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2017 Maguire Public Scholar Lecture

"Will the Truth Set You Free in a Post-Truth Political World?" | Maguire Chair in Ethics Dr. Stephen Long

Tuesday, February 21, 2017 | 12:00 - 1:30 pm
Bank of Texas Dining Room, Collins Executive Education Center
Lunch Provided

2017 Public Scholar Lecture

The Maguire Ethics Center, in partnership with the SMU Faculty Club, was proud to present the 2017 Public Scholar Lecture: the inaugural presentation from Maguire Chair in Ethics Dr. Stephen Long entitled "Will the Truth Set You Free in a Post-Truth Political World?"

Veritas liberabit vos – “the truth will set you free.” Southern Methodist University’s motto relates freedom to truth. If you want to be free, truth is one of its conditions. Is that assumption warranted? Not only recent political events that speak of “alternative facts” question it, but ancient and modern philosophers, rulers and poets were likewise suspicious. “What is truth?” said Pilate, and Francis Bacon reminds us, “he would not stay for an answer.” Is truth a source of political and ethical freedom, or is it freedom’s enemy?

From Dr. Long, this lecture argued that speaking the truth is the most urgent political and ethical task in late modernity if we are to have a politics that is something other than a contest of wills. Achieving such a politics requires shifting the formation and education of moral agency away from preparation primarily for state and market life to virtuous communities and/or communities of care.