This course aims to provide students with the core concepts of rhetoric—approached in its diverse linguistic, visual, and performative forms—as an art of the expression and the representation of different pathic states and cognitive processes, by way of a literature that allows the student to engage with different types of texts (primary sources, classical references in the field, critical essays, and current research perspectives). The proposed path will also consider rhetoric in its interdisciplinary relationship with political philosophy. The students will be able to employ the acquired notions particularly in the professional areas of editor of texts and images, operator in the field of education and popularization, operator of cultural projects in the public and private domain, and project management.
Expected learning outcomes
Knowledge and understanding: Students will acquire a basic knowledge of the terminology and the reasoning used within the field of rhetoric, whose discussion falls within the realm of aesthetics, given the tendency for persuasive speech to be characterized as "sensible." Along the way, students will be introduced to the core literature and methodologies. Finally, they will learn the history of rhetoric, of its nature, and of its purpose within the framework of the human sciences, and aesthetics in particular.
Ability to apply knowledge and understanding Students will acquire the skills necessary to apply the conceptual framework of rhetoric to the critical reading of verbal speeches, and of discursive and bodily performances, through recourse to an adequate specialized terminology. They will be able to apply this knowledge in commenting on the reference texts of the field. Students will be ale to orient themselves within the standard bibliographical apparatus. They will be able to distinguish a rhetorical speech from a propagandistic declaration and a communicative act, as well as to recognize its effects on the audience.
Lesson period: Second semester
(In case of multiple editions, please check the period, as it may vary)
This year's course will discuss the pragmatic status of the speaking subject: how the subject produces discourses and how discourses, in return, produce the subject. After a timely examination of the bases of rhetorical arguments, their structures and functions, we will move on to address the notion of the grammatical subject in relation to the psychological, logical, and ontological subject. We will then conclude by studying the reference effect that speech has on the speaker-the way it influences him and makes him believe what he is saying.
Prerequisites for admission
There are no prerequisites. Additional and optional readings will be provided at the students' request to facilitate the understanding of the issues discussed.
Lectures Debate and discussion
Readings for attending students: Readings for both 6 and 9 ECTS exams: Chaïm Perelman, Lucie Olbrechts-Tyteca, Trattato dell'argomentazione. La nuova retorica, trad. it. Einaudi, Torino, anno d'edizione a scelta dello studente. Ludwig Wittgenstein, Note sul "Ramo d'oro" di Frazer, trad. it. Adelphi, Milano, anno d'edizione a scelta dello studente. Ludwig Wittgenstein, Della Certezza, trad. it. Einaudi, Torino, anno d'edizione a scelta dello studente.
Additional readings for 9 ECTS exam: Michel Foucault, Le parole e le cose: un'archeologia delle scienze umane, edizione a scelta dello studente
Readings for non-attending students, in addition to readings for attending students, for both 6 and 9 ECTS exams: In cattedra. Il docente universitario in otto autoritratti, a cura di C. Cappelletto, Cortina, Milano 2019
Assessment methods and Criteria
Oral: The final examination for attending students consists of an oral interview on the topics proposed during the lessons and questions aimed at assessing knowledge and comprehension of the different texts covered. For non-attending students, questions on the course will be substituted by questions on the additional texts assigned to them. Evaluation criteria: - knowledge of theoretical aspects of the topics (exposition); -the ability to exemplify concepts (understanding); -communication skills: adequate use of language to demonstrate acquired skills and express related issues.