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Know-It-All Society

Nonfiction: Politics & Current Events; Social Science
Unabridged   5 hour(s)
Publication date: 08/13/2019

F O R T H C O M I N G ! Available August

Know-It-All Society

Truth and Arrogance in Political Culture

Available from major retailers or BUY FROM AMAZON
Audio CD ISBN:9781684573042
Digital Download ISBN:9781684573059


The "philosopher of truth" (Jill Lepore, The New Yorker) returns with a clear-eyed and timely critique of our culture's narcissistic obsession with thinking that "we" know and "they" don't.

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Product Description

Taking stock of our fragmented political landscape, Michael Patrick Lynch delivers a trenchant philosophical take on digital culture and its tendency to make us into dogmatic know-it-alls. The internet—where most shared news stories are not even read by the person posting them—has contributed to the rampant spread of "intellectual arrogance." In this culture, we have come to think that we have nothing to learn from one another; we are rewarded for emotional outrage over reflective thought; and we glorify a defensive rejection of those different from us.

Interweaving the works of classic philosophers such as Hannah Arendt and Bertrand Russell and imposing them on a cybernetic future they could not have possibly even imagined, Lynch delves deeply into three core ideas that explain how we've gotten to the way we are: our natural tendency to be overconfident in our knowledge; the tribal politics that feed off our tendency; and the way the outrage factory of social media spreads those politics of arrogance and blind conviction. In addition to identifying an ascendant "know-it-all-ism" in our culture, Lynch offers practical solutions for how we might start reversing this dangerous trend.


“The book is accessible, admirably concise, clearly written, and richly insightful, both as a cultural diagnosis and as an exemplar of applying philosophical inquiry―ancient or otherwise―to everyday problems.” —Chad Comello, Booklist

“Lynch offers an insightful, timely message.” —Kirkus Reviews

Author Bio

Michael P. Lynch is the director of the Humanities Institute and a professor of philosophy at the University of Connecticut. His books include True to Life, an Editor's Choice by the New York Times Book Review. A frequent contributor to the New York Times, Lynch lives in Storrs, Connecticut.