Rhetoric and Liberty; Jyväskylä

Rhetoric and Liberty

The Third Jyväskylä Symposium on Political Thought and Conceptual History
University of Jyväskylä, Finland 13-14 June 2008,
Building Villa Rana, Room Blomstedt

SPEAKERS AND TOPICS (preliminary schedule)

13th June
9.15-10 Wim Weymans (New York), University and Liberty today
Coffee break
10.30-11.15 Michael Th. Greven (Hamburg), Dutschke, the Student Movement, and Liberty
11.15-12 Kari Palonen (Jyväskylä), The Rhetoric of Academic Freedom
Lunch break
13.30 -14.15 MEP Anneli Jäätteenmäki Liberty of the Politician Today I
(Discussion)

14.15-14.45 Coffee break

14.45-15.30 Päivi Mehtonen (Tampere), Rhetoric and Liberty in the European Literature
15.30-16.00 Anthoula Malkopoulou (Jyväskylä), Concepts of Liberty and Obligatory Voting
16.00- 16.30 Antu Sorainen (Helsinki), Limits of Liberty in Political Rhetorics: The Pedophile
16.30-17.15 Sami Syrjämäki (Tampere), How Many Concepts of Liberty?


14th June
9.15-10.00 Markku Peltonen (Helsinki), Rhetoric and Liberty in the Renaissance Politics
10.30-11.15 Pasi Ihalainen (Jyväskylä) Liberty, popular sovereignty and democracy in eighteenth-century parliamentary speaking
11.15-12 Suvi Soininen (Jyväskylä) Oakeshott and Liberty
Lunch break
13.30-14.15 Tuija Parvikko (Jyväskylä) Arendt and Liberty

14.15-14.45 Coffee break

14.45-15.30 MP Pekka Haavisto, Liberty of the Politician today II
15.30-16.15 Richard Murphy (Swansea), Collingwood and Liberty
16.15-17 Maija Setälä (Turku), Deliberative Democracy, Rhetoric and liberty

Organised by:
Finnish Centre of Excellence in Political Thought and Conceptual Change, Research Team Political Thought and Conceptual History
Research Project of the Academy Professorship, The Politics of Dissensus
University of Jyväskylä/Political Science
Local organizer: Dr. Suvi Soininen (), contact info also: Anitta Kananen ()

An inherent connection between rhetoric and liberty exists since ancient Greece: rhetoric deals only with contingent matters that can be changed by means of persuasive speech. To express a ‘voice’ on existing affairs is similarly a necessary condition of political liberty. Despite such elementary connections it seems that in the contemporary academic discussion liberty and rhetoric are regarded as separate questions that have only occasional links with each other.
In the recent years, some signs of recognising the reciprocity between rhetoric and liberty have, however, become visible. For example Quentin Skinner’s studies on the political role of the Renaissance rhetorical culture are inherently connected with his studies on the ‘neo-Roman’ concept of liberty, and they have already inspired a number of new studies on the English parliamentary rhetoric in the Renaissance. One might imagine that the debates on “deliberative democracy” would signify a renaissance of deliberative rhetoric. This was, however, originally not the case, but rhetorically oriented theorists have recently attempt to reinterpret the concept, and through this way linked them to the re-actualisation of the studies on parliamentary eloquence.
The idea of this symposium is to connect the two conceptually intertwined but historically separated genres of studying political liberty and political rhetoric. The studies on political liberty contain valuable insight to both political philosophy and to the history of political thought and concepts, which can decisively enrich the political sensitivity of the rhetorical studies on political arenas. Conversely, using the resources of rhetorical traditions may, for example, reframe the debates on political liberty in terms of analysing besides the content of the debate also the rhetorical tools and strategies used in the debate.
The symposium can be divided, roughtly speaking, to three types of topics. The first deals with the historical relationship between rhetoric and liberty, the second with the interconnections of rhetoric and liberty among some contemporary thinkers, the third with their links for the debates on certain political institutions or practices. In addition, following the practice of the previous symposia we have also invited two well-known Finnish politicians to participate in the symposium.

More info: http://www.jyu.fi/yhtfil/PolCon/coepolcon/PolTCH/events/rhetlib.html