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lee mcintyre
lee mcintyre


Respecting Truth: Willful Ignorance in the Internet Age

Welcome to my website, where I'm excited to introduce you to my new book Respecting Truth: Willful Ignorance in the Internet Age. Throughout history, humans have always indulged in certain irrationalities and held some fairly wrong-headed beliefs. But I argue that we've now reached a watershed moment for ignorance in the modern era, when disinformation can be disseminated at lightning speed and our cognitive weaknesses can be exploited by savvy partisans who wish to advance their own ideological agendas. In Respecting Truth, I show how we can fight back, by embracing rational, empirical standards of evidence and choosing those methods of belief formation that are most likely to lead to truth.

I'm trained as a philosopher—and I do keep my hand in academic work through both scholarship and teaching—but my goal in writing these days is to engage a much larger audience in the kind of philosophical dialogue that can help to change the way that we think about the problems of everyday life and how philosophy might have a role in making the world a better place.

In some ways, this is a return to what philosophy had always been about, before the academics got ahold of it, when Socrates and his followers considered anything and everything to be a suitable topic for philosophical discussion, in hopes that the pursuit of wisdom would lead not only to knowledge but also a better life. We are in as much need of this today, I believe, as we were 2000 years ago. Philosophy needs not only professors, but also practitioners.

I hope that you might enjoy learning a bit more about my current works in progress. Feel free to sign up for my mailing list or email me with your own ideas about how philosophy can be made more accessible and relevant to the quality of human life. I'd love to hear from you.

Praise for Respecting Truth

"I've read Respecting Truth—it is excellent!"
   —Edward O. Wilson, University Research Professor Emeritus, Harvard University

"This is a compellingly written book that addresses a timely issue. It is well researched, tightly constructed, and insightful. It makes for an engaging, informative and eye-opening read. The prose is light and winning, and it provides an expertly guided tour of an issue of profound importance to us all."
   —Andrew Norman, Carnegie Mellon University

"McIntyre is very clear about the overall argumentative structure and he provides excellent examples for each topic under discussion. Although the ideas being discussed are sometimes rather sophisticated, his exposition is very relaxed and casual."
   —Noretta Koertge, Indiana University

"Lee McIntyre identifies the central problem of truth claims today—from global warming and GMOs to evolution and vaccinations—'willful ignorance.' Respecting Truth should be read by every member of Congress before voting on legislation, and they should do so based on the facts instead of party line. The problem is group think. The solution is having a designated skeptic. I nominate Lee McIntyre."
   —Michael Shermer, Skeptic Magazine, USA



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