Living in a Post-Truth World: How Did We Get Here?

October 3rd, 2020 · 38 mins 6 secs

About this Episode

Admittedly, this is not a very Slavic episode, but we would like to balance the scales a little bit and discuss the existential crisis America is facing as well as we approach the 2020 presidential election. A New York Times article a few days ago said that though the United States makes up only 4% of the world's population, our Covid deaths account for 20% of the global totals. We're no math geniuses, but it looks like the U.S. has become Corona Country. So, what happened? Maybe you're wondering the same thing. But the pandemic is not really to blame--there's a lot more to our troubles than 200,000+ deaths and a Covid-downplaying President with Covid. (Hell, yes. It's complicated.) But as it turns out, our symptoms are basically universal.

So, to help us measure how far the U.S. has fallen in 2020, several weeks ago (following the Republican National Convention in August), philosopher and scholar Dr. Lee McIntyre joined us to discuss how we (America, the West, take your pick) got to a place of truth denial and what (if anything) we can do about it? Dr. McIntyre discusses his highly relevant book Post-Truth (MIT Press) and the importance of face-to-face discussions (but with masks!) with people in order to "enlarge their circle of concern" as difficult as that may be in a pandemic. We hope you enjoy this discussion. It helped us make sense of the divisions in this nation, politically and existentially, and hopefully it will be of use to you as well.

Thanks for listening and if you are an American citizen, please remember to do your civic duty and VOTE!


Lee McIntyre is a Research Fellow at the Center for Philosophy and History of Science at Boston University and an Instructor in Ethics at Harvard Extension School. He holds a B.A. from Wesleyan University and a Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor). He has taught philosophy at Colgate University (where he won the Fraternity and Sorority Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching Philosophy), Boston University, Tufts Experimental College, Simmons College, and Harvard Extension School (where he received the Dean’s Letter of Commendation for Distinguished Teaching). Formerly Executive Director of the Institute for Quantitative Social Science at Harvard University, he has also served as a policy advisor to the Executive Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Harvard and as Associate Editor in the Research Department of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
Check out his website: You can find his book Post-Truth on Amazon:
View his appearance on Amanpour & Co. earlier this year here:
Follow him on Twitter: @leemcintyre

NOTE: This episode was recorded on August 25th, 2020 via Zoom.

Co-Producer: Tom Rehnquist (Connect: Twitter @RehnquistTom)
Co-Host/Co-Producer: Matthew Orr (Connect:
Co-Host/Associate Producer: Lera Toropin
Associate Producer: Cullan Bendig
Associate Producer: Samantha Farmer
Assistant Producer: Milena D-K
Assistant Producer/Administrator: Kathryn Yegorov-Crate
Recording, Editing, and Sound Design: Michelle Daniel
Additional Editing: Jada Geraci

Music Producer: Charlie Harper (Connect: Instagram: @charlieharpermusic) (Main Theme by Charlie Harper and additional background music by Charlie Harper and Michelle Daniel, Scott Holmes, Eme Hache, Timecrawlers, and Ion Romania)

Executive Producer & Creator: Michelle Daniel (Connect: Instagram: @michelledaniel86)

DISCLAIMER: The views expressed on this episode do not necessarily reflect those of the show or the University of Texas at Austin.