24 Jan Reflections on Post Truth – Lecture at WZB by John Keane
Lecture within the WZB public event series “Achtung: Demokratie”, held on January 17, 2018 at the WZB Berlin Social Science Center
There are many signs that we have entered a ‘post-truth’ era defined by the burial of ‘objective facts’ thanks to a public avalanche of ‘appeals to emotion and personal belief’, as the Oxford English Dictionary states. Critics of this ‘post-truth’ trend like to stress the political dangers of growing government secrecy, the lies of politicians, corporate bullshit, media silence, and populists’ talk of ‘fake news’. They call for a recovery of ‘truth’ in public life.
Professor John Keane will discuss the current situation. He asks how credible the appeal by journalists and others to recapture ‘truth’ in our public lives is. What exactly is truth? Why is it important? Or is it less important than we imagine? Does truth-telling have its limits? Might ‘truth’ be fading from our lives, and might bidding farewell to truth be a good thing? Additionally John Keane will screen video clips to illustrate the main symptoms of the post-truth trend.