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Certainty in an Uncertain World: A Philosophy of Opinion

Project description

How opinion is formed in today’s world of communication

How does thought become opinion? The answer to this question is important in today’s world of instantaneous communication and global interconnection. The EU-funded project A Theory of Opinion has elected to reinterpret select German scholarship with the goal of developing a philosophical, social and critical theory of what it means to articulate and lay claims of perspective, belief and attitude in the context of 21st century social communication. Through the formulation of a philosophy of opinion, project work aims to provide fresh insights into how and why the proposed distinctive epistemological structure comprising macro- and micro-level thought has become ever-more pervasive in our ‘post-truth’ society.


This research proposes to examine what comprises 'opinion' in today's world of instantaneous communication. How, might it be said, does thought lapse into opinion? It is an urgent question in a time when the world, with its modes of global interconnection and digital platforms, is so heavily characterized by chaotic political debate and image proliferation. The project aims to develop, by reinterpreting select German scholarship, a philosophical, social and critical theory of what it means to articulate and lay claims of perspective, belief and attitude within the contours of twenty-first century social communication.

I will argue that a social ontology of 'opinion' requires two distinct levels of analysis: on the one hand, there is a macro level, whereby the broad contours and determinations of opinion are examined as inherently caught up in what Theodor W. Adorno calls the 'Halbbildung' of industrial culture and the institution of public opinion as a development of modern society. On the other hand, utilizing what G.W.F. Hegel calls 'picture-thinking', there is a micro level, whereby a particular epistemic structure adequate to this social situation emerges with its own patterns and forms of validation adapted to the structures of digital communication technologies. Together, these approaches will comprise a social and philosophical reconstruction of ?opinion? characteristic of social communication today.

The project can be situated within social and philosophical context whose line of investigation incorporates the discourses of epistemology, cultural and political theory and intellectual history. By formulating a philosophy of opinion, I aim to provide vital new insight into how and why this distinctive epistemological structure of thought has become ever more pervasive in our 'post-truth' society.



Net EU contribution
€ 189 687,36
Am neuen palais 10
14469 Potsdam

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Brandenburg Brandenburg Potsdam
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
No data