Article

Rethinking the Post-Truth Polarisation Narrative: Social Roles and Hinge Commitments in the Plural Public Sphere

Citation

Ashton NA & Cruft R (2021) Rethinking the Post-Truth Polarisation Narrative: Social Roles and Hinge Commitments in the Plural Public Sphere. Political Quarterly. https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-923x.13032

Abstract
This article critically evaluates what we call the ‘popular narrative’ about the state of the public sphere. We identify three elements of this popular narrative (the post-truth element, the polarisation element and the new technology element), and draw on philosophical work on hinge epistemology and social roles to challenge each one. We propose, instead, that public debate has always depended on non-evidential commitments, that it has always been home to significant, deep division, and that social media, rather than causing these phenomena, has just made them more visible. Finally, we recommend some changes to traditional and social media which we believe would help foster a healthier, more inclusive, public sphere.

Keywords
post-truth; polarisation; social media; hinge epistemology; evidence; social roles

Notes
Output Status: Forthcoming/Available Online

Journal
Political Quarterly

StatusIn Press
FundersAHRC Arts and Humanities Research Council
Publication date online03/07/2021
Date accepted by journal30/06/2021
URLhttp://hdl.handle.net/1893/32854
PublisherWiley
ISSN0032-3179
eISSN1467-923X