In this interview, Simon Brown speaks with Sophia Rosenfeld, the Walter H. Annenberg Professor of History at the University of Pennsylvania. Professor Rosenfeld works in the intellectual history of the trans-Atlantic Age of Revolutions, and she has written books on the history of signs and gestures in the French Revolution, and the politics of Common Sense in the eighteenth century. Her new book, Democracy and Truth: A Brief History (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2018), shows how contemporary concerns over how we reconcile science, scholarship and expertise with democracy are not so contemporary after all, and have persisted and changed since their first articulation in the Enlightenment. The conversation ranges from epistemology and politics, to common sense and expertise, to the long history behind our putatively “post-truth” moment.
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