Time Reveals the Truth, Louis Fabritius Dubourg, 1737. Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam.

Did Truth Ever Matter?


Harold M. Williams Auditorium

This is a past event

Is the idea of "fake news" a new problem, or itself "fake news"? In 1710, Jonathan Swift wrote, "Falsehood flies, and the truth comes limping after it, so that when men come to be undeceived, it is too late." And lies, slander, and libel were central features of politics, public discourse, and other human enterprises long before Swift. How did previous generations deal with the prevalence and power of falsehoods? How does art, by embodying a different kind of truth, serve as both a party to and a shield against lies? Panelists Jennifer Kavanaugh, coauthor of RAND Corporation's Truth Decay, Lee Mcintyre, author of Post-Truth, and The New York Times critic A.O. Scott explore humanity's longstanding devotion to lies and whether we’ll ever develop a healthier respect for the truth. Moderated by journalist Sandy Banks. Presented with Zócalo Public Square.

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