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CODE 107047
SEMESTER 1° Semester


Relationships, personal identity and privacy in digital ethics The course aims to analyze and critically discuss the concept of digital revolution as a "fiction" and the challenges posed by this to the interactions between communities, culture and personal identity from an anthropological and ethical point of view



This course aims to provide the students with the conceptual tools to understand the impact that digital technologies have on human identity and relations. In particular, the students will learn to - Understand the anthropological and moral implications that digital technological change has; - Apply these conceptual tools to some relevant cases in which we can find conflicts between digital technologies, ethical principles and social interactions; - Employ the conceptual tools to interpret specific cultural products that display and reflect on some relevant issues (for instance, multiple identities, privacy in the digital era, the relation between personal data and identity).


In particular, students will learn to

- Interpret the anthropological changes of the digital revolution

- Apply the conceptual tools to concrete cases that touch the definition of personal identity

- Evaluate the problems posed by the digital revolution in privacy management

- Analyze practical cases in which the traditional vision of personal identity is being challenged by the recent technological change

- Analyze cultural products that show possible evolutions (liberating or dystopian) of the impact that new digital technologies have on our lives


The course will be divided into two parts, managed by the two teachers (Barba and Zuolo). The first part will examine the concept of digital revolution as a "construction of the imagination". We will focus in particular on the flexibility of a concept that appears ambiguous, nuanced and rather controversial. There are various possible questions, to which we will try to give an answer. Is it precisely a revolution or an evolution? Can a continuity be found with respect to other epochal changes - the agricultural revolution, the industrial revolution - and if so to what extent, or is it a total break with respect to the visions, attitudes, anthropological postures of our past? If we choose the hypothesis of an evolutionary process, at what point of the path would we have reached? How does globalization interfere: is the digital revolution synonymous with it, does it accompany it, or acts as a simple background panorama? And, again, what are the ways in which this "alleged" revolution is communicated? In the second part, the impacts that the digital technological revolution have on the personal identity and privacy of people will be analyzed. From a philosophical point of view we will analyze which conceptions of personal identity can explain the current condition and we will analyze the concept of privacy, distinguishing its three components (loneliness, intimacy and anonymity) trying to understand what normative and principled remedies can be given to the problem of privacy in the digital age


The course will be divided into two parts: the first will consist of introductory lectures by the two teachers, the second will consist of presentations in class by the students on topics proposed during the course. In the first part, the conceptual tools of an anthropological and philosophical nature will be provided to understand the dynamics of identity constitution and reconstruction in the digital age; in the second part the students will be asked to apply these tools to specific situations or cultural products that show trends of our age. Each lesson, even in the first part, will provide ample space for debate and critical discussion with students.


For attendees

-  M. Bocchiola, Privacy. Filosofia e politica di un concetto inesistente, Roma, Luiss university press 2014 (capp. 3-5)

-L. Floridi, La quarta rivoluzione. Come l’infosfera sta trasformando il mondo, Milano Raffaello Cortina 2017 (capp. 1-7)

- S. Turkle, La conversazione necessaria, Einaudi, Torino, 2016.


-One of the following recommended texts:

-G. Balbi, L’ultima ideologia. Breve storia della rivoluzione digitale, Laterza, Bari-Roma, 2022.

- P. Artuso, M. Codogno, Scimmie digitali. Informazione e conoscenza al tempo di Internet, Armando editore, Roma, 2018.

- R. Baronciani, Nella tana del Bianconiglio. Saggio sulla mutazione digitale, effequ, Orbetello, 2014.

- T. H. Eriksen, Fuori controllo. Un’antropologia del cambiamento accelerato, Einaudi, Torino, 2017.

- K. Goldsmith, Perdere tempo su Internet, Einaudi, Torino, 2017.

- D. Mazzucco, Propaganda popIl fascino del consenso nell’era digitale, Effequ, Orbetello, 2016.

- D. Miller, Cose che parlano di noi, il Mulino, Bologna, 2014.

- D. Sisto, La morte si fa social. Immortalità, memoria e lutto nell’epoca della cultura digitale, Torino, Bollati Boringhieri 2018.

 - V. Tripodi, Etica delle tecniche. Una filosofia per progettare il futuro, Milano, Mondadori, 2021.

- C. Tuniz, P.Tiberi Vipraio, La scimmia vestita. Dalle tribù di primati all’intelligenza artificiale,

Carocci, Roma, 2018.



- D. Sisto, La morte si fa social. Immortalità, memoria e lutto nell’epoca della cultura digitale, Torino, Bollati Boringhieri 2018.


Exam Board


SALVATORE BRUNO BARBA (President Substitute)



In September, starting from the first useful date

Class schedule

L'orario di tutti gli insegnamenti è consultabile all'indirizzo EasyAcademy.



L’esame sarà orale.

Oral examination


In addition to verifying the understanding of the course topics, students will be able to carry out some exercises (highly recommended but not mandatory). The classroom exercise, in the form of a presentation and critical discussion, will contribute, for those who have done it, for half of the grade to the final exam.

Exam schedule

Data Ora Luogo Degree type Note
12/12/2023 09:00 GENOVA Orale
16/01/2024 09:00 GENOVA Orale
06/02/2024 09:00 GENOVA Orale
21/05/2024 09:00 GENOVA Orale
11/06/2024 09:00 GENOVA Orale
02/07/2024 09:00 GENOVA Orale
10/09/2024 09:00 GENOVA Orale


Students are invited to consult the materials posted periodically in the web classroom. Information on this will be provided during the lessons.

Students with SLD, disability or other special educational needs certification are advised to contact both the referent Prof. Canepa and the teachers at the beginning of the course to agree on teaching and examination methods which, in compliance with the objectives of the teaching, take into account individual learning methods and provide suitable compensatory tools.

Agenda 2030 - Sustainable Development Goals

Agenda 2030 - Sustainable Development Goals
No poverty
No poverty
Zero hunger
Zero hunger
Good health and well being
Good health and well being
Quality education
Quality education
Gender equality
Gender equality
Affordable and clean energy
Affordable and clean energy
Decent work and economic growth
Decent work and economic growth
Industry, innovation and infrastructure
Industry, innovation and infrastructure
Reduce inequality
Reduce inequality
Sustainable cities and communities
Sustainable cities and communities
Responbile consumption and production
Responbile consumption and production
Climate action
Climate action
Peace, justice and strong institutions
Peace, justice and strong institutions