Analyse & Kritik

Journal of Philosophy and Social Theory


"Sharon Rider"

Titel: Fitting and Fudging: On the Folly of Trying to Define Post-truth
Autor: Sharon Rider
Seite: 331-350

I propose that the ‘post-truth condition’, i.e., the vulnerability of our institutions for establishing and negotiating what is true and worth knowing, is not primarily a pathology, a susceptibility to external manipulation or coercion, as tends to be stressed in the literature, but has first and foremost to do with the unraveling of certain epistemic assumptions. In analogy with T.S. Eliot’s modernist notion that the attempt to capture and concretize an experience or a state of mind requires ‘objective correlatives’ which it conveys, I argue that the trope of post-truth to express the embattled status of expertise can be understood in terms of failed symbolization. In the second section, I spell out what this means in terms of Donald Davidson’s discussion of the problem of defining truth. In the last section, I propose a ‘poetics of political theory’ for understanding the post-truth condition.

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Focus: Post-truth and Democracy
2021 (43) Heft 2

The concept of ‘post-truth’ has existed for a while, but after the Oxford dictionary named it ‘word of the year’ in 2016, it has permeated public and academic debates. Since then, it has become synonymous with the populist threat to the liberal-democratic order. The concept points to the impression that we are entering an age of decay in which the achievements of modernity—objectivity, science, rationality, and democracy—are being gradually replaced by emotionality, agnotology, irrat...

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