Rhetoric and the Art of Public Persuasion

The Humanitas Visiting Professorship in Rhetoric and the Art of Public Persuasion in honour of Philip Gould is being hosted by St Peter's College, Oxford and will take place during Michaelmas Term.

2012 - 2013

Visiting Professor: Mark Thompson

Policy, rhetoric and public bewilderment - The Cloud of Unknowing

Why does so much of contemporary politics feel divisive and unproductive?  Why is public understanding and engagement in the issues of the day so low?  Some blame political opponents. For many others it’s the media – from Fox News to the BBC.  Still others wonder whether it's because the public's own attention span is on the wane. Read more on Policy, rhetoric and public bewilderment - The Cloud of Unknowing »

Events

Inaugural Lecture - Is Plato winning the argument?

Drawing in particular on recent examples from American and British healthcare reform, Mark Thompson asks whether the language of politics is changing in ways which threaten public understanding of and engagement with the most important issues of the day.

 The Professorship has been made possible by the generous support of Freud Communications.
 

Venue: 

The Chapel, St Peter's College

Speaker: 
Mark Thompson
Link to podcast of the lecture

Lecture - Consign it to the flames

Almost everyone accepts that science is our most authoritative guide to understanding of the world so why is it so disputed and disbelieved when it comes to public policy?  In his second lecture, Mark Thompson focuses the case of science to look at what's happened to the 'argument from authority' in modern rhetoric

Date: 
Tuesday, 6 November, 2012 - 17:00 - 18:30
Venue: 

Chapel, St Peter's College

Speaker: 
Mark Thompson
Link to podcast of the lecture

Lecture - Not in my name

In his third lecture, Mark Thompson looks at what happens when modern rhetoric and morality collide, taking the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as his principal examples.  

Date: 
Wednesday, 7 November, 2012 - 17:00 - 18:30
Venue: 

Chapel, St Peter's College

Speaker: 
Mark Thompson
Link to podcast of the lecture

Symposium - Politics and Language – Friends or Enemies?

With Polly Toynbee, Gus O'Donnell, David Willetts MP and chaired by Andrew Marr

Date: 
Friday, 9 November, 2012 - 17:00 - 18:30
Venue: 

Chapel, St Peter's College

Speaker: 
Mark Thompson
Link to podcast of the symposium