Defending reason and truth against the enemies of knowledge.
Åsa Wikforss has a PhD in philosophy from Columbia University, New York, and is a Professor of Philosophy at Stockholm University. She has a career as an international scholar, lecturing across the world and is published widely in international research journals. She is a member of the Academia Europaea, the Royal Academy of Sciences and was recently elected a member of the Swedish Academy. With the publication of her popular book on post-truth she is rapidly gaining recognition as a public intellectual in the wider European context – as a woman defending reason and truth against the enemies of knowledge.
Åsa Wikforss succeeds Sara Danius on chair number 7 at the Swedish Academy.
Welcome to Grand Agency, Åsa.
We live in the era of ‘post truth’ – a time where public opinion is increasingly shaped by emotion and personal belief rather than by reason and evidence, and where established knowledge is being resisted. As the world is being flooded with fake news, conspiracy theories and science denial we look for a solution. From a philosophical and a psychological perspective, the book is aiming to provide an accessible guide to the phenomenon of post truth and how we can best counteract it, using concrete examples from current events and politics. Written in an easy accesible way, the book provides the basic philosophical framework required to understand the current challenges – explaining what distinguishes knowledge from mere opinion, why it is so easy to sow doubt and disinform, why truth is so hard and how the social nature of human knowledge makes us vulnerable to the manipulation of trust.
Åsa Wikforss about writing Alternative Facts
”Knowledge stands at the center of human existence, it is what sets us apart from the other animals and is what makes human cooperation and progress possible. When knowledge is under threat we are all under threat. The challenges we are facing are not simply philosophical, but concern politics and changes in the fabric of society. However, philosophy gives us the tools we need to understand the challenges and meet the enemies of knowledge, and I felt that as a philosopher it was time to step up to the plate.”
Laureate of Natur & Kultur’s Popular Science Award. The jury motivation:
”Powerful and elegant, Åsa Wikforss popularizes popular philosophy, explains the conditions of science and defends the role of the researcher. With dedication, persistence and educational clarity, she punctures a relativizing view of knowledge, stimulates critical thinking and maintains the good conversation.”