Jón Ólafsson

Spécialiste de l’histoire des relations entre l’Islande et l’Union soviétique et philosophe politique, Jón Ólafsson, a mené après une expérience professionnelle de correspondant en Russie pour la télévision et la radio islandaise, des études de philosophie politique à l’Université de Columbia à New York où il a soutenu sa thèse de doctorat sur John Dewey en 1999. Il a été professeur de philosophie à l’Université de Bifröst en Islande de 2005 à 2014. Il a rejoint le département de science politique de l’Université d’Islande, à Reykjavik, en 2015.


The Icelandic Constitutional Experiment: Success or failure?

Dans le cadre des Ateliers du Cespra

The Icelandic Constitutional Council was convened in Reykjavík in spring and summer of 2011. After four months of intensive work the Council submitted a draft constitution to Parliament. The constitutional bill however was never even voted on. The lecture is an attempted analysis of the complicated situation that may ensue when extra-institutional methods are used to accomplish legislative tasks.

  • 20 avril 2017, de 11h à 13h, EHESS (salle 2) - 105 Bd Raspail 75006 Paris 

Political epistemology: Balancing effectiveness and empowerment

Dans le cadre du séminaire de Philippe Urfalino

Unelected individuals may directly influence public policy- and decision-making in two ways. First, the public may be consulted by government and local authorities. Second, certain areas of policy-making or even legislation may be given to the public as a whole. I will argue that while the first approach is more likely to be effective, the second approach is empowering in a way that the first approach is not.

  • 25 avril 2017, de 11h à 13h, EHESS (salle des artistes) - 96 Bd Raspail 75006 Paris 

Dewey’s democracy as a way of life – Is it a democratic "theory"?

Dans le cadre du séminaire de Philippe Urfalino

Many commentators have criticized Dewey’s idealistic notion of democracy as a way of life as a democratic theory that demands adherence to a more comprehensive moral view than a pluralistic conception of liberal democracy allows. I argue in the paper that one should not think of democracy as a way of life as pointing to a moral commitment, but rather as an exclusively epistemic commitment.

  • 26 avril 2017, de 11h à 13h, EHESS (salle des artistes) - 96 Bd Raspail, 75006 Paris

Ignorance and democratic competence

Many thinkers lament the lack of public knowledge and understanding of science, expressing doubts about the wisdom of allowing public opinion to direct policy- or decision-making. Philip Kitcher argues that “free discussion” is just as likely to produce less, rather than more, informed public views. The paper takes Kitcher to task for his analysis of public knowledge and his claims that “irremediable” ignorance poses a great difficulty for properly addressing pressing social and environmental challenges.

  • 9 novembre 2017, de 14h à 16h EHESS, Centre Norbert Elias (salle de réunion) - 2, rue de la Charité 13002 Marseille