Neuwirth on The Global Regulation of “Fake News” in the Time of Oxymora: Facts and Fictions about the COVID-19 Pandemic as Coincidences or Predictive Programming? @rostam_neuwirth
Rostam J. Neuwirth, University of Macau, Faculty of Law, is publishing The Global Regulation of ‘Fake News’ in the Time of Oxymora: Facts and Fictions about the COVID-19 Pandemic as Coincidences or Predictive Programming? in the International Journal for the Semiotics of Law/Revue internationale de Sémiotique juridique (2021). Here is the abstract.
The beginning of the twenty-first century saw an apparent change in language in public discourses characterised by the rise of so-called “essentially oxymoronic concepts”, i.e., mainly oxymora and paradoxes. In earlier times, these rhetorical figures of speech were largely reserved for the domain of literature, the arts or mysticism. Today, however, many new technologies and other innovations are contributing to their rise also in the domains of science and of law. Particularly in law, their inherent contradictory quality of combining apparently antagonistic suppositions challenges the traditional dualistic mode of reasoning and binary logic. As reflected in terms like fake news, alternative facts or conspiracy theories, these concepts are seen as a threat to the rule of law and legal certainty and have been described as harbingers of an age of disinformation or post-truth. The challenge posed by these apparently contradictory concepts requires a closer look at the premises that guide our legal thinking and a more integrated theory of the senses and their role in law, as captured by the terms “legal synaesthesia” and “legal semiotics”. It also calls for an inquiry into the mind’s functioning generally and how it processes information in the creative process of decision making, linking thoughts and actions as well as facts and fictions. Based on the qualification of “fake news” as an oxymoron, this article critically examines the deficiencies in a dichotomous distinction between fact and fiction exemplified by information about the pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in an attempt to clarify the principal issues for a global regulatory debate regarding “fake news”.
The full text is not available from SSRN.