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Language and Media between Rhetoric and Philosophy

Publication at Faculty of Social Sciences |


The article treats the role of language and communication in the relationship between rhetoric and philosophy. The emergence of rhetoric in European culture was a result of institutionalizing of democratic procedures in political administration and law courts in classical Athens.

In response to the demands for instructions in the art of ""good and persuasive speaking"" there appeared in Athens itinerant teachers - Sophists. Even if they are not considered to be philosophers, several of them raised questions that significantly contributed to the development of some new directions in philosophy, concentrated mainly on the relations between truth - appearance, knowledge - opinion necessity - contingency.

In the effort to find the solution of these contradictions lies the germ of Plato's dispute with sophistic teaching (represented mainly by Protagoras' statement homo-mensura). The article follows a long-lasting history of the tension between rhetoric and philosophy how it is documented in various intellectual movements and disciplines of humanities till the contemporary period of postfoundationalist thought, deconstruction, communication theory, media studies, critical discourse analysis, semiotic etc.

Language, of course, as a primary means of communication, together with the theory and practice of argumentation constitute a central topic of present-day rhetorical studies characterized by redefinition and reinvigoration of their ancient sources.