School of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership: “Rescuing Reality: Can Americans Have Shared Facts Again?”
The School of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership at Arizona State University, a JMC partner program, hosted Jonathan Rauch for a lecture on partisanship and truth:
Millions of Republicans believe (falsely) that Democrats stole the 2020 presidential election. Millions of Democrats believe (falsely) that Republicans stole the 2018 Georgia gubernatorial election. Conspiracy theories, trolling, disinformation, and canceling seem to run amok, fracturing the country and causing what former President Obama and others call an epistemic crisis, where Americans can’t agree on even basic facts. Can we restore a common reality? The answer lies in James Madison’s principles of pluralism, persuasion, and compromise, which govern not only our politics but also our collective search for truth—and which are under withering attack today.
Thursday, October 28, 2021 • 5 PM
Turquoise Room, Memorial Union 220 • Arizona State University
Free and open to the public.
Jonathan Rauch is a senior fellow in the Governance Studies program at the Brookings Institution in Washington D.C. and contributing writer at The Atlantic, author of eight books and many articles, and has received the magazine industry’s two leading prizes – the National Magazine Award (the industry’s equivalent of the Pulitzer Prize) and the National Headliner Award.
The School of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership at Arizona State University seeks to introduce a new level of debate over the large questions of life that always arise. These are questions of value: What is the best form of government? The most efficient and just economy? The good life for an individual? And also basic questions of fact and concept: Is science the only kind of knowledge? Does history have a direction and purpose? Is moral choice a fact or delusion? These questions do not have easy answers, and indeed the questions have always been clearer than the answers. As a learning community of faculty and students, the school approaches them in two ways. One way is to look beyond the time and borders of our present society to the great thinkers who have contended for the high status of teachers of humanity, such as Homer, Dante and Shakespeare. The other way of studying the fundamental questions is to look within to American leaders, both intellectual and political, who have inspired us.
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