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Posts Tagged ‘discourse’

RHETORIC, BETWEEN THE THEORY AND PRACTICE OF POLITICS

 

International Conference

 

CEHUM, University of Minho

Braga, Portugal 

June 21-22, 2013

 

 Call for papers

As one of the consequences of the lingering process of corrosion of the rationalist assumptions of the Enlightenment project, in the last decades we have witnessed an attempt in different areas of the humanities to revive the central role rhetoric used to have in antiquity. Despite its political origins, however, the contribution of political theory to this important endeavour has only come of late, as more and more theorists have started to expose the rhetorical nature of politics in multiple manners: showing how it can be used to offer more sophisticated accounts of public deliberation, more attentive toward emotive aspects and contexts; or revealing it as an important manifestation of practical reason; or studying its presence in canonical thinkers and critical moments in the history of political thought; or finally, taking it as an inspiring source for a post-foundationalist emancipatory political theory.

This variety of approaches testifies to the pervasiveness of the rhetorical dimensions in the whole realm of politics, from action to theory. The aim of this conference is to bring together scholars coming from disciplines such as political theory, philosophy, history, literature, or communication, to debate the multifaceted significance of rhetoric in politics and to explore new ways to incorporate a ‘rhetorical perspective’ in the study of political thought. Our hope is that this event could offer an important moment to assess and foster the still incipient revival of rhetoric in this area. (more…)

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An interesting find for me this week was the online philosophy journal American Dialectic.  Unlike most online journals AD doesn’t aspire simply to be the online version of a print journal. It aims, instead, to encourage thoughtful discussion by publishing focused responses to the articles and (ostensibly at least)  having authors respond to readers’ questions and comments about their articles.  Hence this, from the journal’s “About Us” page:

American Dialectic is an online journal committed to enriching scholarly publication, discourse, and intellectual development in Philosophy and related fields.  As an organization, American Dialectic is devoted to publishing intellectually excellent articles and to promoting the dialectical development of ideas among a broad community of readers.  This is accomplished by combining the best aspects of a traditional publication with the best aspects of a scholarly conference: lead articles are published on our website and then are followed throughout the publication cycle by edited responses that are written and submitted by our readers.  Through this unique publishing mechanism, American Dialectic aims to foster the continued intellectual development of contributors, respondents, and readers alike. […] Readers are encouraged to genuinely engage with the articles by asking targeted questions and formulating insightful responses.  Substantial questions and responses, junior submissions themselves, are then actively published following the lead article.  The lead authors, respondents and readers can then, as a community, identify important points, clarify issues, resolve problems, and ultimately find common ground by building toward a more complete philosophic understanding.

It’s a nice idea, and one that hearkens back to the way philosophy journals operated until the explosion of PhDs in the discipline in the 1970s and 80s.  Comments and discussion notes are still formally welcomed by many journals, but the reality is that they are seldom published and even less frequently answered.  This means that there isn’t much incentive to write such things even though they do a great service to the person trying to work the bugs out of his or her ideas.  The community of those interested in the ideas of a particular article or writer are, as a result, also deprived of the chance to see how the ideas in question fare in thoughtful, critical discussion. This, to my mind, is a real loss. (more…)

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