Principle of Charity
Spotlight With Jonathan Rauch: How Do We Know What’s True?
US writer and author of The Constitution of Knowledge Jonathan Rauch, explains what ‘truth’ is and why and how we must defend it. In a fascinating account of how liberal democracies ‘produce’ knowledge, Jonathan describes this unwritten ‘constitution of knowledge’ as a global process of error checking with millions of people around the world, thousands of institutions, all searching for each other’s errors. Rauch says this social production of knowledge which began around 200 years ago turns out to be a species transforming technology that “produces more new knowledge in a given morning than humanity did in the first 200,000 years”.
This is a Spotlight episode, where we look for guests who’s work deepens our understanding of the principle of charity.
Jonathan is a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington D.C. He’s the author of eight books and numerous articles on public policy, culture and government. His latest book The Constitution of Knowledge: A Defense of Truth provides an account of how to push back against disinformation, canceling, and other new threats to our fact-based epistemic order.
An advocate for same-sex marriage, Jonathan wrote Gay Marriage: Why It Is Good for Gays, Good for Straights, and Good for America.
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Your hosts are Lloyd Vogelman and Emile Sherman.
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This Podcast is Produced by Jonah Primo and Bronwen Reid
Find Jonah @JonahPrimo on Instagram.