prophilosophy

Professional philosophy news

Lies in Political Speeches

Jason Stanley (Rutgers) writes for the Stone here. There’s a discussion of the piece over at Feminist Philosophers.

We are all familiar with the “fact checkers” of the presidential campaign. Proud to be part of the fourth estate, these well-intentioned wonks uncover and unpack the various claims made by candidates, determining their veracity. But what if these efforts are in vain? And what if the campaigns themselves are not to be blamed? Is it possible that we are all culprits perpetuating this culture of “truthiness” on the political stage?

The Romney campaign knows that there is no cost at all to making obviously false statements in order to convey an alternative message. Claims in the public domain are now routinely treated as intentional distortions of facts to promote ideologies; distortions or misrepresentations justified by the need to “counterbalance” false claims from the other side. The Romney campaign is not at fault for making false statements. They are just astutely taking advantage of the political environment in which all campaigning now takes place.

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