Public Reason: Vol. 8, No. 1-2, 2016
The Problem of Fake News
M R. X. Dentith

Looking at the recent spate of claims about “fake news” which appear to be a new feature of political discourse, I argue that fake news presents an interesting problem in epistemology. The phenomena of fake news trades upon tolerating a certain indifference towards truth, which is sometimes expressed insincerely by political actors. This indifference and insincerity, I argue, has been allowed to flourish due to the way in which we have set the terms of the “public” epistemology that maintains what is considered “rational” public discourse. I argue one potential salve to the problem of fake news is to challenge this public epistemology by injecting a certain ethical consideration back into the discourse.

Key words: fake news, social epistemology, polite society.


Dentith, M R. X. The Problem of Fake News. Public Reason 8 (1-2): 65-79.