Rhetorical (ir)responsibility in the Australian Parliament: Resurrecting Aristotle’s deliberative rhetoric as means to ethical, rational, and constructive climate change debate

Simon McLaughlin*, Franzisca Weder

*Korrespondierende*r Autor*in für diese Arbeit

Publikation: Wissenschaftliche FachzeitschriftOriginalbeitrag in FachzeitschriftBegutachtung


In this conceptual paper, we differentiate between political decisions and the conversations where these decisions are discussed and facilitated. We complement existing work on argumentation in political communication by applying Aristotle’s Rhetoric to the study of climate change debate. We show how Aristotle’s principles for ethical and rational political speech work toward audience trust and encourage deliberative debate and decisionmaking. Our deliberative perspective is supported by a case study analysis of Australia’s parliamentary climate change debate. We resurrect Aristotle’s Rhetoric both as an analytical tool for critical analysis and a potential framework for constructive climate change debate. Following the conceptualisation of parliamentary debate as a conversational space where decision-making processes are facilitated, we introduce Aristotle’s Rhetoric and the concept of ‘rhetorical responsibility’, which is further explored and exemplified in the case study. We conclude with future research questions for discourse and political communication studies.

Seiten (von - bis)622-639
FachzeitschriftJournal of Language and Politics
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 9 Nov. 2023
Extern publiziertJa

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Österreichische Systematik der Wissenschaftszweige (ÖFOS)

  • 508006 Kommunikationstheorie
  • 602041 Rhetorik