Ethics in the Spectacle of the 'Post-Truth' US and UK

ERI 149
Wednesday 13 November 2019 (15:15-17:00)
Contact (Wouter Peeters)

  • Scott Lucas (Department of Political Science and International Studies, University of Birmingham)

Scott Lucas became Professor of International Politics in 2014, having been on the staff of the University of Birmingham since 1989 and a Professor of American Studies since 1997. He began his career as a specialist in US and British foreign policy, but his research interests now also cover current international affairs --- especially North Africa, the Middle East, and Iran --- New Media, and Intelligence Services. A professional journalist since 1979, Professor Lucas is the founder and editor of EA WorldView, a leading website in daily news and analysis of Iran, Turkey, Syria, and the wider Middle East, as well as US foreign policy.


"Fake news" is a buzzword for 21st-century politics, media, and culture. But even as it is claimed that the term explains the rapid and pervasive changes in society and communication, "fake news" only risks confusion and even manipulation --- how to respond when a purveyor of "fake news" claims that it is "fake news" to criticize him/her?

To try and find some stable ground, I open this discussion with the recognition that "fake news" has always been with us --- think "propaganda" and "political warfare" --- and suggest that we begin with a course in "media literacy".

Can we then support this with an ethical foundation for our understanding, dissemination, and interaction? I suggest (as a student wanting to learn from those who specialize in philosophy) that we can consider standpoints such as those of Kant, Mill, and Rawls to find a way back to individual and community empowerment.

More information

This seminar is part of the 2019-20 Global Ethics Tea Seminar Series hosted by the Centre for the Study of Global Ethics.

The talk will start at 15:15, but please join us for tea and cake from 14:30.

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