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Shecaira, F., Struchiner, N. Audience Diversity and the Rhetorical Value of Public Reason. Rechtstheorie, 50(2), 225-240.
Shecaira, Fábio Perin and Struchiner, Noel "Audience Diversity and the Rhetorical Value of Public Reason" Rechtstheorie 50.2, , 225-240.
Shecaira, Fábio Perin/Struchiner, Noel: Audience Diversity and the Rhetorical Value of Public Reason, in: Rechtstheorie, vol. 50, iss. 2, 225-240, [online]


Audience Diversity and the Rhetorical Value of Public Reason

Shecaira, Fábio Perin | Struchiner, Noel

Rechtstheorie, Vol. 50 (2019), Iss. 2 : pp. 225–240

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Article Details


Author Details

Fábio Perin Shecaira, Rio de Janeiro

Noel Struchiner, Rio de Janeiro


Here is a brief summary of the main points of the paper: 1. The supposed tension between public reason and rhetorical persuasion. Rhetorical theorists often regard public reason as rationalistic and artificial. It is accused of ignoring the expectations of actual audiences and rejecting persuasive strategies that, in addition to being common in political discourse, can be utilized in non-fallacious and non-coercive ways. 2. The rhetorical value of public reason. We have argued against the sharp contrast between public reason and rhetoric. We have tried to show that abiding by – and explicitly invoking – public reason may be an effective persuasive strategy (indeed the most obvious strategy) for persuading as many individuals as possible in contexts of audience diversity. 3. The relation between public reason and logos. The rhetorical value of public reason is often denied because it is seen as being obsessed with logos. But public reason does make room for various persuasive strategies, such as narrative, so long as they do not violate the basic condition of avoiding the affirmation of contentious ideologies and worldviews. 4. A caveat. The rhetorical side of public reason was insufficiently explored by Rawls and other political liberals. The main ambition of this paper was not to propose anewinterpretation of any text by Rawls and other liberals, but to argue that the notion of public reason can be presented in a way that – true to its purpose of checking sectarianism in political discourse – is not fundamentally at odds with contemporary rhetorical theory.

Table of Contents

Section Title Page Action Price
Fábio Perin Shecaira and Noel Struchiner: Audience Diversity and the Rhetorical Value of Public Reason 225
I. Introduction 225
II. Public reason and rhetoric 226
III. The problem of audience diversity 229
IV. Audience diversity and public reason 231
V. A rhetorical objection 225
VI. Narrative and public reason 225
VII. Conclusion 225