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How Do We Separate Truth From Rhetoric?

We assume that the truth of what we say is independent of the way we say it. Yet how we express something plays a big role in determining whether others adopt our point of view. Is rhetoric a mere flourish to language that we would do better to eradicate, or could it be essential to meaning and truth?

The Panel

Literary theorist Stanley Fish, entrepreneur Margaret Heffernan and philosopher Stephen Neale explore the deeper properties of elaborate speech.

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This video was produced by The Institute of Art and Ideas and is republished here with permission. It was filmed at HowTheLightGetsIn 2016 alongside 200 other debates and talks, all available for free at IAI TV. Tickets for HowTheLightGetsIn 2018 are now on sale — for the launch lineup and more information, click here.

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