Truth, Deception, & Self-Deception in Politics, Philosophy, & the Media

New School for Social Research: Creative Publishing

Liberal Arts

Graduate Course

Degree Students (with Restrictions)


Fall 2019

Taught By: James E Miller

Section: A

CRN: 7021

Credits: 3

The concept of truth and the virtues of truth-telling have played a surprisingly paradoxical role in a variety of cultural settings. The seminar explores that role in literature, political theory, and in the practices of modern fact-finding institutions, including journalism. Readings include Oedipus Rex, The Republic by Plato, The Prince by Machiavelli, Hannah Arendt on lying, Jonathan Schell on Time of Illusions (an account of one journalist trying to get to the bottom of the Watergate Scandal in the 1970s), and philosophical works debating the value of truth, including works by Richard Rorty and Bernard Williams. We will look in some detail at the actions of Edward Snowden, and the media coverage of his NSA revelations, as an example of both truth telling and of a type of advocacy journalism scornful of claims to “objectivity.” In addition, the class will be joined for several sessions by a visiting investigative journalist, who will take about his or her experience in trying to discover the truth about a specific event.

College: New School for Social Research (GF)

Department: Creative Publishing (GPUB)

Campus: New York City (GV)

Course Format: Seminar (R)

Max Enrollment: 4

Add/Drop Deadline: September 9, 2019 (Monday)

Online Withdrawal Deadline: November 17, 2019 (Sunday)

Seats Available: Yes

Status: Closed*

*Status information is updated every five minutes. The status of this course may have changed since the last update. Open seats may have restrictions that will prevent some students from registering. Updated: 10:41pm 2/28/2020 EST

Meeting Info:

Days: Monday

Times: 1:55pm - 3:45pm

Building: 6 East 16th Street

Room: 913

Date Range: 8/26/2019 - 12/16/2019