ArgLab • Colloquium

Lucy McDonald on “Gaslighting and Speech”

ArgLab Research Colloquium

Gaslighting has been subject to increasing attention in philosophy in recent years. It is defined by Kate Abramson as ‘a form of emotional manipulation in which the gaslighter tries (consciously or not) to induce in someone the sense that her reactions, perceptions, memories and/or beliefs are not just mistaken, but utterly without grounds’ (2014). In this talk, I explore gaslighting about speech. This involves undermining someone’s confidence in their abilities as a communicator, be it their ability to use words in meaningful ways, or their ability to interpret others’ use of words. I argue that this form of gaslighting erodes individuals’ communicative autonomy and contributes to the decay of communicative conventions.

Lucy McDonald (University of Cambridge)

To join the session on Zoom, please get in touch with Giulia Terzian at for the details.

This event is part of the ArgLab Research Colloquium organised by Maria Grazia Rossi, Giulia Terzian and Gloria Andrada at the Laboratory of Argumentation, Cognition and Language of the NOVA Institute of Philosophy. For any inquiries, please contact Maria GraziaGiulia, or Gloria.

Next sessions
10 Feb 2023 – Judith Simon (Universität Hamburg)

10 Mar 2023 – Neftalí Villanueva (Universidad de Granada)

21 Apr 2023 – Jennifer Lackey (Northwestern University)

19 May 2023 – Sven Bernecker (Universität zu Köln / University of California Irvine)

14 Jul 2023 – Tillmann Vierkant (University of Edinburgh)