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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

Hb   Buy the eBook! $34.95 Request a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format) Recommend to your Library Available in GOBI®


“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


Table of Contents

List of Figures

Introduction: (Homo Rhetoricus)

Part I: Theoretical Prerequisites

Chapter 1. Starting Points
Chapter 2. Homo Rhetoricus as a Creature of Presence
Chapter 3. Representation and the Semiotic Circuit

Part II: Evolution and Development of Homo Rhetoricus

Chapter 4. Becoming Human: The Evolution of Homo Rhetoricus
Chapter 5. Becoming Human: The Development of Homo Rhetoricus
Chapter 6. The Languaging of Homo Rhetoricus

Part III: Discourse and Social Ontology

Chapter 7. Language in the World of Homo Rhetoricus
Chapter 8. Institutions and Document Acts
Chapter 9. The Lifeworlds of Homo Rhetoricus
Chapter 10. Setting Up for ‘Setting Off’ Homo Rhetoricus

Concluding Remarks


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