Know-It-All Society: Truth and Arrogance in Political Culture

Michael P. Lynch (Author)


Winner - National Council of Teachers of English - George Orwell Award for Distinguished Contribution to Honesty and Clarity in Public Language

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.

Product Details

$26.95  $24.26
Liveright Publishing Corporation
Publish Date
August 13, 2019
5.6 X 1.0 X 8.3 inches | 0.85 pounds
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About the Author

Michael P. Lynch is Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor and director of the Humanities Institute at the University of Connecticut. His previous books include True to Life and The Internet of Us.


This book is both a treasure and a treat--that rare volume that is philosophically rich, politically relevant, and lyrically written.--Eboo Patel, author of Out of Many Faiths
Michael Lynch has done it. Finally, someone has answered the question that has exasperated so many in this 'post-truth' era: Why are some people unconvinced by facts? The answer lies not in irrationality but identity. In these polarized times, to question someone's beliefs is to question their sense of self. In this book, Lynch brilliantly demonstrates that a solution to the problem of belief lies not just in valuing truth and evidence but reforming some of the toxic mental attitudes that exist not just in others but ourselves.--Lee McIntyre, author of The Scientific Attitude
A timely book on an important topic in our political culture today. Lynch is just the person to bring philosophical insight to these challenges--of trust, expertise, disagreement, and the prospects for conversation across the deep political chasms of our day.--Sanford Goldberg, author of To the Best of Our Knowledge
A sharp and engaging critique of the tribal arrogance that's so common in contemporary life, by one of our leading public philosophers. Lynch has a lot of provocative ideas--about social media, the rise of Donald Trump, whether we have to listen to neo-Nazis, and much else--and his rich book is a delight to engage with.--Paul Bloom, Professor of Psychology, Yale University, and author of Against Empathy: The Case for Rational Compassion
If we have learned anything over these past few years, it is that democracy is difficult. In this essential book for our times, Michael Lynch unflinchingly lays out its central conundrums in painfully recognizable ways, and bravely offers hope, and perhaps, some ways out. A remarkable achievement.--Jason Stanley, author of How Fascism Works
Lynch offers an insightful, timely message.
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