Competing truths. Strategies and Reflections in the Changing Public Spheres

Basic data for this project

Type of project: Internally at the University of Münster funded project
Duration: 01/06/2022 - 31/12/2023


In political spheres and public media, battles are raings over different truth claims, the credibility of circulating assertions, and their declaration as “fake news”. The dispute over competing truths is not new or unusual, however: Institutions such as parliaments emerged precisely to deal with thoroughly controversial claims. Medieval and modern societies adapted techniques and strategies developed in ancient rhetoric to various contemporary procedures, for example in court, but also in historiography or to justify religious norms. Propaganda of all periods therefore has made use of evidential techniques to establish or maintain credibility and trust. The research network examines the production of evidence as well as the political instrumentalization of truth claims across historical periods and academic disciplines. One focus is on changes in the mediation of such claims. The problems of factuality, especially in times of crisis and upheaval, are placed in a long-term historical context.

Keywords: Wahrheit; Politik; Fake News; Falschmeldung; Medien