1984 and Philosophy. Is Resistance Futile? From Fake News to Cyber Wars. Book
Although the year 1984 is hurtling back into the distant past, Orwell’s novel Nineteen Eighty-Four continues to have a huge readership and to help shape the world of 2084. Sales of Orwell’s terrifying tale have recently spiked because of current worries about alternate facts, post-truth, and fake news.
1984 and Philosophy brings together brand new, up-to-the-minute thinking by philosophers about Nineteen Eighty-Four as it relates to today’s culture, politics, and everyday life. Some of the thinking amounts to thoughtcrime, but we managed to sneak it past the agents of the Ministry of Truth, so this is a book to be read quickly before the words on the page mysteriously transform into something different.
Who’s controlling our lives and are they getting even more levers to control us? Is truth objective or just made up? What did Orwell get right?and did he get some things wrong? Are social media opportunities for liberation or instruments of oppression? How can we fight back against totalitarian control? Can Big Brother compel us to love him? How does the language we use affect the way we think? Do we really need the unifying power of hate? Why did Orwell make Nineteen Eighty-Four so desperately hopeless? Can science be protected from poisonous ideology? Can we really believe two contradictory things at once? Who surveils the surveilors?
“Thought police, fake news, neoliberalism, mass incarceration, the pressure to continuously function like our technology, anyone? This team of philosophers present us with various philosophical and political views that help put Orwell’s issues in their proper context. The volume reads like one long, entertaining discussion of the ideas Orwell so artfully presented to us, surely for the sake of provoking analyses like these. While fans of 1984 will love this volume, it is also going to create some new admirers of Orwell’s genius.”
—Jennifer Baker, Professor of Philosophy, College of Charleston