Propaganda, Non-Rational Means, and Civic Rhetoric



Published 16-11-2016
Ishani Maitra


This paper examines Jason Stanley's account of propaganda. I begin with an overview and some questions about the structure of that account. I then argue for two main conclusions. First, I argue that Stanley's account over-generalizes, by counting mere incompetent argumentation as propaganda. But this problem can be avoided, by emphasizing the role of emotions in effective propaganda more than Stanley does. In addition, I argue that more propaganda is democratically acceptable than Stanley allows. Focusing especially on sexual assault prevention campaigns, I show that propaganda can be acceptable even when it represents some in our communities as worthy of contempt. 

How to Cite

Maitra, I. (2016). Propaganda, Non-Rational Means, and Civic Rhetoric. THEORIA. An International Journal for Theory, History and Foundations of Science, 31(3), 313–327.
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propaganda, ideology, Jason Stanley