The truth play

Truth telling and performance in a post-truth world

Even amid a so-called post-truth era, truth telling is seen as a virtue. But what does it mean to tell the truth? Rather than simply reporting what we earnestly believe, telling the truth is a way of navigating the world we have chosen to live in, writes Steve Fuller. 

In a world where we have imperfect access to the truth, should we say what we truly believe or say what we think is likely to lead to the truth? What follows should be read as a case for the latter as indicative of the moral psychology of the ‘post-truth condition’. We shall see that a commitment to the truth is less to a specific goal, let alone a state of the world, than to a direction of travel within a world that one has chosen to inhabit.

The different courses of action implied in the choice should be intuitively clear. The former is about sincerity, rendering our souls transparent for others to see and judge for themselves: We may turn out to be wrong, but at least we correctly asserted

Continue reading

Enjoy unlimited access to the world's leading thinkers.

Start by exploring our subscription options or joining our mailing list today.

Start Free Trial

Already a subscriber? Log in

Join the conversation