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The Berggruen Institute and CASBS Public Talk: "Freedom, Harmony, and Resilience" with fmr CASBS fellow Philip Pettit and Pankaj Mishra

Event Details:

Monday, March 14, 2016
6:00pm PDT
CASBS @ Stanford University

Philip Pettit


Phillip Pettit

L.S. Rockefeller University Professor of Politics and Human Values, Princeton University

Distinguished Professor of Philosophy, Australian National University

Pankaj Mishra


Pankaj Mishra

Author, From the Ruins of Empire: The Revolt Against the West and the Remaking of Asia



With the rise of China and the resurgence of Confucian ideas to justify Chinese structures, the value of social harmony often has been presented as a rival to the allegedly western value of freedom. But how far are those two values in competition with one another? They certainly compete in some standard interpretations. But they need not compete or conflict on what is arguably the most attractive way of construing them. Namely, the free society robustly protects people against feeling vulnerable, while the harmonious society robustly protects them against feeling resentful. Any structure capable of delivering one result also should be able to deliver the other.

About Philip Pettit

Philip Pettit is L.S. Rockefeller University Professor of Politics and Human Values at Princeton University, and Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at the Australian National University. He works mainly in moral and political philosophy, as well as the foundations of the social sciences. His books include Republicanism (1997), The Economy of Esteem (2004), with G. Brennan; Group Agency (2011) with C. List; On the People’s Terms (2012); Just Freedom (2014); and The Robust Demands of the Good(2015). He is a Fellow of the Australian Academies of Humanities and Social Sciences as well as the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the British Academy, and the Royal Irish Academy. Oxford University Press published Common Minds: Themes from the Philosophy of Philip Pettit (G. Brennan, R. Goodin, F. Jackson, and M. Smith, eds.) in 2007.

About Pankaj Mishra

Pankaj Mishra is the author of several books, including From the Ruins of Empire: The Revolt against the West and the Remaking of Asia (2012), which has been translated widely around the world. He is a columnist for Bloomberg View and the New York Times Book Review, and contributes regularly to the New York Review of Books, London Review of Books, The Guardian, and The New Yorker. His awards include the Leipzig Prize for European Understanding and the Windham-Campbell Prize.

About Berggruen Institute

The Berggruen Institute is an independent, nonpartisan think tank founded in 2010 in Los Angeles. Our objective is to develop ideas that shape social and political thought and institutions. The institute was initially founded with a mission to improve governance systems. With successful projects underway in California, Europe and China, the institute launched the Philosophy and Culture Center in Fall 2015. The new Center expands the scope of the institute beyond political governance to enhancing cross-cultural understandings between the East and the West. Overall, the Berggruen Institute brings together some of the best minds and most authoritative voices from across cultural and political boundaries to explore the fundamental questions of our time, from global governance to what it means to be human in the age of technology.

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