Lecture 1

Lecture 1 - The Language of Politics and Advertising...

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The Language of Politics and Advertising Instructor: Farrell Ackerman Of±ce Hours: Tuesdays 2-3 or by appointment Of±ce location: APM 2101 Email: [email protected] TA: Dave Hall Email: [email protected]
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Languages of Politics and Advertising All materials are viewable and downloadable on the class WEBCT site: Readings: Downloadable PDFs Homeworks: Semi-weekly critical responses to designated reading(s) and/ or analysis of data sets. (70% of ±nal grade) Take-home Final (30% of ±nal grade) There are no sections, but it is advisable to go to of±ce hours (after all, you’re paying for this.)
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The Language of Politics and Advertising The Goal: “All men possess beliefs; very few are able to elevate themselves to knowledge .” The Problem “People living at the seashore grow so accustomed to the murmur of the waves that they never hear it. By the same token, we scarcely ever hear the words we utter. .. We look at each other, but do not see each other any more. Our perception of the world has withered away; what has remained in mere recognition.” Viktor Shklovskij on “making strange” “The aspect of things that are most important to us are hidden because o their simplicity and familiarity. .. We are supplying remarks on the natural history of human beings; we are not contributing curiosities, however, but observations which have escaped remark only because they are always before our eyes.” L. Wittgenstein, Philosophical Investigations. “Less noticed is the fact that we also lose sight of the need for explanation when the phenomena are too familiar and obvious. We tend too easily to assume that explanations must be transparent and close to the surface.” - Noam Chomsky
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An everyday example The Strongest Pine
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An everyday example Pine scent = fresh smell Strongest pine = the freshest smell So, why not say the following? The Strongest Pine Smell
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An everyday example What is the relation between “scent” and effectiveness as a cleansing disinfectant? Why use “pine” scent? Do we infer that because Pinesol has the strongest scent it also possesses other (more) relevant properties to a similar degree? Do we want something that smells like its clean or something that is actually clean? Accepting appearance for reality without noticing the switch, we happily inhabit a scented world.
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An everyday example We swiftly and effortlessly supply the most coherent and positive interpretation of a vague message. Why are we so reliably similar in our responses to speciFc elements of the message, I.e., inferring that pine (smell) is good? Why are we so willing to attribute positive properties to messages that, on their own, seem so vague?
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Our beliefs Q1: How many here are confdent that their belieF systems (comprising belieFs about personal behavior, politico-economics, religion, . ..) are Fundamentally sound and true? Q2:
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This note was uploaded on 02/23/2010 for the course LIGN 176 taught by Professor Ackerman during the Fall '09 term at UCSD.

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Lecture 1 - The Language of Politics and Advertising...

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