Truth, Evidence, and Reason: who can we believe?

Co-presented with the Post-Truth Initiative

 

Truth, Evidence, and Reason CMS

 

This panel discussion will dissect the current state of public discourse around truth, evidence, and reason, and associated questions including trust, faith, and identity.

Our international panellists are at the forefront of current debate on rational discourse and the post-truth crisis. In this Sydney Ideas event, hosted by the Post-Truth Initiative at the University of Sydney, panellists will discuss their answers to the question “who can we believe?”

Each, in their own ways, will show how truth is intertwined with complex questions ranging from knowledge to authority to reality.

ABOUT THE SPEAKERS


Sarah Haider is an American writer, speaker, and activist. In 2013, she co-founded Ex-Muslims of North America (EXMNA), where she advocates for the acceptance of religious dissent and works to create local support communities for those who have left Islam. In addition to atheism, Sarah is particularly passionate about civil liberties and women’s rights. You can reach Sarah at sarah@exmna.org, @SarahTheHaid and read more about EXMNA at www.exmna.org.
More speaker information

Read: Only the Truth will Prevent Harm


Tom Nichols is professor of national security affairs at the United States Naval War College, a Sovietologist, and a five-time undefeated Jeopardy! champion. He is a senior contributor at The Federalist and the author of six books, his most recent The Death of Expertise: The campaign against established knowledge and why it matters (2017). During the 2016 presidential campaign, Nichols wrote "an epic tweetstorm" arguing that conservatives should vote for Hillary Clinton, whom he detested, because Trump was "too mentally unstable" to serve as commander-in-chief.
More speaker information

Read: How We Killed Expertise
The Death of Expertise


James A Lindsay is a thinker, not a philosopher, with a doctorate in math and background in physics. He is the author of four books, most recently Life in Light of Death (2016). He is co-author (with Helen Pluckrose) of the article ‘A Manifesto Against the Enemies of Modernity’. His essays have appeared in TIME, Scientific American, and The Philosophers’ Magazine. He thinks everybody is wrong about God.
More speaker information

Read: A Manifesto Against the Enemies of Modernity


Dr Caroline West is a Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at the University of Sydney. She received her PhD in philosophy from The Australian National University in 1997. She lectured at Monash University and Macquarie University, before joining the Department in 2002. Her key areas of research in philosophy include free speech, ethics, identity, and well-being.
More speaker information

PANEL HOST

Professor Nick Enfield is Professor of Linguistics, head of the Post Truth Initiative, and Director of the Sydney Social Sciences and Humanities Advanced Research Centre, at the University of Sydney. His research on language, culture, cognition and social life is based on long term field work in mainland Southeast Asia, especially Laos. His recent books include Natural Causes of Language, The Utility of Meaning, Distributed Agency, and How We Talk.
More speaker information

Read: Some Key Coordinates on Post Truth
The Past Cannot be Reconstructed at Will