Academic Year 2022/2023

  • Teaching Mode: Traditional lectures
  • Campus: Bologna
  • Corso: Second cycle degree programme (LM) in Media, Public and Corporate Communication (cod. 5703)

Learning outcomes

The aim of the course is to provide a critical perspective, based on history of political thought and political philosophy, to analyse the democracy-truth-public opinion linkage and the transformations produced by the digital revolution on consensus-building processes in democracies.

At the end of the course the student: - Is familiar with the different philosophical-political reflections on democracy, in relation to the processes of transformation of the ways of exercising power and building consensus also in the digital sphere; - Distinguishes the different concepts of truth and lies elaborated in theory and the limits they present in the different historical-political contexts; - Identifies the main terms of the contemporary discussion on fake news and their impact on public opinion and democratic processes of consensus; - Is able to critically evaluate the different hypotheses in relation to the different historical and geographical contexts; - Is able to use the learnt concepts to analyse the transformations of the democratic public sphere in the digital era.

Course contents

The course aims to investigate from a philosophical-political point of view the conceptual linkage between politics and truth and democracy and truth as it has taken shape throughout the history of Western political thought.

The course will be divided into three parts. The first part will be devoted to the reconstruction of the politics-truth-democracy relationship through the critical analysis of some of the most important philosophers of classical and modern political thought (from Plato to Hobbes, from Locke to Rousseau, from Kant to Marx and Nietzsche).

In the second part, the focus will be on the linkage between democracy and truth as it has been addressed in the 20th century (from Weber to Kelsen, from Foucault to Rawls) with particular attention to Hannah Arendt's reflection.

Finally, the third part will reflect on the contemporary discussion on fake news and the transformations produced by the digital revolution and their impact on public opinion and consensus-building processes in democracies.



Students attending the course

Please, see the Italian version for the list of books.

Students not attending the course

Not attending students are kindly requested to meet the teacher at least once before the exam to get in touch with the program.

Teaching methods

20 two hours classes (twice a week for 10 weeks).

Assessment methods

Oral examination

Teaching tools

Films, audiovisual tools

Office hours

See the website of Maria Laura Lanzillo


Quality education Gender equality Peace, justice and strong institutions Partnerships for the goals

This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.