The Misinformation Age (Kobo eBook)

The Misinformation Age By Cailin O'Connor, James Owen Weatherall Cover Image
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“Empowering and thoroughly researched, this book offers useful contemporary analysis and possible solutions to one of the greatest threats to democracy.” —Kirkus Reviews

Editors’ choice, The New York Times Book Review

Recommended reading, Scientific American

Why should we care about having true beliefs? And why do demonstrably false beliefs persist and spread despite bad, even fatal, consequences for the people who hold them?

Philosophers of science Cailin O’Connor and James Weatherall argue that social factors, rather than individual psychology, are what’s essential to understanding the spread and persistence of false beliefs. It might seem that there’s an obvious reason that true beliefs matter: false beliefs will hurt you. But if that’s right, then why is it (apparently) irrelevant to many people whether they believe true things or not?

The Misinformation Age, written for a political era riven by “fake news,” “alternative facts,” and disputes over the validity of everything from climate change to the size of inauguration crowds, shows convincingly that what you believe depends on who you know. If social forces explain the persistence of false belief, we must understand how those forces work in order to fight misinformation effectively.

“[The authors] deftly apply sociological models to examine how misinformation spreads among people and how scientific results get misrepresented in the public sphere.” —Andrea Gawrylewski, Scientific American

“A notable new volume . . . The Misinformation Age explains systematically how facts are determined and changed—whether it is concerning the effects of vaccination on children or the Russian attack on the integrity of the electoral process.” —Roger I. Abrams, New York Journal of Books

Product Details
ISBN-13: 9780300241006
Publisher: Yale University Press
Publication Date: January 7th, 2019