lies and lying liars
September 13, 2010 5:50 AM Subscribe
The marketplace of ideas and bad-faith arguments.
posted by gerryblog to religion & philosophy (18 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
I'm looking for instances in which liberal thinkers like Mill, Hayek, Habermas, and Rawls deal with the problem of bad-faith arguments. When these people talk about a "marketplace of ideas," what allowances do they make for lies, propaganda, intellectual dishonesty, denialism, and so on? How do they explain (or explain away) the crushing efficiency of rhetorical tactics that refuse reality or just plain muddy the waters?
I'm talking less about cognitive biases
and more about deliberate bad faith, though both are interesting to me.
Please also note that I'm using "liberal" in the academic, political science sense. That is, I'm not talking about American Democrats, even if the sorts of bad-faith arguments that most easily come to my mind are from Fox News. I'm interested in the way liberal theorists of democracy, across the left-right spectrum, have addressed the problem of lying, denialism, trolling, etc.; it's not about "liberals" in the sense of party politics.