Summary of The Constitution of Knowledge

Looking for the article?
We have the summary! Get the key insights in just 5 minutes.

The Constitution of Knowledge summary
Start getting smarter:
or see our plans

Rating

9

Qualities

  • Innovative
  • Background
  • Inspiring

Recommendation

All politicians occasionally bend the truth. Brookings Institution fellow Jonathan Rauch argues, however, that United States President Donald Trump has broken with established norms by spreading falsehoods regularly and with a strategic purpose: to undermine the very concept of objective truth. Trump’s behavior, Rauch claims, is symptomatic of a larger trend. In recent years, internet propagandists have chipped away at a long-held, informal social consensus on how to derive facts – a process he refers to as the “constitution of knowledge.” getAbstract recommends this article to those concerned with the rise of disinformation in America.

About the Author

Jonathan Rauch is an author and senior fellow in governance studies at the Brookings Institution. 

 

Summary

During the Age of Enlightenment Western societies developed a mechanism to identify truth modeled on the scientific method. The first pillar of this “constitution of knowledge” is freedom of speech, which allows anyone to state a hypothesis. Experts then evaluate the hypothesis’s validity. Society as a whole accepts knowledge derived by this method as official. There is no central intellectual arbiter, but rather, a wide network of institutions, professional bodies and peer-reviewed journals that keep adding to people’s understanding of reality. Only the most persuasive theories prevail in this marketplace...


More on this topic

By the same author

How American Politics Went Insane
8

Customers who read this summary also read

The Authentic Appeal of the Lying Demagogue
8
Devil’s Bargain
9
Ukraine and the Art of Strategy
7
Can Facebook Fix Its Own Worst Bug?
8
Kill All Normies
8
Brett Kavanaugh and the Information Terrorists Trying to Reshape America
8

Related Channels

Comment on this summary