Between Truth and Falsity: Liberal Education and the Arts of Discernment

Karim Dharamsi, David Ohreen (Eds.)

by James Cunningham , Deborah Forbes (Medicine Hat College, Canada), Ronald Glasberg (University of Calgary, Canada), Navneet Kumar (Medicine Hat College, Canada), Andrew Moore (St Thomas University), David Ohreen (Mount Royal University, Canada), Robert Randolph (Waynesburg University), Jason Openo (Medicine Hat College)

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The contributors to “Between Truth and Falsity” model liberal education by taking a common important world issue and deconstructing, deliberating, and dissecting it through a variety of perspectives across the arts, sciences, and humanities. The reader is left with more questions to pursue and lived realities to examine, laying the foundation for the continued pursuit of the Truth. This book should be required reading for anyone teaching, supporting, or leading liberal and general education programs to serve as a reminder of what's at stake for our students and an informed democracy.

Dr. Stephen Biscotte
Director of General Education at Virginia Tech

It seems we are awash in information. From the moment we wake until we turn over our phones at night, we are bombarded with images and messages, news and information from a confounding number of sources. But as the amount of information available to us increases ever more rapidly, its quality and reliability seem less credible. Russian troll bots, 4chan, Breitbart, and Rebel Media, challenge our credulity, but they do so by mimicking aesthetic registers consumers expect of “traditional” media outlets. Moreover, traditional news sources, both privately owned and public broadcasters, already weakened by eroding revenue, cuts to budgets, and shifting demographics, are under sustained attack from those who wish to damage their ability to hold powerful people to account. Instead of a multi-perspectival approach, which seeks to report to the public the many ways to address a particular issue, taking the reporter’s role as neutral with regard to outcome, “fake” or “ideologically” driven news sources compete for audience attention and faithfulness, often using emotion to rally people toward a certain political cause or issue.

Academics, meanwhile, have their work attacked and undermined by people or groups seeking to advance political or economic interests. They are told they too are political actors, one more voice in a messy public arena instead of a font of reliable information and knowledge. While academics continue to believe that their work, at least in part, enhances our understanding of the world and informs debate, how do we know that their conclusions are indeed more reliable than their critics in the “post-truth” era?

‘Between Truth and Falsity: Liberal Education and the Arts of Discernment’ will aid academics and students seeking to better grasp the value of liberal education within this post-truth era. It seeks to advance pedagogical ideas in order to fight factual erosion and reinforce intellectual capacities that are able to critically assess the chaos of information enveloping all segments of society. This volume will therefore be of particular interest to academics and university educators working in higher education, graduate students theorizing the nature of media and the role of higher education, undergraduates studying liberal education and the nature of the university, and those thinking about liberal education.

Acknowledgements

Foreword
Bruce Umbaugh
Webster University President of the Association of General and Liberal Studies

Chapter 1 Introduction
Karim Dharamsi
Mount Royal University
and
David Ohreen
Mount Royal University

Chapter 2 Metaphors for Higher Education in Our Public Discourse
Andrew Moore
St Thomas University

Chapter 3 The Discourse of Crisis in Liberal Education: Real Emergency or Fake News?
Jason Openo
Medicine Hat College

Chapter 4 Detecting Bullshit in a Culture of Fake News and Lies
David Ohreen
Mount Royal University

Chapter 5 Liberal Education and Truth in the Ages of Plato’s Culture Industry
James Cunningham
Mount Royal University

Chapter 6 How to ‘Handle’ the Truth from a Liberal Arts Perspective
Ronald Peter Glasberg
University of Calgary

Chapter 7 Black Criminality: A Matter of ‘Truth’ and our Acquiescence
Navneet Kumar
Medicine Hat College

Chapter 8 Complexity, Chaos, Collaboration: Untangling Strands of Truth; Teaching/Learning/Teaching in the 21st Century
Deborah Forbes
Medicine Hat College

Chapter 9 Truth and Awe
Robert M. Randolph
Waynesburg University

About the Authors
Index

Dr. Karim Dharamsi is Professor of Philosophy and Chair of General Education at Mount Royal University in Calgary, Canada. He has published articles in the philosophy of history, on the philosophy of R.G. Collingwood, Wittgenstein, Frege, the philosophy of education and liberal education.

Dr. David Ohreen earned his Doctoral Degree in Philosophy from the University of Wales, Lampeter, specializing in philosophical psychology. Before coming to General Education at Mount Royal University, he taught at the Bissett School of Business and the Faculty of Management, University of Lethbridge. David’s research interests bridge the complex interconnection between psychology and moral decision making. He is currently researching the motivations behind corporate funding of nonprofit organizations, the role of peer influence on moral decisions, and the extent to which empathy can be used to create good corporate citizens. He is the author of ‘The Scope and Limits of Folk Psychology: A Socio-Linguistic Approach’ and ‘An Introduction to Philosophy: Knowledge, God, Mind, and Morality’, and has also published academic articles on psychology, ethics, and corporate social responsibility.

Liberal Education, Higher Education, Injustice and Truth, Cinema and Education, Liberal Learning, General Education, Discovering Truth, Liberal Arts, Design Thinking, Visualization and Education, Discourse in Education, Journalist Integrity, Innovative Pedagogies

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