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Henry A. Giroux on the Truth About "Post-Truth"

Monday, January 23, 2017 By Paul Kennedy, CBC Radio | Audio Segment
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The election of Donald Trump has ignited talk that we're now living in a "post-truth" era. But are we? Where does the idea that the truth no longer exists come from? Or the notion that the truth doesn't matter anymore?  Host Paul Kennedy talks to thinkers who argue that the story began years earlier, with a kind of collective identity crisis: authoritarianism can become attractive when you no longer remember who you are.

"'Post-truth' is often understood as involving people's emotions rather than their critical abilities to make distinctions. And I think that might be true but i think it's important to keep in mind that emotion and truth are not two different things. Emotion has to do with what we care about and truths have to do with things that are the case. The two have to work together." -- Kathleen Higgins

People from all over are asking the question: how did we get here? In a world where technological advances spread to the masses at astonishing speed; in a time when we can be instantly connected to one another; in an era when information can travel around the globe in a flash, have we become less concerned with the verifiability of what we believe as long as it conforms to our point of view?

To read more articles by Henry A. Giroux and other authors in the Public Intellectual Project, click here.

And if the truth is atomized to the point where I can have my truth and you can have yours, then how can any of us actually have a conversation? Without a basic set of assumptions about what's true, we have no starting point for the debates we engage in. But maybe this is simply, as they say, the "new normal" -- that when it comes to the truth, where you stand depends on where you sit.

Guests in this episode:

  • Henry Giroux is a professor of English and cultural studies at McMaster University.
  • Jason Stanley is a professor of philosophy at Yale University.
     
  • Kathleen Higgins is a professor of philosophy at the University of Texas at Austin.

Further reading: 

 
**This episode was produced by Naheed Mustafa.

This piece was reprinted by Truthout with permission or license. It may not be reproduced in any form without permission or license from the source.

Paul Kennedy

Paul Kennedy has been the host of Ideas since 1999, when he succeeded the legendary Lister Sinclair. But Paul's association with the program goes back more than 30 years, to 1977. That year, he made his first contribution to Ideas with a documentary called The Fur Trade Revisited.

The project took him on a 1,600-kilometer journey paddling down the Mackenzie River from Great Slave Lake to the Arctic Ocean. Paul's interests encompass the environment, sport, travel, food, music, art and biography. His work engages what he describes as, "the core curriculum of contemporary culture." In the course of his work, he has travelled across Canada, throughout North America, to Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

He has won national and international recognition for his work, including an ACTRA award for best Canadian radio documentary for a program called War on the Home Front, co-authored with Timothy Findley; the B'nai Brith Media Human Rights Award for a series called Nuremberg on Trial; an Armstrong Award presented by Columbia University. In 2005, he was awarded the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Special Citation for Excellence in Ocean Science Journalism for his eight-part series Learning from the Oceans.

Paul has a BA from Queen's University, an MLitt from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland. He did post-graduate work at the University of Toronto where he studied with Marshall McLuhan.


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Henry A. Giroux on the Truth About "Post-Truth"

Monday, January 23, 2017 By Paul Kennedy, CBC Radio | Audio Segment
  • font size decrease font size decrease font size increase font size increase font size
  • Print

Media

The election of Donald Trump has ignited talk that we're now living in a "post-truth" era. But are we? Where does the idea that the truth no longer exists come from? Or the notion that the truth doesn't matter anymore?  Host Paul Kennedy talks to thinkers who argue that the story began years earlier, with a kind of collective identity crisis: authoritarianism can become attractive when you no longer remember who you are.

"'Post-truth' is often understood as involving people's emotions rather than their critical abilities to make distinctions. And I think that might be true but i think it's important to keep in mind that emotion and truth are not two different things. Emotion has to do with what we care about and truths have to do with things that are the case. The two have to work together." -- Kathleen Higgins

People from all over are asking the question: how did we get here? In a world where technological advances spread to the masses at astonishing speed; in a time when we can be instantly connected to one another; in an era when information can travel around the globe in a flash, have we become less concerned with the verifiability of what we believe as long as it conforms to our point of view?

To read more articles by Henry A. Giroux and other authors in the Public Intellectual Project, click here.

And if the truth is atomized to the point where I can have my truth and you can have yours, then how can any of us actually have a conversation? Without a basic set of assumptions about what's true, we have no starting point for the debates we engage in. But maybe this is simply, as they say, the "new normal" -- that when it comes to the truth, where you stand depends on where you sit.

Guests in this episode:

  • Henry Giroux is a professor of English and cultural studies at McMaster University.
  • Jason Stanley is a professor of philosophy at Yale University.
     
  • Kathleen Higgins is a professor of philosophy at the University of Texas at Austin.

Further reading: 

 
**This episode was produced by Naheed Mustafa.

This piece was reprinted by Truthout with permission or license. It may not be reproduced in any form without permission or license from the source.

Paul Kennedy

Paul Kennedy has been the host of Ideas since 1999, when he succeeded the legendary Lister Sinclair. But Paul's association with the program goes back more than 30 years, to 1977. That year, he made his first contribution to Ideas with a documentary called The Fur Trade Revisited.

The project took him on a 1,600-kilometer journey paddling down the Mackenzie River from Great Slave Lake to the Arctic Ocean. Paul's interests encompass the environment, sport, travel, food, music, art and biography. His work engages what he describes as, "the core curriculum of contemporary culture." In the course of his work, he has travelled across Canada, throughout North America, to Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

He has won national and international recognition for his work, including an ACTRA award for best Canadian radio documentary for a program called War on the Home Front, co-authored with Timothy Findley; the B'nai Brith Media Human Rights Award for a series called Nuremberg on Trial; an Armstrong Award presented by Columbia University. In 2005, he was awarded the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Special Citation for Excellence in Ocean Science Journalism for his eight-part series Learning from the Oceans.

Paul has a BA from Queen's University, an MLitt from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland. He did post-graduate work at the University of Toronto where he studied with Marshall McLuhan.


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