A Revolt Against Expertise: Pseudoscience, Right-Wing Populism, and Post-Truth Politicst

Taner Edis
Truman State University, United States | edis@truman.edu

Received: 29-May-2019 | Accepted: 31-October-2019 | Published Online: 24-November-2019
Disputatio [Dec. 2019], Vol. 9, No. 13, pp. 00-00 | DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.3567166
Article | [EN] | Full Text | Statistics | Copyright Notice [sp] | Vol. 9 No. 13

How to cite this article:
Edis, Taner (2020). «A Revolt Against Expertise: Pseudoscience, Right-Wing Populism, and Post-Truth Politicst». Disputatio. Philosophical Research Bulletin 9, no. 13: pp. 00–00.


Abstract | While concern about public irrationality and antiscientific movements is not new, the increasing power of right-wing populist movements that promote distrust of expertise and of scientific institutions gives such concerns a new context. Experience with classic pseudosciences such as creationism, and the long-running efforts by defenders of science to oppose such pseudosciences, may also help us understand today’s post-truth populism. The politics of creationism and science education in the United States and in Turkey does not, however, suggest easy answers. Moreover, there are important features of politics in liberal democracies that drive a populist backlash, which makes it counterproductive for defenders of science to call for deference to all forms of expertise claimed by professionals. There is a danger that the rhetoric of reason that is used to defend science will become part of a more general apologetics for an unsustainable status quo.
Keywords |
Irrationalism · Pseudoscience · Right-Wing Populism · Religious Nationalism · Expertise · Skepticism.

Una revuelta contra la experiencia: pseudociencia, populismo de derechas y políticas de la posverdad

Resumen | Si bien la preocupación por la irracionalidad pública y los movimientos anticientíficos no es nueva, el creciente poder de los movimientos populistas de derecha, que promueven la desconfianza en la experticia y en las instituciones científicas, otorga a estas preocupaciones un nuevo contexto. La experiencia con pseudociencias clásicas como el creacionismo, así como los esfuerzos de los defensores de la ciencia por oponerse a tales pseudociencias, también pueden ayudarnos a comprender el populismo de la posverdad de hoy en día. Sin embargo, la política del creacionismo y la educación científica en los Estados Unidos y en Turquía no sugieren respuestas fáciles. Además, existen determinadas características en las políticas de las democracias liberales que promueven reacciones populistas, lo cual hace que resulte contraproducente para los defensores de la ciencia pedir deferencia hacia todas las formas de experticia arrogadas por los profesionales. Existe el peligro de que la retórica de la razón empleada para defender la ciencia se convierta en parte de una apologética más general por un statu quo insostenible.
Palabras Clave | Irracionalismo · Pseudociencia · Populismo de derechas · Nacionalismo religioso · Experticia · Escepticismo.


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