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Social Sciences

Social Sciences problem: Truth

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Literature Review: Truth problem for Social Sciences

This “Ten Problems for Social Sciences in the 2020s” booklet identifies ten relevant areas from very recent contributions put forward at academic level in the form journal articles, conference proceedings and students’ theses. Ten freely accessible internet references have been selected for each area and direct links are provided at the end of each chapter for own consultation. Our selected references do not intend to mirror ranking indexes nor establish novel classifications. On the contrary, they are meant to represent peer-reviewed, diverse and scientifically-sound case studies for vertical dissemination aimed at non-specialist readers. They will also be able to scoop even more references through the bibliography that is reported at the end of each selected reference.

Without further ado, these are the ten problems that we are going to introduce in this booklet:

  1. interculturalism,
  2. introspection,
  3. truth,
  4. authenticity,
  5. human enhancement,
  6. critical thinking,
  7. technocracy,
  8. privilege,
  9. ethics,
  10. higher education.

Each problem has its own dedicated chapter made of an introductory section, a short presentation of the ten selected references and a conclusions section.

The final chapter of this booklet will report the conclusions from each chapter again in order to provide a complete executive summary.


3 Truth

THE PROBLEM — The truth value is, without being a contradiction, both of natural and of social origin. Deceptive claims surround us, embedded in fake news, advertisements, political propaganda, and rumors. The concept of post-truth is now used against the very intellectual milieu it originates from.

CASE STUDIES — … buy this booklet from Amazon …

CONCLUSIONS — The idea that the form of truth is socially constructed and thus implies a normative attitude is compatible with naturalism. Truth judgments reflect inferences drawn from three types of information: base rates, feelings, and consistency with information retrieved from memory. Distinguishing between systematic and spiritual beliefs rather than between science and religion has several important consequences. A broad consortium of mainstream media is pursuing essentialist, emotion-based argumentation and mixing the construction of scientific method with moral values and ethics. Western societies have long been infatuated with the idea that leaders ought not concern themselves too much with factual reality. Concurrently, the citizen-consumer essentially buys the Truth that is “marketable” and which, generally speaking, follows the “Market trend”. A truth-telling oath may help elicit more truthful behavior, even in online crowd-sourced environments. Putnam accuses Rorty of a sophisticated relativism, which fails to take seriously the objective normativity of truth, the way in which truth transcends communal standards. Two main political themes exist in Erdogan’s Turkey: the ‘political fear’ and ‘post-truth communications’. The complementarity between social and mass media in atomized collective action in China is mediated by a middle-ground discursive mode or “implied truth”.

TEN FREE REFERENCES FROM THE INTERNET — … buy this booklet from Amazon …


Social Sciences
“Ten Problems for Social Sciences in the 2020s” booklet for Amazon Kindle, 2020; click on the cover to go to the dedicated Amazon listing page

By TenProblems

Literature Reviews for Inquisitive Minds