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Spokane Public Library - Central branch in Spokane, Washington / Wikimedia Commons

Upcoming Spokane Civics Salon Discusses ‘Why People Are Irrational about Politics’


Upcoming Spokane Civics Salon Discusses ‘Why People Are Irrational about Politics’

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News Brief by Cassy Benefield

Most people think of a salon as a place where one may get their hair cut. Not so with the Spokane Civics Salon. These monthly gatherings — hosted by the Spokane Public Library the last Sundays of each month — exist as a time where people get together and have meaningful conversations on the rights and responsibilities of American citizenship.

Each Salon focuses on a particular text, encouraging attendees to immerse themselves in the topic at hand and contribute to the conversation.

The next Salon on May 28 from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. will focus the discussion on the essay, “Why People Are Irrational about Politics” by Michael Huemer. An added bonus to the discussion, says Shane Gronholz, Spokane Public Library’s current affairs specialist, is that Huemer will join the discussion over Zoom.

Michael Huemer
Michael Huemer

Huemer is a distinguished philosopher, author and professor known for his extensive contributions to contemporary philosophy, particularly in the areas of epistemology, ethics and political philosophy.

“This is a great essay to prompt a salon discussion because I think it’s crucial for us to probe our political opinions and think carefully about why we adopt the beliefs we do,” Gronholz said who will host the conversation and is a former student of Huemer. “This essay does an excellent job prompting that exploration.”

In the essay, Huemer states “political irrationality is the greatest social problem humanity faces.”

“It is a greater problem than crime, drug addiction, or even world poverty, because it is a problem that prevents us from solving other problems,” continues Huemer, italic emphasis his.

Gronholz encourages attendees to read the essay prior to the discussion, but suggests, at the very least, they watch Huemer’s 2012 TEDxMileHigh talk, “The Irrationality of Politics,” on YouTube.

The Salon will be held at the Central Library in Conference Room A.

Should the attender have any special needs, they can contact the Spokane Public Library at 509-444-5308 to request an accommodation.

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