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Ignorance in an Age of Information: Why, More Than Ever, We Need Independent Universities and a Free Press

The CEU Campus
Thursday, September 12, 2019, 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm

Keynote speech by Jason Stanley

ABSTRACT / Thanks to the Internet, we now live in an age of information - everything is available to anyone with an internet connection. And yet with the rise of the internet, the world has simultaneously experienced a diminishment of democracy, due to the flourishing of a politics of fear, replete with conspiracy theories and myth. If the “cure to speech is more speech”, as a number of philosophers have argued, how has more access led to more ignorance? In this talk, I will explain how the key to understanding this puzzle is a reorientation about the function of speech. And I will argue that the only solution is robust institutions devoted to norms of debate centered around the search for knowledge.

ABOUT /  Jason Stanley is the Jacob Urowsky Professor of Philosophy at Yale University. Before going to Yale in 2013, he was Distinguished Professor in the Department of Philosophy at Rutgers University. Stanley is the author of How Propaganda Works, which won the PROSE Award for Philosophy from the Association of American Publishers, and How Fascism Works. He is a frequent contributor to The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Boston Review, and The Chronicle of Higher Education, among other publications.