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Rhetorical Minds: Meditations on the Cognitive Science of Persuasion

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Volume 1

Studies in Linguistic Anthropology

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Rhetorical Minds

Meditations on the Cognitive Science of Persuasion

Todd Oakley

326 pages, 19 illus., bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-78920-669-2 $149.00/£110.00 / Hb / Published (April 2020)

eISBN 978-1-78920-670-8 eBook

View CartYour country: - edit Request a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format)Recommend to your LibraryAvailable in GOBI®


“Rhetorical Minds is a most welcome monograph in that it covers a particularly broad and wide scope, while also going deep into core issues regarding what makes us human, how language evolved, and how human language and cognition need to be understood as inherently dialogic…[It] is very well written, with a clarity and wit that reveals a deep understanding of the matters at hand, making it both an informative and an unusually pleasant read. The book is made even more readable by its dialogic style and not too technical wording, with detailed explanations placed in notes at the end of each chapter. The many allusions to popular culture and politics make the book appealing to both scholars and general public.” • Discourse Studies

“I have no doubt that this fine, timely monograph will inform and delight professors and students, cognitive scientist, writers and language enthusiasts alike.” • Esther Pascual, Zheijang University

“The book has the potential to become a future “reference book” and trendsetting work for scholars of the cognitive sciences in both the States and the rest of the world.” • Anders Hougaard, University of Southern Denmark


Minds are rhetorical. From the moment we are born others are shaping our capacity for mental agency. As a meditation on the nature of human thought and action, this book starts with the proposition that human thinking is inherently and irreducibly social, and that the long rhetorical tradition in the West has been a neglected source for thinking about cognition. Each chapter reflects on a different dimension of human thought based on the fundamental proposition that our rhetoric thinks and acts with and through others.

Todd Oakley is Professor of and Chair of Cognitive Science and Professor of English at Case Western Reserve University. His recent publications include Issue 6 of Cognitive Semiotics which he co-edited with Ana Margarida Abrantes.

Subject: Anthropology (General)Sociology


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