Tans Lecture: Celebration of Lying, on Tuesday 5 November

There are few things more confusing today than the admiration of brazen liars. How is it possible that voters increasingly opt for someone who does not even try to look credible? How is it possible that someone can recruit followers by presenting a white sheet of paper while claiming it is black?

When: Tuesday 5 November, 20.00.
Where: Franz Palm Lecture Hall, Tongersestraat 53.
Speaker: Bettina Stangneth
Free entrance.

The truth seems to be under fire more than ever and this new phenomenon is not a matter of common tricksters or impostors. If obvious lying becomes a successful strategy, then something is wrong with our ideas about lies, liars and the nature of lying.

In this year’s Tans Lecture, Bettina Stangneth will carry out the primary task of philosophers: to try and make our ideas clear. What do lies teach us about our thinking and about ourselves? Is there some kind of knowledge ingrained in untruths and if so, where does it come from? In answering questions like these, Stangneth will force us to think about our own actions and morals.

Bettina Stangneth is an independent German philosopher. She obtained her doctorate with a thesis on Immanuel Kant and the concept of radical evil. Since then, she has been researching a theory of the lie and has written widely on anti-Semitism in eighteenth-century and National Socialist philosophy. In 2000, she was awarded first prize by the Philosophical Political Academy, Cologne. Her book Eichmann before Jerusalem was awarded the NDR Kultur Sachbuchpreis (the German NDR nonfiction book award) and the Canadian Recognition of Excellence Cundill Prize. She published Böses Denken in 2016, Lügen lesen in 2017 and Hässliches Sehen in 2018.

The Tans Lecture is organised every year to honour dr. J. Tans (1912-1993), the founding father of Maastricht University.

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