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Book launch event: Michel Meyer, Oxford 17 Oct 2017


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We’d like to draw your attention to a launch event for Michel Meyer’s new book, What is Rhetoric? (Oxford, 2017). The event takes place at the Maison francaise in Oxford on October 17, 2017, 2-4pm. All are welcome.

Here are the details:


In everyday life, issues are debated and questions discussed. Rhetoric refers to the way we answer questions in an interpersonal context, when we want to have an effect on those with whom we are communicating. Our interlocutors can be convinced or charmed, persuaded or influenced, and the language used can range from reasoning to the sharing of narratives, literary or otherwise. Michel Meyer’s new book, What Is Rhetoric? (OUP, 2017), offers a breakthrough approach to the principles and functioning of rhetoric by providing a systematic and unified view of rhetorical language. The book combines the social aspects of rhetoric, such as the negotiation of distance between speakers, with the theory of emotions. All the principal authors from Plato and Aristotle to contemporary theorists are integrated into the book’s ‘problematological’ conception of rhetoric, based on the primacy of questioning and answering in language and thought.This seminar will explore some of the rich questions raised by Michel Meyer’s What Is Rhetoric? Following an initial presentation of the book’s argument by its author, contributions from specialists in a range of fields will seek to develop and test its conclusions from an interdisciplinary perspective. The session will conclude with a question/answer and discussion session. The event is open to anyone with an interest in rhetoric, in all and any of its diverse forms.


14:00 – 14:05: Welcome (Chair, tbc)

14:05 – 14:35: “What Is Rhetoric?”; Michel Meyer (Philosophy, Brussels)

14:35 – 14:50: “Visual and Literary Rhetoric”; Jas’ Elsner (Classics, Oxford)

14:50 – 15:05: “Problematology, Rhetoric and Social Science”; Nick Turnbull (Politics, Manchester)

15:05 – 15:20: “Psychoanalysis and Rhetoric”; Paul Earlie (French, Bristol)

15:20 – 16:00: Questions and discussion.


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