Power/propaganda: the epistemology of Brexit

Authors: Chris Collinge*, Birmingham University
Topics: Political Geography, Social Theory
Keywords: post-truth, epistemology, Brexit
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/10/2018
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:40 AM
Room: Bayside B, Sheraton, 4th Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Agnosticism is widespread within the social sciences and humanities regarding the truth-value of knowledge-claims, and this agnosticism – plus associated scepticism and relativism – has left these disciplines diminished as proponents of truth and critics of propaganda (as exemplified in post-truth politics). Scepticism has, for example, made such disciplines slow to acknowledge the mundane truths of direct experience, and the institutional procedures that exist for evaluating the truth-value of indirect experience (such as evidence from the past, or from x-ray machines). It has also made it difficult for them to acknowledge the immutable matrix of imperatives and constraints (physical, social, temporal, spatial) that must be negotiated in life, and that provides the grounds for evaluating truth claims. In this paper I draw inspiration from the field of social epistemology in examining the production of true and false assertions during the geo-political process of Brexit.

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