I diagnose the deterioration of public discourse regarding basic facts to the rise of populist politics, which is powered by the activation of identity-based fear and resentment of other groups. Populist politics "hears" the factual claims of other groups as insults to the groups it mobilizes, and thereby replaces factual inquiry with modes of discourse, such as denial, derision, and slander, designed to defend populist groups against criticism and whip up hostility toward rival groups. Nonpopulist groups, in turn, add fuel to the fire by blaming and shaming those who seem stubbornly and ignorantly attached to false claims in defiance of evidence.
This week's session is jointly organised with The Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics.
Please note the new start time of this seminar.
Conveners: Ed Lamb and Jeremy Fix
Members of the audience are invited to join the speaker and the convener for drinks and dinner at a local restaurant following the talk (at their own expense). There will be some limit on the number of people who can attend. Please RSVP to Ed Lamb to reserve a place. Please note that we will no longer be going to dinner afterwards at Somerville College to continue questioning the speaker.