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Falsehoods Fly

Why Misinformation Spreads and How to Stop It

Paul Thagard

Falsehoods Fly
Falsehoods Fly

Falsehoods Fly

Why Misinformation Spreads and How to Stop It

Paul Thagard

Paperback | English
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Description

A leading cognitive scientist and philosopher offers a new framework for recognizing and countering misleading claims by exploring the ways that information works—and breaks down.

In this important book, renowned philosopher Paul Thagard doesn’t beat around the bush: misinformation kills. But what is misinformation exactly? Thagard offers not only a bold new theory but also actionable solutions. A timely and compelling read.

Paul Thagard has done a great public service by writing such an accessible, comprehensive book on what many feel is the great scourge of our age: misinformation. I am delighted to see a philosopher of such stature take on this problem, bringing logic, crystal-clear prose, and a little hope to a topic that affects us all. This is public philosophy at its finest.

Falsehoods Fly gives a novel framework for thinking about the various mechanisms involved in the spread of misinformation. By breaking this process down into concrete stages, Thagard helps identify what makes people susceptible to false beliefs. He draws on the latest in cognitive science to identify where the processes of misinformation can best be interrupted and stopped. A range of current examples, from the COVID-19 pandemic to the Russia-Ukraine war, helps situate his arguments. This insightful book can help us all better understand ourselves and improve our ability to form good beliefs.

In his signature lucid and witty style, Paul Thagard offers a novel theory of misinformation—how it is generated and spread and how it can be fixed. His theory is rooted in a solid foundation and comes with a healthy dose of optimism that bullshitters and their "alternative facts" will not prevail. A refreshing perspective and satisfying read.

In Falsehoods Fly, a leading cognitive scientist and philosopher offers a new framework for recognizing and countering misleading claims by exploring the ways that information works — and breaks down. Thagard develops an innovative theory of how we gain information and provides practical, concrete strategies to stop the creation and spread of misinformation.

A Yale Climate Connections top-twelve leading candidate for an election-year reading list.

Paul Thagard is distinguished professor emeritus of philosophy at the University of Waterloo and fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, the Cognitive Science Society, and the Association for Psychological Science. His books include Bots and Beasts: What Makes Machines, Animals, and People Smart? (2021) and Balance: How It Works and What It Means (Columbia, 2022).

Specifications

  • Publisher
    Columbia University Press
  • Pub date
    Feb 2024
  • Pages
    376
  • Theme
    Disinformation and misinformation
  • Dimensions
    235 x 156 mm
  • EAN
    9780231213950
  • Paperback
    Paperback
  • Language
    English

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