Trent welcomes Jason Stanley, Professor of philosophy at Yale University, who will be speaking next week as part of the Gilbert Ryle Lecture series. Author of How Propaganda Works, and winner of the 2016 PROSE award in philosophy, Stanley will spearhead a three-day lecture along the same political discourse entitled How Fascism Works. In his book, Stanley shines light on the manipulative process of the “misuse of democratic vocabulary” and gives several examples that expose the selfish agenda that drives harmful propaganda. He also highlights the many undemocratic ideas and campaigns that are masked as democracy. His work delves deep into the history of propaganda, as well as its manipulative schemes and its presence in our societies today.
With an expertise in philosophy of language and epistemology and a father who was a sociology professor, Stanley was groomed to care about political issues. He is notably involved in public philosophy as well as a vocal supporter of young philosophers. Dr. Kathryn Norlock, The Kenneth Mark Drain Chair here at Trent, met Stanley through social media because of his consistent involvement in the philosophical community. Her motivation to invite Stanley to Trent was to introduce the student body to a “prominent and promising speaker from off campus who students might not otherwise hear from.” The lecture series will take place from 5-7pm in Gzowski college room 114 on Tuesday the 26th to Thursday the 28th. In a stroke of irony, a white pride rally will also be taking place just two days after Stanley’s series ends. Fascism and Propaganda are still very important and present issues in the world today, and as Dr. Norlock wisely worded it “propaganda is not necessarily harmful, but when it is, it undermines democratic ideals of equality.”