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The Institute for Argumentation, Linguistics and Semiotics, of the Faculty of Communication Sciences at the Università della Svizzera Italiana is hiring for one position at the Assistant Professor level. Click here for details.

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Rhetoric as Equipment for Living. Kenneth Burke, Culture and Education.

Ghent University
22nd to 25th May 2013
Ghent, Belgium

Enquiries: kbconference@ugent.be
Web address: http://www.cultureeducation.ugent.be/kennethburke
Extended deadline (!) for proposal submissions: February 1st 2013

Confirmed keynote speakers

Barry Brummett (University of Texas at Austin – USA)
Steven Mailloux (University of California, Irvine – USA)
Jennifer Richards (Newcastle University – UK)

Theme
The second half of the twentieth century has witnessed a number of different but related turns in the humanities and social sciences: linguistic, cultural, anthropological/ ethnographic, interpretive, semiotic, narrative… All these turns recognise the importance of signs and symbols in our interpretations of reality and more specifically the cultural construction of meaning through both language and narrative. The aim of this conference is to introduce rhetoric as a major term for synthesizing all the above-mentioned turns by exploring how rhetoric can make us self-aware about language and culture. We will specifically focus on ‘new rhetoric’, a body of work that sets rhetoric free from its confinement within the traditional fields of education, politics and literature, not by abandoning these fields but by refiguring them. (more…)

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Though it isn’t exactly recent, this video of Dan Sperber describing his theory of mind and communication at Edge.orgis an excellent way to spend 12 minutes.  In addition to the

Are they “living” culture, making inferences, replicating memes, or sending & receiving code?

video, the page has an extended and lightly edited transcript of Sperber’s short talk that makes it very easy to see the differences between Sperber’s theory of mind and communication, that of Dawkins’, and what are, for some in argumentation theory, perhaps the more familiar semiological approaches.  The video will also be of interest to those working on these topics from philosophical starting points.
If often find myself wishing that there were more discussion about these issues in argumentation theory and informal logic than there often seems to be.  Perhaps Sperber’s work, including not just his talk here but last year’s release of Meaning and Relevance (an extension of the classic Relevance, also co-written with Deirdre Wilson), and the argument theory of reasoning he and Hugo Mercier have developed, will be just the stimulus we need to see our investigations afresh.

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