Publishing Partner: Cambridge University Press CUP Extra Publisher Login
amazon logo
More Info

E-mail this page

Conference Information

Full Title: Uses and Functions of Rhetoric

Location: Bruxelles, Belgium
Start Date: 16-May-2013 - 18-May-2013
Contact: Ferry Victor
Meeting Email: click here to access email
Meeting URL:
Meeting Description: Argument:

To decide, to deliberate, to console, to put together, to divide, to reassure, to worry... all these uses seem natural and common to humanity, regardless of culture, period, or condition. To testify, to argue, to harangue, to judge, to celebrate, to confess... all these functions always appear to be linked with institutions or at least with specific social contexts. However, first and foremost, all these acts instantiate rhetoric practices. Are such acts natural and, thus constitutive of mankind? Or are they cultural and, hence, specific to some periods and places? Are these two viewpoints incompatible? We think not. That is why we propose to go back to the Aristotelian naturalist and humanist model of Rhetoric, which is still relevant today.

Second, these rhetorical acts are nowadays studied by different fields dealing with reason and human action. These disciplines attempt to go beyond the ancient oppositions between nature and culture, theory and practice, thought and action. In this perspective, we think that it is time for such disciplines, as for society as a whole, to overcome divisions that have influenced research over the past centuries.

It is for this reason that we decided to bring together representatives of three disciplines to address such interdisciplinary issues in the context of an international congress:

1) Researchers in rhetoric who are interested in anthropology of speech and human reason.

2) Cognitive scientists interested in the study of linguistic and psychological actions that are linked with the main rhetorical functions.

3) Specialists from all Human Sciences who study uses and functions of rhetoric from their own epistemological culture (e.g. Linguistic, Anthropology, Law, Psychology, Bioethics, etc.)


Our overall goal is first of all to understand rhetoric today, away from Schools and ideologies that have influenced thinking for centuries. For furthering our understanding of rhetoric is a way to better understanding practical reason as well as its epistemological background and its social relevance. From this perspective, it is crucial to place a wager on knowledge by trying to open up disciplines and to change habits so as to launch a common reflection on shared objects of interest. Our safeguard will be a commitment to permanent debate about epistemology of disciplines. Such a debate must become a lingua franca between researchers coming from various fields.
Linguistic Subfield: Anthropological Linguistics; Cognitive Science
Subject Language: None
LL Issue: 23.3749

Calls and Conferences main page