WHO: Amy Gutmann, president of the University of Pennsylvania.
WHAT: A discussion and signing for the books "Why Deliberative Democracy?" and "Identity in Democracy," two works on components of the American political process by Amy Gutmann.
WHEN: 7 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 23
WHERE: Penn Bookstore, 36th and Walnut streets, Philadelphia. All events at the Penn Bookstore are free and open to the public.
In her book "Why Deliberative Democracy?" Dr. Gutmann suggests that democratic citizens and their representatives can make justifiable decisions in the face of the fundamental disagreements that are inevitable in diverse societies. She makes the case for giving reason and reciprocity a more prominent place in politics than is given to power and special interests.
In "Identity in Democracy," Dr. Gutmann addresses the impact identity groups racial, ethnic, religious, gender, etc. -- have on democracies. These groups, she explains, represent who people are, and that shapes what they demand from democratic politics. Rather than trying to abolish identity politics, Dr. Gutmann calls upon us to distinguish between those demands of identity groups that aid and those that impede justice.
Dr. Gutmann is president of the American Society of Political and Legal Philosophy, a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the W. E. B. DuBois Fellow of the American Academy of Political and Social Science and a fellow of the National Academy of Education.