Narratives of truth in Cassirer and Heidegger: A philosophical analysis of the 'post-truth era'
While many agree that the Western world has recently entered a 'post-truth era', the causes and implications of this phenomenon are still subject of a fierce debate. Over the last year, commentators from various fields have aptly described the politics of developing and disseminating post-truth claims, the journalistic deontology for covering post-truth claims, and the human psychology of the public processing post-truth claims. Yet, such political, sociological, and psychological analyses cannot answer the most fundamental question for comprehending this broad cultural phenomenon: Which concepts of 'truth' and 'truthfulness' are presupposed when people talk about post-truth? Since philosophy is pre-eminently concerned with the meaning and conditions of truth, my research project will develop a philosophical account of the structure and emergence of a 'post-truth attitude'. To this end, I will examine how two major figures of 20thcentury philosophy, Ernst Cassirer and Martin Heidegger, responded to a similar crisis of reason that haunted Europe at the beginning of the 20th century. By demonstrating that their resulting accounts of truth and truthfulness still live on in the way we think about truth today, I hope to establish a philosophical framework for understanding our post-truth era.