Philosopher Christopher Robichaud on Truth and Knowledge in the American Political Context

Matt Bieber in The Wheat and Chaff:

ScreenHunter_08 Mar. 13 12.09MATT BIEBER: My sense is that you believe that our contemporary political discourse doesn’t place much value on getting at the truth. Is that right?

CHRISTOPHER ROBICHAUD: I think that’s true. I’m open to someone with more of a historical eye informing me that it’s always been bad. But I also think that there’s a certain zeitgeist going on right now of the form: How can we live in an age so rich in information, with so many educated people across the world, and still seem to be susceptible to such embarrassing and deep ignorance? You would have hoped at this point that a civil society would agree on the basic facts and could get about disagreeing about the interesting things – what to do about them. That’s where disagreements are supposed to happen.

But no, we don’t even agree on the basic facts. You look at the climate science debate. [Makes air quotes.] There’s a lot to disagree with about what the way forward is, about how bad it’s going to get and how soon – there’s a lot of things we don’t know. But there’s a lot of things we do know, and those are the things that are still being contested – it’s an embarrassment.

More here.