Truth Post-Truth: Reimagining Philosophy for a World in Crisis
Lambert Zuidervaart

February 28, 2023, 8:00pm - 10:00pm

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University of California, Davis
KU Leuven
Universität Leipzig

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Truth is in trouble. Prominent contemporary philosophers have questioned whether the idea of truth is important: Does it deserve the emphasis scholars have given it in the past? Should it play a central role in intellectual endeavors today? Do we even need it? Their questions both reflect and reinforce broader trends in society, where many people wonder whether they either can or should pursue truth. Indeed, according to some pundits, we have become a “post-truth” society, one in which feelings trump facts in public affairs.

This talk briefly introduces three positions that trouble truth in philosophy: deflationism, radical contextualism, and politicization. Then it proposes a new conception of truth called holistic alethic pluralism, and it shows why, despite academic skeptics and popular pundits, truth remains a substantive and socially significant idea. As explained in my book Social Domains of Truth (Routledge, 2023), this new conception of truth simultaneously reimagines the tasks of philosophy. Philosophy, I argue, should offer both social critique and social-ethical wisdom for a world in crisis.

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February 28, 2023, 7:00pm UTC

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