Free Conference "Influence, Manipulation and Seduction. Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Persuasive Language"

How can we get someone to behave in a way that they initially did not intend? And how can we change what our interlocutor is thinking about a certain issue? One option is to employ physical force. The alternative, far more reasonable and less violent, is to use language to ‘convince’, ‘persuade’, ‘cajole, or ‘coax’ our counterpart into a certain behavior or way of mind. These are activities we engage in constantly, usually without even consciously thinking about them. It is words which have the power to mold and influence opinions, attitudes, and thus, in the end behavior. This persuasive power of language is at the center of this symposium.

The symposium will take place online on 20-21 November 2020 and will be hosted by the University of Basel.