Fake news is not new; just ask Plato
Fake news entered our collective vocabulary during the Trump presidency, but the concept is nothing new according to the Head of Humanities and Creative Arts at the University of Canterbury (UC), Associate Professor of History Peter Field.
Plato and Aristotle, detail of a Luca Della Robbia sculpture. Wikimedia Commons.
Like Trump, the two Greeks were outraged, however their contempt was directed at “the decline and failure of their democracy”, rather than potential damage to their own personal brand.
“Trump blamed the media and the university-educated elites and the deep state. Thucydides identified the culprits as Homer, the Sophists and a bad education,” Associate Professor Field says.
While the consequences of Trump’s presidency continue to be debated, the ancient Greeks paved the way to an outcome that still frames and influences our thinking today.
“Plato and Thucydides were desperate to replace the myths of Homer, the ‘fake news’ of ancient times. Their replacement was science, a science applied to city and people. We call that social science.