The Worst and the Best of Propaganda

Disputatio 1 (2018)
Download Edit this record How to cite View on PhilPapers
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.
Keywords
No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories
(categorize this paper)
PhilPapers/Archive ID
CEPTWA
Upload history
Archival date: 2020-02-04
View other versions
Added to PP index
2018-11-03

Total views
34 ( #46,745 of 51,626 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
6 ( #46,835 of 51,626 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks on external links on PhilPapers.