Lynch describes in readably academic prose how the information pollution we subject ourselves to everyday has increased the incivility of our discourse ... Lynch threads other great thinkers throughout the fabric of his argument: Hume, Locke, Hobbes, Sartre, Wittgenstein, Arendt, and of course, Socrates, dance onto Lynch’s pages with their insights and warnings ... Lynch’s audience would be those open to questioning their assumptions, or at least wondering why so many people today posture as experts on everything. If you pick up this book looking for reinforcement of your political position, just know the author employs powerful and contemporary examples of the ways intellectual arrogance has dirtied the political climate on both the Right and the Left. No one gets out of this book unscathed.
Though the author’s argument is cogent, his academic approach, while not overly opaque, may miss a wider audience of readers—on all areas of the political spectrum—who could most benefit from his message. Lynch offers an insightful, timely message that may be too intellectually articulated to appeal to those it could best serve.
Philosopher Lynch...delivers a well-intentioned but flawed polemic ... For Lynch, democratic society requires that all have an intellectually humble attitude and pursue truth as a universal good, but he doesn’t clarify what, specifically, would result from the widespread adoption of this attitude, and the book’s end descends into an obscure, abstract meditation on the nature of truth. This plea for civic, civil deliberation fails to distinguish itself from the glut of similarly impassioned, similarly vague Trump-era political philosophy books.