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Perelman’s Dissociations: Double Fidélité, Fighting the Nazis, and the New Rhetoric Project’s Canon of Invention

Room 249 Student Center
Speaker(s) / Presenter(s):
David Frank, University of Oregon

During WWII, Chaïm Perelman (1912-1984) helped found and lead the Comité de Défense des Juifs (Jewish Defense Committee), which saved the lives of 5,000 Belgian Jews. In 1947, Perelman founded the New Rhetoric Project as a response to the Holocaust and the failure of reason to prevent violence and war. In 1958, Perelman and his colleague Lucie Olbrechts-Tyteca published The New Rhetoric: A Treatise on Argumentation, which established the anchors of a new rhetoric, founded on informal logic and featuring the technique of dissociation. Professor Frank will place the New Rhetoric Project in its historical context, argue it is a Jewish rhetoric and the most important rhetoric of the 20th century, and that dissociation is a brilliant yet undeveloped notion.

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