[ddj] CfP: Rhetoric of Numbers

Ewa Modrzejewska e.modrzejewska at uw.edu.pl
Fri Apr 27 11:11:55 UTC 2018


Perhaps some of you have an academic background and would be interested in
this call for papers. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me.

Best regards,


*Rhetoric of Numbers*

Issue Editor: Ewa Modrzejewska (e.modrzejewska at uw.edu.pl)

„Numbers don’t lie”, „Figures speak for themselves” – it seems that in our
common-sense perception there is a distinction between the rhetoric-laden
verbal expression and the neutral, transparent numerical argument. But are
numbers always more credible than words?

Although they are perceived as objective, qnatitative data have a
persuasive potential that can be used in both public and private discourses
as a premise for a range of arguments - yet not always for ad rem arguments.

In Antiquity and the Middle Ages, education started with language in
practice (cf. the grammatical, dialectical and rhetorical trivium),
followed by the quadrivium, i.e. considerations of aritmetical and
geometrical problems (numbers in space), music (numbers in time) and
astronomy (numbers in motion). It seems that the division between the
verbal and the numerical persists in our being less critical with respect
to quantitative arguments than verbal persuasions, which results in our
inability to spot some number-based fallacies. The educated citizen shoud,
thus, have the skills to process both types of reasoning, the one dominant
in the humanities and in the one typical of hard sciences.

This issue will be devoted to various aspects of the rhetoric of numbers
both in the historical and current contexts and might include, among
others, the following themes:

   - Quantitative rhetoric: persuading and argumenting with the aid of
   - The cultural conditions of the rhetorical potential of numbers, the
   symbolism of numbers;
   - *Graphic visualizations of numerical data and their implications for
   the credibility of the source/validity of the argument;*
   - The rhetorical uses of numbers in advertising, PR, propaganda: between
   legitimate arguments and manipulative sophisms;
   - The rhetoric of numbers in (pseudo-)science;
   - The rhetoric of numbers in religion: functions and meanings of
   - *The rhetoric of data-driven journalism;*
   - The rhetoric of numbers in education as an element of literacy,
   numeracy, media literacy and critical thinking;
   - *Rhetoric in statistics, infographics and Big Data.*


submission deadline: *June 30, 2018*

target publication date: December 2018.

dr Ewa Modrzejewska

Zakład Retoryki i Mediów <http://retoryka-media.uw.edu.pl/> | Rhetoric and
Media Department
Instytut Polonistyki Stosowanej UW | The Institute of Applied Polish
Studies, the University of Warsaw
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