At the end of 2019, Americans were living in an era of post-truth characterized by fake news, weaponized lies, alternative facts, conspiracy theories, magical thinking, and irrationalism. While many complex interconnected factors were at work, this post-truth era was partly the culmination of a cadre of anthropologists and other academics in American universities and colleges during the 1980’s and 1990’s. In Science and Anthropology in a Post-Truth World, H. Sidky examines how their untoward dalliance with problematic and dangerous ideas by Michel Foucault, Jacques Derrida, Jean-François Lyotard, Bruno Latour, and Jean Baudrillard informed and empowered a forceful assault on science and truth in the following decades by corporate organizations, politicians, religious extremists, and right-wing populists.
H. Sidky is professor of anthropology at Miami University.
Chapter 1: The War on Science and Reason and the Way to Post-Truth
Chapter 2: De-legitimizing Science in the Academy: Ideological Underpinnings
Chapter 3: Science Studies and the Anthropology of Science: How Postmodernists Sought to Demystify Truth
Chapter 4: The Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity, Incomprehensibility, and the Sokal Hoax
Chapter 5: American Intellectual Contributions to Science Delegitimation: Kuhn and Feyerabend
Chapter 6: Epistemic Relativism: Is the World Truly Unknowable?
Chapter 7: Epistemology: How Do We Know What We Know?
Chapter 8: The Problem of Pseudoscience in Post-Truth America
Chapter 9: Postmodern Anthropology: Epistemic Relativism and Incoherence as an Experimental Moment?
Chapter 10: Paranormal and Theistic Anthropology: From Postmodernism to Post-Truth Supernaturalism
Chapter 11: From Postmodernism to Post-Truth United States