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Appears in Collections:Law and Philosophy Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Rethinking the Post-Truth Polarisation Narrative: Social Roles and Hinge Commitments in the Plural Public Sphere
Author(s): Ashton, Natalie Alana
Cruft, Rowan
Keywords: post-truth
social media
hinge epistemology
social roles
Issue Date: Dec-2021
Date Deposited: 5-Jul-2021
Citation: Ashton NA & Cruft R (2021) Rethinking the Post-Truth Polarisation Narrative: Social Roles and Hinge Commitments in the Plural Public Sphere. Political Quarterly, 92 (4), pp. 598-605.
Abstract: This article critically evaluates what we call the ‘popular narrative’ about the state of the public sphere. We identify three elements of this popular narrative (the post-truth element, the polarisation element and the new technology element), and draw on philosophical work on hinge epistemology and social roles to challenge each one. We propose, instead, that public debate has always depended on non-evidential commitments, that it has always been home to significant, deep division, and that social media, rather than causing these phenomena, has just made them more visible. Finally, we recommend some changes to traditional and social media which we believe would help foster a healthier, more inclusive, public sphere.
DOI Link: 10.1111/1467-923x.13032
Rights: © 2021 The Authors. The Political Quarterly published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Political Quarterly Publishing Co (PQPC). This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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