|Jonathan Jones asks if anyone cares about Van Gogh’s drawings in a post-truth world.|
Post-truth, post-9/11, postmodern, post-industrial, post-everything in our post-society.
Who do we trust anymore? In a whirlwind of upsets, unpredictability, and unsettlement, the world is at edge in post-truth. At least Oxford Dictionary’s “post-truth” as the word of the year was no surprise. But the rise of populist rhetoric, distrust of anyone in power, and general heightened insecurity have drawn scrutiny from the philosophers for centuries. And the truth is nowhere to be found.
Through the democratic forces that give agency and a playing field for any soul who chooses to engage, the news drives discourse. The mass media, with all it offers to love and hate, has evolved from newspaper stands from writers to an amorphous, ever-consuming ghost which infects all parts of society. And, through Trump, Brexit, and everything else, the discourse has had a tough fight. The post-truth world might be less about figuring out right from wrong, but what right and wrong really mean anymore. It’s no longer the case that the right answers to problems will appear when we find solutions, but, rather, result from understanding the role of subjectivity, validity, justification, certainty, and other epistemic values that give color to the truth. With these shades and hues that taint the blacks and whites, the post-truth world becomes a bit more understandable. Or at least, a bit more entertaining.
|Sexual assault stories from Kelly Oxford and others took center stage.|
The crowd is untruth. And I could weep, in every case I can learn to long for the eternal, whenever I think about our age’s misery, even compared with the ancient world’s greatest misery, in that the daily press and anonymity make our age even more insane with help from “the public,” which is really an abstraction, which makes a claim to be the court of last resort in relation to “the truth”; for assemblies which make this claim surely do not take place.
Where does the public go? The minority who speak to uphold the truth find themselves at odds with the crowd. Meandering through the messages of today require attention to these limits, lest we lose the battle on truth.