Propaganda, Non-Rational Means, and Civic Rhetoric

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THEORIA. An International Journal for Theory, History and Foundations of Science, ISSN: 0495-4548, Vol: 31, Issue: 3, Page: 313-327

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Ishani Maitra
UPV/EHU Press, Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea / Universidad del PaĆ­s Vasco
Arts and Humanities
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article description
This paper examines Jason Stanley's account of propaganda. I begin with an overview and some questions about the structure of that account. I then argue for two main conclusions. First, I argue that Stanley's account over-generalizes, by counting mere incompetent argumentation as propaganda. But this problem can be avoided, by emphasizing the role of emotions in effective propaganda more than Stanley does. In addition, I argue that more propaganda is democratically acceptable than Stanley allows. Focusing especially on sexual assault prevention campaigns, I show that propaganda can be acceptable even when it represents some in our communities as worthy of contempt.

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