A Player's Guide to the Post-Truth Condition

A Player's Guide to the Post-Truth Condition

The Name of the Game

By Steve Fuller

Key Issues in Modern Sociology

This book is a shorter, more accessible and updated follow-up to Post-Truth: Knowledge as a Power Game, which remains the only book that sheds a largely hopeful light on our post-truth condition across a wide range of intellectual fields and public affairs, including Brexit, Trump and the COVID-19 pandemic.

PDF, 140 Pages

ISBN:9781785276057

November 2020

£19.95, $27.95

EPUB, 140 Pages

ISBN:9781785276064

November 2020

£19.95, $27.95

  • About This Book
  • Reviews
  • Author Information
  • Series
  • Table of Contents
  • Links

About This Book

A Player’s Guide to the Post-Truth Condition: The Name of the Game presents sixteen short, readable chapters designed to leverage our post-truth condition’s deep historical and philosophical roots into opportunities for unprecedented innovation and change. Fuller offers a bracing, proactive and hopeful vision against the tendency to demonize post-truth as the realm of ‘fake news’ and ‘bullshit’. Where others see threats to the established order, Fuller sees opportunities to overturn it. This theme is pursued across many domains, including politics, religion, the economy, the law, public relations, journalism, the performing arts and academia, not least academic science. The red thread running through Fuller’s treatment is that these domains are games that cannot be easily won unless one can determine the terms of engagement, which is to say, the ‘name of the game’. This involves the exercise of ‘modal power’, which is the capacity to manipulate what people think is possible. Once the ‘necessarily’ true appears to be only ‘contingently’ so, then the future suddenly becomes a more open space for action. This was what frightened Plato about the alternative realities persuasively portrayed by playwrights in ancient Athens. Nevertheless, Fuller believes that it should be embraced by denizens of today’s post-truth condition. 

This book is designed to do what its title says, namely, to provide a guide to the post-truth condition for those who wish to feel at home and thrive in it – rather than simply avoid or attack it. It consists of a series of short chapters that are best read in the order presented but may also be read in a different order or simply in parts – as most books are normally read. The book ranges widely across philosophy, theology, science, politics, economics, psychology and the arts – but hopefully in a way that allows readers to find their bearings, given the opportunities presented by the Internet to follow up whatever might interest them in the text. Underlying this breadth of scope is a fundamental scepticism with ‘business as usual’ in the production and evaluation of knowledge claims. To be sure, the reader will see that post-truth extends many of the themes already found in what passes for ‘postmodernism’. However, at a deeper level, and in light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the post-truth condition invites us to discover in a new key what it has always meant to be ‘modern’.

Reviews

“Steve Fuller uses the concept of gaming to understand the nature of post-truth and asserts that one outcome of the post-truth condition is the gamification of reality. He offers an original, wide-ranging and precise analysis of current post truth conditions, which enables the marketization of everything and replaces politics with performance and public relations.”—Gareth Thompson, London College of Communication, University of the Arts London; Author of Post-Truth Public Relations: Communication in an Era of Digital Disinformation

Steve Fuller’s Post Truth: Knowledge as a Power Game presented a serious challenge to current conceptions of objectivity, the autonomy of science, and the role of higher education. In A Player’s Guide to the Post-Truth Condition, he raises the ante. Bringing his ideas about ‘Protscience’ to bear on social justice movements, Covid-19 and Breitbart through a meditation on facts and values from Plato to Popper and beyond, the reader is confronted with inevitable existential decisions about what she values most.”—Sharon Rider, Professor of Logic and Metaphysics, University of Uppsala, Sweden

“Fuller’s breadth of scope is stunning and his authenticity as a player unquestionable. He’s nailed the post-truth anti-regime as having a democratic heart at odds with monopoly licenses that experts granted themselves and does so in full awareness that new fields of play must be duly constituted.”—Fred D’Agostino, Professor Emeritus of Humanities, Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities, University of Queensland, Australia

“Fuller undertakes a fresh positive critique of the post-truth condition in the Hegelian sense of grasping the ‘rational grain’ of the post-truth as a reality worthy of explanation – not a pure obstacle that has to be denied, overcome or ignored. The post-truth questions both the ‘one’ way and the ‘many’ ways to truth. The whole book serves as a ‘guide for an advanced user’, i.e. an instruction for those who resist using any instructions and choose the game of their own.” —Ilya Kasavin, Chair, Department of Social Epistemology, Institute of Philosophy, Russian Academy of Sciences

An author podcast about the book is posted on Acast; Podcast Link: https://shows.acast.com/ipse-dixit/episodes/steve-fuller-on-the-post-truth-condition

Author Information

Steve Fuller is Auguste Comte Professor of Social Epistemology at the University of Warwick, UK. 

Series

Key Issues in Modern Sociology

Table of Contents

A Word to the Reader; Acknowledgements; Introduction: How to Learn to Stop Worrying and Love the Post-Truth Condition; Post-Truth Breaks Free of Reason’s Own Self-Imposed Chains; Post-Truth Is About Finding a Game One Can Win; The Fate of Truth, Reason and Reality in the Post-Truth Condition; Capitalism, Scientism and the Construction of Value in the Post-Truth Condition; Public Relations as Post-Truth Politics, or the Marketization of Everything; The New York Times Gets the Post-Truth Treatment; Science as the Offer That Can’t Be Refused in the Post-Truth Condition; Will Expertise Survive the Post-Truth Condition?; Will Universities Survive the Post-Truth Condition?; ‘Research Ethics’ as Post-Truth Playground; Why Ignorance – not Knowledge – Is the Key to Justice in the Post-Truth Condition; A Pandemic Seen through a Post-Truth Lens; Thinking in the Fourth Order: The Role of Metalepsis in the Post-Truth Condition; The Path from Francis Bacon: A Genealogy of the Post-Truth Condition; Conclusion: How to Put Yourself in the Post-Truth Frame of Mind; References; Index.

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