Volume 10, 2018
Truth as Objectified Knowledge in In-Groups
Approaching Fake News within the Schutzian Framework
This article reflects on the contemporary phenomenon of ‘fake news’ from a Schutzian perspective. Discerning the truth or falsity of an utterance – whether it is true, and therefore deemed ‘real’, or not and thus ‘fake’ –, calls for a framework for determining truth value. Thus, after a brief introduction, situating fake news within the history of strategic disinformation and propaganda, we analyze Schutz’s perspective on truth and rationality. Schutz’s concept of truth and rationality are centered around the paradigm of social constructivism, which situates the production of objects of thought in its sociocultural context and considers these objects socially derived or mediated. Reality, from this angle, is tied to group consensus, and, thus, can be considered objectified knowledge within the in-groups to which the members belong. This view of reality seems to follow, essentially, the logic of internet phenomena, such as filter bubbles and echo-chambers.