DOI: 10.30443/POI2018-0006

Is Philosophy a Public Matter?

“Mediality” and “Mediaticity” of the Philosophical Discourse

Alessandro De Cesaris – Francesco Striano


Today, when reflecting on the public sphere and the role of philosophy in it, one cannot but refer to information technology. In order to investigate the relationship between philosophy and digital age learning environments, it seems appropriate to begin with a more general question about the status of philosophy itself, and its relationship with persuasion and rhetoric. The basic questions to which this paper aims to answer is: does philosophy have a public dimension? How does the current re-configuration of the public/private distinction – determined by the widespread use of social media
– affect the nature of the philosophical debate, its internal dynamics, its purposes and its diffusion? First, the paper reconstructs the common origin of philosophy and rhetoric – especially through the analysis of Plato’s Phaedrus – in order to show a certain consubstantiality between the two. Starting from this assumption, we will provide supporting evidence for the thesis that philosophy has always been – and even needs to be – philosophy of communication. Last, this retrospective redefinition of the status of philosophy will be applied to the context of Computer-Mediated Communication (CMC) in order to understand how can critical thinking rediscover its role in a public context.

Keywords: Comunication, Digital Media, Public Sphere, Rhetoric

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2. P.O.I. Il pubblico e la filosofia-De Cesaris-Striano