In this paper we discuss two issues addressed by Stanley in How Propaganda Works: the status of slurs (Section 1) and the notion of positive propaganda (Section 2). In particular, in Section 1 we argue contra Stanley that code words like 'welfare' are crucially different from slurs in that the association between the lexical item and an additional social meaning is not as systematic as it is for slurs. In this sense, slurs bring about a special kind of propagandistic effect, even if it typically concerns informal contexts rather than public debates. In Section 2, we consider positive propaganda and its relation to emotional effects. For Stanley, positive propaganda relies on the production of emotional effects, feature which risks to erode rational debates even if there is a good purpose behind. Instead, we argue that positive propaganda can work with no appeal to emotions. To this end, we focus on the use of 'she' as the default personal pronoun in academic writing and suggest that this measure can count as positive propaganda which rather than eroding rational debates by relying on emotional effects, closely resembles affirmative action aimed at counterbalance a pre-existing form of injustice and inequality.

The Worst and the Best of Propaganda / B. Cepollaro, G. Torrengo. - In: DISPUTATIO. - ISSN 0873-626X. - (2018 Oct 16). [Epub ahead of print] [10.2478/disp-2018-0006]

The Worst and the Best of Propaganda

G. Torrengo
2018-10-16

Abstract

In this paper we discuss two issues addressed by Stanley in How Propaganda Works: the status of slurs (Section 1) and the notion of positive propaganda (Section 2). In particular, in Section 1 we argue contra Stanley that code words like 'welfare' are crucially different from slurs in that the association between the lexical item and an additional social meaning is not as systematic as it is for slurs. In this sense, slurs bring about a special kind of propagandistic effect, even if it typically concerns informal contexts rather than public debates. In Section 2, we consider positive propaganda and its relation to emotional effects. For Stanley, positive propaganda relies on the production of emotional effects, feature which risks to erode rational debates even if there is a good purpose behind. Instead, we argue that positive propaganda can work with no appeal to emotions. To this end, we focus on the use of 'she' as the default personal pronoun in academic writing and suggest that this measure can count as positive propaganda which rather than eroding rational debates by relying on emotional effects, closely resembles affirmative action aimed at counterbalance a pre-existing form of injustice and inequality.
affirmative action; code words; How Propaganda Works; positive propaganda; Slurs; Philosophy
Settore M-FIL/05 - Filosofia e Teoria dei Linguaggi
Article (author)
File in questo prodotto:
File Dimensione Formato  
[0873626X - Disputatio] The Worst and the Best of Propaganda.pdf

accesso aperto

Tipologia: Publisher's version/PDF
Dimensione 274.73 kB
Formato Adobe PDF
274.73 kB Adobe PDF Visualizza/Apri
Pubblicazioni consigliate

Caricamento pubblicazioni consigliate

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/2434/624983
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus 1
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? ND
social impact