Margins, a new philosophy series, is dedicated to exploring unconventional avenues of thought. In addition to stimulating the mind with unique takes on topics in philosophy, Margins also aims to please the eye with its similarly unconventional design. In terms of length, this series features monographs between long journal articles and short books. The books in this series do not aim to be stereotypically scholarly, and if the quality of the insights reaches the level of inspired scholarship, they do so by circuitous routes of imagination and inspiration. This series does aim, however, to publish books that will provide readers with pleasurable intellectual experiences and open readers up to new philosophical roads to travel.
The second book of Margins series is Roland Breeur’s „Lies – Imposture – Stupidity“. Roland Breeur (born 1966) is a Professor of Philosophy at KU Leuven, Belgium, who specializes in teaching modern and contemporary French philosophy. After writing his PhD on Marcel Proust and studying and publishing work on Bergson, Merleau-Ponty, and Sartre, Breeur shifted his investigative focus to the origins of French Modernity from Descartes to Malebranche. Today, his research is focused primarily on Spinoza’s Ethics and the trying to make more explicit and take seriously what Deleuze meant in classifying Spinoza as anti-Cartesian.
“What is new in our ‘era’ is perhaps the fact that truth no longer has any authority. Today, the truth is not just weak but faint, pointless, insipid, futile; the truths that are proclaimed are superficial, contain clichés, and therefore cannot withstand the exuberant and pseudo-deepness of our contemporary liars. The danger of ‘post-truth’ lies not in the lie, then, but in the futile, weak, and shabby nature of the truth. And yes, those who proclaim futile truths are complicit in and therefore responsible for the proliferation of untruths.”
What is the truth? How do we determine what is true versus what is false? How can we assure ourselves and others that we are speaking truthfully? In his new book L.I.S.: Lies – Imposture – Stupidity, Roland Breeur takes a 21st Century perspective on the history and the potential future of truth – its meaning, its function, and its value. From Donald Trump and the “post-truth” era to the philosophical musings of Deleuze and Arendt, from political conspiracies to familial deceptions, Breeur insightfully explores the psychological mechanisms at work in lies and dissimulations of facts and fictions as well as the philosophical significance, and validity, of the search for truth. At once a historical survey of individuals who have spun webs of lies, on stages big and small, and a philosophical disquisition on truth past, present, and future, Breeur brings nuance and insight to discussions that have been had many times in many contexts over the years and that are currently being had in every corridor of our contemporary existence.