Tag Archives: Fake news

Banging on

Part of a series which began with Fake news and the ethics of belief.

Last time I explained why I think it’s so important to have a workable principle of good and safe believing.

In short, it’s because we need an antidote for the kind of fake news which led to the storming of the Capitol building, and for the kind of unjustified religious belief which led to 9/11 and the Spanish Inquisition.

Trump supporters storm Capitol building, Washington DC
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What is and what ought to be

Part of a series which began with Fake news and the ethics of belief.

I was talking last time about 9/11, religious belief and fake news in relation to William Clifford’s 1877 evidence principle:

…it is wrong always, everywhere, and for anyone, to believe anything upon insufficient evidence.

Clifford’s principle has come in for a lot of stick over the years from those who saw it as too ‘scientistic’ – ie coming from ‘an exaggerated belief in the principles and methods of science’.

11 September 2001 attacks on New York City: View of the World Trade Center and the Statue of Liberty
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Fake news and the ethics of belief

First in a series.

On 15 December 2020 I finally graduated with a PhD in Philosophy from the University of Cape Town (UCT), South Africa. My thesis was on the ethics of belief. It was finished at the end of 2019 and submitted in January. In September I heard the final version had been accepted.

In this Covid year the graduation ceremony was of course a virtual rather than physical event. Even if it had been a physical event I may not have attended in person as we had returned to the UK in 2016.

University of Cape Town
University of Cape Town, Upper Campus
By Adrian Frith – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=845804
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I Believe I Can Fly

Clifford William KingdonThanks to leisureguy I came across a welcome affirmation that, despite ‘t internet, AI, fake news, Donald Trump, Cambridge Analytica and what have you, William Clifford’s 1877 The Ethics of Belief is still being read and taken seriously today.

This is good as I’m desperately close to finishing a PhD on Clifford, The Ethics of Belief and William James. Continue reading