Know-It-All Society by Michael P. Lynch

Know-It-All Society

Taking stock of our fragmented political landscape, Michael Patrick Lynch delivers a trenchant philosophical take on digital culture and its tendency to make us into dogmatic know-it-alls. The internet—where most shared news stories are not even read by the person posting them—has contributed to the rampant spread of “intellectual arrogance.” In this culture, we have come to think that we have nothing to learn from one another; we are rew...

Details Know-It-All Society

TitleKnow-It-All Society
Release DateAug 13th, 2019
GenrePolitics, Nonfiction, Philosophy, Psychology, Sociology, Education

Reviews Know-It-All Society

  • Peter Mcloughlin
    In parts philosophical, in parts political, in parts cognitive psychology and critical thinking. Mostly however it is about the everyday stance we take with our beliefs, convictions, knowledge, and humility in its limits. Of course, it is easy to see the flaws of your political opponents and get on one's high horse and cheerlead one's own tribe. It is easy to do that especially on social media. We all have convictions and our central political an...
  • Ryan Boissonneault
    If you had to summarize the main problem with our political culture in one sentence, you might borrow the line from Yeats that reads, “The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity.” Or, if you prefer, you could go with Bertrand Russell's formulation: “The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent full of doubt.”Michael Lynch’s latest book is a timely elaboration on this ...
  • Mehrsa
    Though I think the book could have been clearer and better written, I think this idea is crucial to understanding the breakdown of dialogue: people’s ideas and opinions have become their identities and thus cannot be changed. Signing up to be part of a political tribe means buying the whole range of ideas that tribe ascribes to. The tribal part isn’t anything new but the centering of politics is.
  • Peggy K.
    No one likes a know-it-all. They can quickly turn a pleasant conversation into a tedious affair. Despite their annoying propensities, they remain relatively harmless. A know-it-all society, however, can be downright dangerous to the democratic fabric of the country. So says Michael Patrick Lynch in his slim yet deeply considered study of society’s growing problem of intellectual arrogance in Know-It-All Society: Truth and Arrogance in Political...
  • John Kaufmann
    Good read. The main argument is that most of us think we know more than we do, and therefore lock into tribal positions in our politics. He goes on to describe the social and psychological reasons why we exhibit such confidence and hubris. It's interesting reading. I've read variations on this in numerous other places, so it wasn't new to me. But if you don't follow politics or social psychology as avidly as I do, you might find it more insightfu...
  • Dan Connors
    "There's nothing certain except that nothing is certain"- Montaigne"It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.", Mark Twain"Reason is the slave of the passions" - David Hume How did we get to this point? As a species, we know more about our world and everything in it, yet we lack any sense of awe or humility about all of the things we don't know. The Dunning Kruger effect has s...
  • Todd Stockslager
    Review title: Truth, belief, and convictionThe Trump era in American politics has generated shelf-fulls of books explaining the incivility in American politics today, usually starting from the premise of the total incorrectiness of those on the side opposite the author's viewpoint. I know, because it seems my small local library has bought a shelf-full, from both sides. So when I picked this one up and saw that it's author was in fact an academic...
  • Peter Bradley
    Reviews – Know-It-All Society by Michael Patrick LynchPlease give my Amazon review a helpful vote - This is a sad book. It is sad because the author, Michael P. Lynch, thinks he is showing us how to avoid the traps of cognitive dissonance but all he manages is to show how cognitive dissonance is done. Lynch says quite a bit about humbly seeking truth and listening to both sides, but in practice, he stack...
  • Garrett Glow
    I little preachy toward the end
  • Andrew
    We are currently living in an age of extreme political polarization, where those on opposite sides of our political spectrum no longer trust those on the other side, and it seems that each side has its own, mutually exclusive, version of the truth. Many people point to a lack of civil discourse as feeding this polarization, but this book argues that the real roots are found in intellectual arrogance. The bulk of this book is devoted to explaining...
  • Mannie Liscum
    “Know-It-All Society” is a tight tour de force analysis of tribalism and associated ‘tribal arrogance’ (intellectual arrogance of tribal groups) in modern American culture. Author Michael Lynch takes a quite dispassionate and objective approach (despite his self-admitted liberalism) to the subject of misplaced and dangerous intellectual arrogance as it relates to tribal partisanism, on both side the spectrum. As Lynch makes clear, with hi...
  • Joel Wentz
    A philosophically-astute, yet highly-readable, and insightful diagnosis of our cultural moment. Lynch deftly works through concepts like "what separates a belief from a conviction?" how to understand the role of identity politics, self-identity, tribalism, and especially intellectual arrogance. He takes both the political-right and the political-left to task, as well as the undeniable role of the internet and social media.It's a short book, and a...
  • Alexia Wilson
    Solid book. Didn't personally learn much since much of it comes from my philosophy undergrad readings, but well put together for those less familiar. Also, great call to action, though classic. Be intellectually humble, actually listen and communicate with others across all aisles so that we can all learn from one another, and respect truth as an inherent good that all communication should aim towards with the knowledge that we likely will never ...
  • Kent E. Holsinger
    Intellectual humility as a virtue and necessityLynch argues powerfully that intellectual humility is both a virtue in itself and an essential attribute of citizens in a healthy democracy. Remember this if you remember nothing else: There are true things you will never believe, and the things you believe may not be true.
  • Barry H.
    3.5 stars
  • Csimplot Simplot
    Excellent book!!!!!
  • Steve 'Rat'
    3.5 stars. Okay. Ironically there's a lot of choir preaching, but I'm not sure how that can be avoided in this case.
  • Huong
    Beautifully written. Clear explanation of patterns and political, historical causes of behaviors. A little hard to read for ones with limited political vocabulary.
  • Doris Raines