UConn Humanities Institute director, Michael Lynch, joins a team of experts to speak with BBC World Service’s The Inquiry about the role of facts, arrogance, and tribalism in our societies. This episode strives to understand why we have such a great capacity to ignore facts and to believe them only when they match our convictions and what are the political, psychological, and social consequences of this increasingly entrenched behavior?
The University of Connecticut Humanities Institute (UConn-UCHI) director Michael Lynch has a new book: “Know-It-All Society: Truth and Arrogance in Political Culture.” Michael’s book, published by Liveright Publishing, explores how social media, despite what we may think, is used not for disseminating knowledge and facts, but as a means of expressing our outrage at those who do not share our convictions. This has only served to fan the flames of our public divide and tribal political affiliations: white nationalism and authoritarianism to the right, and identity politics and arrogant liberalism to the left. What’s the solution? Perhaps a dose of humility. Michael is the Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor of philosophy at UConn. He also served as the Principle Investigator of UCHI’s Humility and Conviction in Public Life Project (HCPL) funded by UConn and The Templeton Foundation.