The Jowett Society (Friday - Week 6, HT21)

Philosophical Society

In political discourse and personal conversations, speakers often turn to jokes and other forms of indirect speech as a way to preserve ’plausible deniability’ about what they meant. Interlocutors typically let them get away with such evasions, even when the speaker’s intended meaning is palpably obvious to all parties. I distinguish several species of willfully manipulative speech; diagnose some common factors that help explain their rhetorical effectiveness; and suggest some ways in which resistant audiences can fight back.


For the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic, meetings take place on Zoom during term time on Fridays from 5 pm to 7 pm.

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Meeting ID: 848 8043 2628   Passcode: 907654 
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Jowett Society Organising Committee: Sophie Nagler | Jowett Society Website