2016 – 2017: Philosophy and Rhetoric

The relationship between philosophy and rhetoric has often been strained, if not hostile. Philosophers have regarded rhetoricians with suspicion, accused them of misleading the masses and squandering truth for power. Rhetoricians, on the other hand, have considered philosophers as politically naïve or even dangerous.

This series invites its speakers to rethink and challenge the sharp distinction between the two disciplines. There are good reasons to do so. It has, for instance, long been recognised that philosophy has its own rhetoric. Moreover, good rhetoric aims at reconciliation, rather than usurpation. At the same time, any rapprochement is not without its difficulties. It creates questions about disciplinarity, about truth and politics etc..

Click here for the series poster.

Preliminary details about the series are listed below. Please bookmark this page and check back for further updates over the coming months.

Upcoming Lectures

29 September – Dr Hannah Marije Altorf (Philosophy, St Mary’s University) Philosophy and Rhetoric: Retelling the Old Story


20 October – Dr Johan Siebers (Associate Professor of Philosophy and Religion, Middlesex University London) The Zen of Rhetoric


19 January – Prof. Richard Toye, (History, University of Exeter) Should we always say what we mean, and mean what we say? Reflections on politics and the English language


9 February –  Prof. Kurt Barling (Journalism, Middlesex University London) A help or a hindrance? Rhetoric of race in a cosmopolitan world


2 March – Prof. Jennifer Saul (Philosophy, University of Sheffield) Dogwhistles and Figleaves: Techniques of Racist Political Manipulation


30 March – Prof. Lene Rubinstein (Classics, Royal Holloway) Ethos and Logos. Persuasion and Character in Classical Greek Theory and Practice