When do the virtues of majority rule spill over into the vices of populism? Can we have informed citizens without a shared understanding of the methods for establishing truth? What poses the greater threat: politicians who deceive us, or the devices that distract us? This course explores modern tensions between democracy as a procedure for choosing leaders and limiting their power, and ways of knowing that operate on similar presumptions about transparency and competition of ideas. Thematically organized readings from a range of disciplines and political perspectives prompt students consider how they form opinions, and how challenges facing the information marketplace today shape democratic participation.