What is real is no longer a question for philosophers alone. In today's world, it's a question we all contend with on a daily basis. Online, on television, in print and in public discourse, facts, feelings, and flat-out lies all share the same stage.
So how are we to tell the difference? Experts in technology, media, education, science, and politics are debating this very question. And while possible solutions are in the works, the truth may be that we as people simply prefer a lie that feels good over a truth that doesn't. Is the real problem our own human nature?
This hour we discuss not only the present and future of fake news, but its history as well. Turns out that efforts to undermine the truth are nearly as old as truth itself.
- Lee McIntyre - Research Fellow at the Center for Philosophy and History of Science at Boston University and an Instructor in Ethics at Harvard Extension School; author of Post Truth (MIT Essentials Series); (@LeeCMcIntyre).
- Jennifer Kavanagh - Political scientist at the RAND Corporation and Associate Director of the Strategy, Doctrine, and Resources Program in the RAND Arroyo Center; co-author of Truth Decay: An Initial Exploration of the Diminishing Role of Facts and Analysis in American Public Life (@jekavanagh).
- Benjamin Decker- Research Fellow at the Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy at Harvard University and former Research Coordinator at Storyful (@btdecker).
Colin McEnroe and Chion Wolf contributed to this show, which originally aired on April 12, 2018.