The Fallacy of Post-Truth

“Brexit and Trump’s victory hit the liberal media like a thunderbolt of stupidity. How could voters defy the warnings of so many pundits, wonks, and fact-checkers? Almost unanimously, they answered: We live in an age characterized by post-factual politics. Pushed by major media organizations like Forbes and the New York Times, “post-truth” recently became Oxford Dictionaries’ new word of the year. A recent think piece in Huffington Post labeled “Post-Truth Nation” stated this idea succinctly: “the greatest problem of our future is not political; it is not economic; it is not even rational. It’s the battle of fact versus fiction.”

“As it happens, the facts simply don’t support the diagnosis that we have suddenly entered a post-factual landscape. ”


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Notes on Truth

Penny Lane, in Filmmaker Magazine, discusses post-truth and what it might mean for filmmakers.
Notes on Truth (Or, Documentary in the Post-Truth Era)
“Since Election Day, many in the documentary community have been asking the question, “What do we do now?” The most common response is, “We need to make great politically-engaged films.” I hope a lot of people do exactly that; I might even do it myself. Okay, I probably won’t. My answer is a lot more basic: we need to love, seek and defend truth.

I’m not fucking around, you guys: the truth might be hard to find sometimes, but it exists, and it is crucially important to the survival of our species. As plainly stated by the great moral philosopher Harry Frankfurt, “Without truth, we either have no opinion at all concerning how things are or our opinion is wrong. One way or the other, we do not know what kind of situation we are in.” The seeking of truth and the related love of knowledge — what Bill Nichols calls epistephilia — is the highest calling of the documentary pursuit.1 We chase it ourselves, and we hope to inspire it in others.”

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living in a post-truth society

Oxford Dictionaries has selected “post-truth” as 2016’s international word of the year, after the contentious “Brexit” referendum and an equally divisive U.S. presidential election caused usage of the adjective to skyrocket, according to the Oxford University Press.

The dictionary defines “post-truth” as “relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.”