Truth, Lies, Fake News and Moral Education

Sydney 28 May 2019 - 30 May 2019

COMIUCAP Conference 2019

The School of Philosophy and Theology, Sydney is hosting a conference for the World Conference of Catholic University Institutions of Philosophy from Tuesday, 28 May –Thursday, 30 May 2019. Register your interest today.


Fake news, the use of marketing to put a positive gloss on results and outcomes that are less than optimal and downright lies are commonplace on social media, as well as in journalism. Intolerance of, and active persecution of, opinions divergent from one’s own are normal in a society that has lost its sense of the importance of truth.

The first question this conference seeks to consider is how to retrieve the concept of truth and examine what resources are available, particularly in the Catholic Intellectual tradition, that might assist in elucidating this issue.

Secondly, given the disregard for truth evidenced through fake news, the deliberate misrepresentation of data and outright lying, the question of what is to be done to cultivate a love of truth will also be examined. This latter question raises the issue of how moral education can be deployed in order to re-establish a commitment to truth.

Participants are invited to contribute to the following themes:

  1. The concept of truth and what makes something true.
  2. Lying, exaggerating, and fake news: their moral implications
  3. Cultivating a love of truth and its implications for moral  education
  4. Democratic government, political advertising, multimedia and the role of truth
  5. Truth, ideology and the interpretation of data.
  6. Truth and the aims of education
  7. Objectivity in journalism and reporting the news.

Other papers may be accepted at the discretion of the Conference Committee

Call for papers

Initial call: 1 October 2018
Abstracts to be received by 31 December 2018
Full papers to be received by 31 July 2019

Abstracts of 250-350 words should be sent as Word Documents. Participants should provide a five-line biographical note. Acceptances of presentations will be notified within 2 weeks of receipt of Abstracts.

Full papers, of no more than 6000 words, to be received by July 31st 2019, if authors wish their papers to be considered for publication. Papers should be sent as Word documents.  All papers will be blind reviewed. Author details, including affiliation and contact details should be sent separately from the Paper and the Abstract.

Please email all abstracts and papers to Professor Janis (John) Ozolins at john.ozolins@nd.edu.au.

Keynote speakers

  • Professor Peter Roberts (University of Canterbury, New Zealand).
  • Professor Alfredo Co (University of Santo Tomas, Philippines)
  • Professor Janis (John) Ozolins (The University of Notre Dame Australia, Fremantle)

Conference committee

  • Professor Jānis (John) Ozoliņš (Chair and COMIUCAP Vice-President, Oceania)
  • Professor João J. Vila-Chã, SJ (COMIUCAP President)
  • Professor Brendan Sweetman (COMIUCAP Vice-President, North America)
  • Professor Alfredo Co (COMIUCAP Vice-President, Asia)
  • Professor Camille Riquier (COMIUCAP Vice-President, Europe)
  • Professor Miguel Giusti (COMIUCAP Vice-President, Latin America)
  • Professor Philip Matthews (Notre Dame)