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The search for a space or a topos within which reason and discourse may flourish, and from which coercive force and violence are excluded, is a perennial problem in Western political thought. Whatever position one may take on the relation between rhetoric and political thought, the focus and direction of political thinkers and their work seem to be premised on the mutual exclusivity between a (political) action governed by speech and discourse and (anti- or non-political) action based on coercive force and violence. This article explores the relation between political rhetoric/speech and coercive force/violence in classical antiquity.
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Keywords: belief; conflict; democracy; demos; faction; force; knowledge; oligarchy; opinion; persuasion; polis; political space; power; reason; rhetoric; rule; speech and language; stasis; violence

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2017

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