Democracy and/vs Truth

  • February 18, 2013 · 7:00 PM
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The suggested reading for this meetup was a winner of 3 Quarks Daily's philosophy prize for 2012, and it tackles the thorny issue of the complex relationship between democracy and truth. As the author puts it: "in a democracy there should be no dogma: no knowledge protected from public challenge and debate. Yet this whole argument is founded on embarrassing misconceptions of the nature of truth and of the working of democracy."

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  • Boris

    Damn, I wanted to be there so much. Such a relevant discussion. Here is an interesting twist to the twilight-zone reality we are facing, coming from what would under normal circumstances be termed as a non-credible source, but nevertheless very real and comfortably ignored by the so-called credible sources.

    http://www.infowars.com/dhs-supplier-provides-shooting-targets-of-american-gun-owners/

    This is beyond sickening.

    February 19, 2013

  • Bill

    I don't think total transparency is really appropriate, especially in military matters. In 1944, did the American public have the right to know we were really going to land at Normandy and not Calais?

    January 2, 2013

    • William C.

      Tim that is what we did in Afghanistan. If not, what "should be done?

      February 19, 2013

    • William C.

      Nemo2 It would have made a difference to the lives and success of the military if the German military knew before or even shortly after D-day wether the landing was going to be at Normandy or Calias.

      1 · February 19, 2013

  • Boris

    Sorry, family emergency.

    February 18, 2013

  • Bill

    I've started a discussion thread for this event: http://www.meetup.com/philosophynownyc/messages/boards/thread/30736282

    January 23, 2013

  • Harry

    I am wracked with guilt—and will get back to my self-scourging as soon as I dash off this note—because I got into this session by being the first one to respond to the meetup.com-generated email stating that a spot had become available. Shouldn't the person who's been on the waiting list the longest have right of first refusal? [Thank you all for your kind offers of assistance with the scourging, but I've got it!]

    1 · January 7, 2013

    • Julia N.

      I received the offer for the open spot but was unable to change the status of my attendance to confirm that I will take the spot---any help greatly appreciated--

      January 7, 2013

    • Massimo

      Julia, when a slot becomes available the system automatically emails everyone on the waiting list. Probably someone beat you to it.

      January 8, 2013

  • Dorothy K.

    Hi, Harry when it comes to newly available spots, the rule has always been first off the mark gets the spot. btw don't forget the healing power of Rosemary Water after self-scourging. Best wishes, D

    January 7, 2013

  • John P

    Actually, any ethnic food BUT Indian would be good for me, but I like the idea. I waited 6 hours to respond and am 14th on the waiting list. Yikes.

    January 3, 2013

  • Pat G.

    For my fellow people on the waitlist: as I'm really into political philosophy, unless I make it into the group I'll probably be organising an alternative gathering (same size or perhaps slightly smaller) on this topic with the same reading, obviously in a different place/time, and providing Massimo doesn't object.

    January 2, 2013

    • Harry

      Pat, did you use "place/time" to mean "place or time"? I don't see why your proposed alternative gathering would have to be in a different place *and* time from the official meetup. [While the sowing of mischief is anathematical to me, I can't wondering what might happen if the alternative location were right next door at the same time, and participants could democratically decide which conversation they liked better :-) ]

      January 3, 2013

    • Pat G.

      I suspect allowing that kind of choice would make it very hard for people to know if they have a reserved slot in the main meetup. Still, you're right that not-both-of-those would need to differ. If I were to organise it myself (making the phone calls to restaurants and the like) I'd probably take the liberty of deciding on Indian food though :)

      January 3, 2013

  • Pat G.

    Transparency, at least insofar as it is practical, seems like it's at least a fine default for policy matters when there's no game-theory problem with it. Still, I agree with the author that this is not intrinsic to democracy, which can presumably have many forms.

    1 · January 2, 2013

    • Pat G.

      I always find topics related to this to be interesting because most other people seem to care strongly about things I care little about; broad democracy in the style we have it isn't that interesting to me, while democracy in every workplace, free press, public dissent, and transparency strike me as quite important. In a society where so much power is in private hands, the ability to vote on and benefit from the structure of broad rules of society seems less potent to me (assuming basic/reasonable decency of that state) than the cousin idea of workers collectively owning and running their business collectives (and necessarily the move towards competing collectives rather than competing businesses in the market sector).

      January 2, 2013

    • Boris

      It seems to me that the ideal combination of transparency and democracy that you find important can be redefined as an unimpeded flow of and access to information within a system associated with ever present possibility of decisive input from all participating parties notwithstanding the potential contrarily nature of such input. Sorry, my feeble mind earns for higher degree of abstraction and disassociation from the muddled definitions of political and sociological nature.

      January 2, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    January 2, 2013

  • Boris

    Bill, "all is fair in love and war." How about loveless peacetime in an allegedly democratic society?

    January 2, 2013

12 went

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