In Truth and Politics Hannah Arendt observes that pseudos means, according to the context, “fiction”, “error” or “lie”. These three terms are not synonymous – giving a wrong answer during an exam does not mean lying, just as anyone telling a joke does not lie – and yet they have similarities. They are forms of pseudos. And forms of the pseudos are, along with falsehood, fiction and the lie, also illusion, hallucination, semblance, and dreaming. In recent times, there has been a lot of talk about post-truth and fake news, two concepts that seem to enrich the ways in which to decline pseudos analytically.
Why examine the forms of pseudos? We do so not only because they are part of our world, but because, when we look at them, we are forced to revise or refine our conceptions of the world. Even the word “false” itself does not have a unique meaning. A false friend is false in a way that differs from a fake Modigliani or a fake diamond, and even more so from a false proposition, which continues to be a proposition, unlike the fake diamond, which is not a diamond. The same holds for the word “fictional”. Are all fictions mere semblance? Semblance is also something, but are all fictions ontologically the same? Is Leopold Bloom a man, or does he pretend to be? Is Afghanistan described in The Kite Runner the real Afghanistan or just a semblance of it? If it can be said of Leopold Bloom that he is not a real man, the same cannot be said of the Afghanistan recounted by Khaled Hosseini, for the Western reader of The Kite Runner learns many things about Afghanistan, and learns them through a fiction tale. A betrayal – as Arthur Schnitzler and Stanley Kubrik taught us – can also be committed in a dream.
In addition, a false friend behaves as if he were a true friend, a fake diamond is sold as if it were genuine, and a fake banknote used as if it were authentic. In daily life, “fake” objects can be used by subjects as if they were authentic, but, from an ontological point of view, they are something else: the fake Modigliani was not painted by Modigliani, the fake banknote was not printed by the state mint, the fake diamond was not extracted from any diamond mine. Fake objects are something, they are part of our world, but they are not what they appear to be.
Everyone is aware of the fact that today we are surrounded by the productions of the media, film, and television industries. Entire legions of experts work on the manufacturing of fictions. Exercising power requires exercising control over the collective imagination through fiction. However, a glance at history leads us to recognize that the production of fakes is not a characteristic feature peculiar to modernity: each epoch has produced them and has elaborated reflections on the topic. In the philosophical tradition, from the Greeks onwards, reflections on the pseudos developed in parallel to those on truth and on telling the truth.
This volume of “Discipline filosofiche” aims at taking the forms of pseudos as its primary focus in order to elicit, through both historical and systematic contributions, connections between not only logical-semantic, ontological, aesthetic, ethical, political elements, but also to engage with the theme in terms of its reflexes in literary, psychological and pedagogical works/contexts.
Suitable topics for submission of manuscripts include but are not limited to:
1) art as fiction and deception, as producer of semblances;
3) the role of stories in education;
4) the use of lies in politics;
5) false speech;
6) boasting, dissimulation and imposture;
7) “fake” objects;
8) fictions and mass media.
Guidelines for the authors: Submissions should not exceed 9,000 words including abstract, refer-ences and footnotes. Manuscripts may be submitted in Italian, English, French, German, or Spanish. They must be sent as an email attachment in .doc or .docx format, along with a .pdf version, to Venanzio Raspa (email@example.com). Submitted manuscripts will be sent to two independent reviewers, following a double-blind peer review process. The reviewers may ask authors to make changes or improvements to their contributions in view of publication. Authors are kindly requested to attach both an anonymous version of their contribution entitled “Manuscript” and a separate “Cover Page” stating their name, academic affiliation and contact details. Manuscripts must include an English abstract of less than 150 words and 5 keywords. Any property of the file that might identify the author must be removed to ensure anonymity during the review process. A notification of receipt will be issued for each submission. In drafting their text, authors can adopt any clear and coherent style, but should the text be accepted for publication, they will be required to send a final version in keeping with the style guidelines of the journal (please refer to the style guidelines at https://www.disciplinefilosofiche.it/en/norme-redazionali/). Submission of a manuscript is understood to imply that the paper has not been published before and that it is not being considered for publication by any other journal. Should the manu-script be accepted for publication, the author will be required to transfer copyrights to the University of Bologna. Requests to republish the article may be made to the Editorial Board of the Journal.
Deadline for the submission of manuscripts: June 30, 2022
Notification of acceptance, conditional acceptance, or rejection: August 31, 2022
Deadline for the submission of the final draft: October 15, 2022