Homo Videns Book Summary and Analysis, Giovanni Sartori


What is the summary of the book Homo Videns written by Giovanni Sartori? Information about the summary and analysis of Homo Videns.

homo videns

Homo Videns

“Homo Videns” is a book written by Italian author and media theorist Giovanni Sartori, originally published in 1997. The book’s central theme is the effect of the television on the way we perceive and understand the world.

Sartori argues that television has created a new type of human being, whom he calls “homo videns,” which means “video man” in Latin. This new type of human being is characterized by a visual way of thinking and a tendency to accept images as reality without critical reflection. According to Sartori, this phenomenon has significant implications for democracy, education, and the formation of public opinion.

The book is divided into three parts. The first part examines the relationship between language and thought, arguing that our language influences the way we think and perceive the world. The second part discusses the impact of the television on our culture, arguing that the visual medium has replaced the written word as the dominant mode of communication. The third part explores the political and social consequences of the rise of the “homo videns,” including the decline of democracy, the erosion of civic engagement, and the manipulation of public opinion.


Overall, “Homo Videns” is a thought-provoking analysis of the effects of television on society, and it continues to be relevant today in the age of social media and digital communication.

Book Summary

“Homo Videns: Televisione e Post-pensiero” is a book by Italian philosopher and sociologist Giovanni Sartori, first published in 1997. In this book, Sartori discusses the impact of television on society and argues that it has contributed to the rise of a “post-literate” culture, where images and sounds dominate over words and critical thinking.

Part One: The Age of Images

Sartori begins by describing the shift from a print-based culture to an image-based culture, which he argues has been accelerated by the rise of television. He notes that images are more powerful than words because they can convey emotions and ideas quickly and directly, without the need for interpretation. However, he also argues that images can be manipulated and distorted, and that they can lead to a superficial understanding of complex issues.

Part Two: The Effects of Television

In this section, Sartori examines the impact of television on society. He argues that television has contributed to the rise of a “post-literate” culture, where people rely on images and sounds rather than words to understand the world around them. He also suggests that television has led to the erosion of critical thinking skills, as people become passive consumers of information rather than active participants in the process of learning and understanding.

Part Three: The Political Consequences of Television

In the final part of the book, Sartori discusses the political implications of the rise of a post-literate culture. He argues that television has contributed to the erosion of democracy, as people become more susceptible to manipulation by political leaders and advertisers. He also suggests that television has led to the rise of a “pseudo-democracy,” where the appearance of democracy is maintained through the use of propaganda and public relations techniques.

Throughout the book, Sartori provides numerous examples to illustrate his arguments, ranging from the use of images in advertising to the way in which television news distorts reality. He also suggests some ways in which the negative effects of television could be countered, such as through the promotion of critical thinking skills and the use of alternative media sources.

In conclusion, “Homo Videns” is a thought-provoking analysis of the impact of television on society. Sartori’s arguments are compelling and well-supported, and the book raises important questions about the role of media in shaping our understanding of the world. While some of his claims may be controversial, his insights into the dangers of a post-literate culture are still relevant today, in an age where social media and other forms of digital media have further accelerated the trend towards image-based communication.


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