How knowledge gets made (Jonathan Rauch)

Episode 17 of de Ongekend podcast. Disinformation. Trolling, conspiracies, social media pile-ons and cancel culture. On the surface, these recent additions to our daily vocabulary appear to have little in common. But together, they are driving an epistemic crisis: a multi-front challenge to our ability to distinguish fact from fiction and elevate truth above falsehood. Jonathan Rauch reaches back to the parallel eighteenth-century developments of liberal democracy and science to explain what he calls the Constitution of Knowledge our social system for turning disagreement into truth. By explicating the Constitution of Knowledge and probing the war on reality, Rauch arms defenders of truth with a clearer understanding of what they must protect, why they must do so and how they can do it.

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03:00 What an epistemic crisis is, and why we are in one (it’s not about factual disagreements)
11:00 A perverse rationality in believing in false things
15:00 It’s surprisingly dangerous if we can’t know what people around us believe because they’re not allowed to say
20:00 What does Rauch mean by “The constitution of knowledge”?
25:30 The similarities between producing justice and producing knowledge
31:00 Is the constitution of knowledge not just a network of gatekeepers?
35:00 How the constitution of knowledge has been responsible for the growing moral acceptance of homosexuality
40:00 The (overestimated) role of social media in our epistemic crisis
52:00 Making sure truth wins


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