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Truth and the Will to Illusion


Stanisław Filipowicz

It is often repeated that we live today in a ‹post-truth› world. But this problem has a long history. Greek philosophers investigated the origins of truth (and the will to truth) in hope to separate truth from illusion. But already Machiavelli equated the concept of truth with the notion of what seems to be true. And today? Perhaps, we are paying the price of naivety. In this book, the author approaches the idea of deliberative democracy with reservation, attempting to expose the vain hopes rooted in the Enlightenment tradition, which placed the desire for truth at the fore, and relegated the desire for illusion to the shadows. The book encourages reflection on the appeal of deception in a world which has become the media’s ‹grazing ground›; a world which rejects metaphysics in favour of pragmatic theories, thereby transforming politics into a sphere where truth is replaced with ‹narrative›.

Stanisław Filipowicz is professor at the University of Warsaw and ordinary member of the Polish Academy of Sciences. His research concentrates on the history of political ideas and political philosophy, and, more recently, on challenges posed by the erosion of classical patterns of democracy. He has authored many books and publications addressing the main currents of liberal thinking, exploring the patterns of rationality originating in the tradition of the Enlightenment and investigating their decay.