translation and issues concerning realism and linguistic meaning. He joined the Philosophy Department in 1985 after spending two years as an Assistant Professor at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

His book of selected essays on the moral psychology of politics entitled Secularism, Identity, and Enchantment was published by Harvard University Press in March 2014.  He is also contracted to publish two small books in the very near future, one called What is a Muslim? (Princeton University Press) and another on Gandhi’s philosophy, situating Gandhi’s thought in seventeenth century dissent in England and Europe and more broadly within the Radical Enlightenment and the radical strand in the Romantic tradition (Columbia University Press).

He teaches courses and seminars regularly in the department on Philosophy of Mind and Language and also in the Committee on Global Thought and Political Science on issues in Politics and Rationality as well as Religion and Politics in a Global Context.

Professor Bilgrami was the Chairman of the Philosophy Department from 1994-98 and the Director of the Heyman Center for the Humanities at Columbia University from 2004-2011.

Special thanks to our host CGT member Adam Tooze and the Department of History at Columbia University.

Lunchtime Seminar

The CGT Lunchtime Seminars are an open forum for Columbia faculty and visiting scholars to discuss current research with MA students and other graduate students and faculty. This stimulating discussion is open to faculty and Columbia University graduate students only. No registration is required.

Below is the schedule for Fall 2015. The seminar takes place on Tuesdays from 12-1pm in Fayerweather Hall Room 411. Please check back for updates to the schedule.

Fall 2015 Schedule

September 15

Akeel Bilgrami: "The Enlightenment, Enchantment, and the Mentality of Democracy"

October 6

Abram de Swaan: "Women’s Emancipation and the Rise of Fundamentalism"

October 13

Csaba Békés: "Political Transition in East-Central Europe and the End of the Cold War, 1988-1991"

October 20

Pratap Bhanu Mehta: "The Identity of Modern Indian Political Thought"

October 27

Michael Doyle: “The Question of Intervention”

November 10

Partha Chatterjee: "The Legacy of Bandung”

December 1

Amber Miller: "Title" TBD