The WSU Humanities Center invites faculty, students, staff, and the community to a Brown Bag talk given by Steven Winter (Walter S. Gibbs Distinguished Professor of Constitutional Law) on the topic of "The Made and the Made-Up".
Truth is an ethical relation. Facts, whether descriptions of the physical world or of historical events, are necessarily mediated by our frames of reference. This contingency opens a space for disagreement that cannot be adjudicated by an absolute standard of truth. For those seeking power or profit, the temptation to exploit this state of undecidability is strong. When many question the institutions that broker meaning—science, the professions, the media—rumors, misinformation, deliberate distortions, and falsehoods all proliferate. In the digital age, the “made” is swiftly supplanted by the made-up. The remedy for this predicament is not technological or factual, but ethical and social. The normative resources for this project lie in our everyday ethic of communication and in the ideal of democracy as shared authority. Whether we can address this predicament effectively is uncertain. But the nature of the problem is clear: It is not that we live in a “post-truth” age, but rather that we are facing a crisis of democratic society as such. It is not so much that we lost sight of truth, as that we have lost sight of one another.
This event will be in-person (FAB 2339) and streamed. RSVP for the zoom link.
For more information about this event, please contact Jaime Goodrich at 3135775471 or email@example.com.