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Philosophical challenges, new communication theories

27.04.2023 11:02 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

October 26-27, 2023 

Faculty of Information and Audiovisual Media, University of Barcelona, Barcelona

Deadline: June 10, 2023

ECREA Philosophy of Communication Section workshop 

Philosophy and Communication theory are two inseparable fields of knowledge. The objective of this workshop is to gather researchers from philosophy and communication to analyze the need for new communication theories in the face of new research issues, and to discuss the philosophical implications.   

Communication theory started last century with the irruption of mass media and mass culture. At that time, Western societies were going through a profound transformation. Industrialization changed the way people lived: from the countryside to the big city, the irruption of mass media and culture, the threat of political propaganda, the power of media persuasion, the deconstruction of “high” vs. “popular” culture, or the negative effects of television content in children created an atmosphere of renewal as well as uncertainty. All these issues gave rise to the first communication theories: propaganda theories, the two-step flow theory, persuasion theory, cultural studies, entertainment theory, critical theory, information-processing theory, agenda setting theory, frame theory, among others. Underlying communication theorizing, philosophical assumptions were made, regarding epistemology, meaning, ethics, cognition, science, democracy, education. 

Today new problems are the target of communication research and communication theory. Most of these issues are related to the rise of the Internet and social media, as digital communication has profoundly transformed essential aspects of our lives. Here are some examples: new mental health problems have appeared, especially among young people, as a consequence of the use of digital media; media and information literacy have become one the priorities of democratic societies trying to combat the effects of disinformation; political propaganda and discourse have adapted new forms through the politics of algorithms; artificial intelligence is posing huge and uncharted challenges for education, economy, and social order as conceived since now; gender issues are at the center of cultural and social debates, as are other questions of identity and equity. Finally, the relation between the human species and the rest of nature is in flux at all levels, ranging from ideas around the Anthropocene and climate change to trans- and posthumanism. 

In the face of new theoretical challenges, the scientific and academic community needs to reflect on how communication theory and philosophy of communication approach them. Do the “old” theories still help to explain new problems? If so, do they need to be modified? Do we need new theoretical proposals? What are the philosophical assumptions implied in new theorizing? Is philosophy itself affected by these topics?  

These are the kind of questions that will be the focus of the workshop. A space where philosophers and communication researchers will have the opportunity to explore, analyze and discuss actual intellectual challenges at a time when the theoretical renewal of communication studies is becoming a matter of urgency. 

Keynote speaker: Stefania Milan ( (Amsterdam). TBC  

Abstracts (up to 300 words) by June 10, 2023 should be sent to  

Abstracts acceptance notice: by July 15, 2023 

Workshop fee: 55 euros.   

Payment due September 15, 2023. Link: 

The venue: 



Chaussée de Waterloo 1151
1180 Uccle

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