Our world of seamless information sharing and low-attention spans make it easy to spread news stories that are entirely fabricated. An entire industry of fake news sites has emerged generating advertising revenue for their owners. How do preexisting beliefs make us fall victim to outrageous stories? Why can’t we make rational decisions when it comes to evaluating information? How do our Why can’t we resist sharing articles that confirm our views? A panel of faculty members from philosophy, sociology, and psychology discuss these questions.
“In the first place, we don’t like to be called ‘refugees.’ We ourselves call each other ‘newcomers’ or ‘immigrants’…A refugee used to be a person driven to seek refuge because of some act committed or political opinion held. Well, it is true we have had to seek refuge; but we committed no acts and most of us never dreamt of having any radical opinion…”
These words, which are quite relevant to us today, were written in 1943 by political philosopher Hannah Arendt in her essay “We Refugees.”
Arendt is a leading 20th century philosopher who explored political thought in an era of authoritarianism and fascism before and after World War II. She has much to offer us today.
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