Simon Drescher

Proceedings opened: 28 February 2017

Dissertation colloquium: 23 March 2018



  • date of birth: 11.02.1990 in Heidelberg
  • 10/2010 – 09/2013: B.A. in General Rhetoric and Philosophy, University of Tübingen
  • 10/2013 – 03/2015: M.A. in General Rhetoric, University of Tübingen
  • 10/2011 – 03/2015: research assistant at projekt Virtual Rhetoric/Career Service at the University of Tübingen
  • 03/2012 – 03/2015: research assistant at the DFG-Projekt Sebastian Brant Personenbibliographie and DFG-Projekt Repertorium der gedruckten deutschen Rhetoriken 1450-1700
  • seit 04/2015 Promotion, Seminar für Allg. Rhetorik Universität Tübingen; Lehrstuhl Prof. Knape
  • 04/2015 – 07/2016: research associate/lecturer at projekt Virtual Rhetoric /Career Service at the University of Tübingen
  • seit 08/2016: research associate/lecturer, Tübingen; Head of Department Prof. Knape
  • Associate member of the RTG 1808: "Ambiguity - Production and Perception"


Research interests

  • fundamental rhetoric
  • rhetorical action theory
  • philosophy of language
  • theory of knowledge



„Persuasion between doubt and certainty – A philosophical contribution to fundamental rhetoric“ (working title)

Rhetoric, seen as social-communicative action, can only be understood as an interplay between doubt and certainty. Evocation of doubt and implementation of certainty are the fundamental principles of persuasion because, in most cases, it is necessary to destroy the former, and maybe opposite, belief in an addressee’s mind, to evoke a new one. Thereby the mental phenomena of doubt and certainty and their epistemological implications are coming to the fore of the research in the theory of rhetoric.

Particularly modern philosophies of language, from Ludwig Wittgenstein to Donald Davidson and Robert Brandom, hold many concepts in the theory of knowledge and action theory, that are an under researched treasure. Against this background the thesis investigates the act of evoking doubts as context-sensitive operational utterances, which take place within modular-holistic shemes of beliefs. There are always transformations of epistemic status accompanying these operations which decide whether a belief can be seen as certain or doubtful in discourse.

In addition, the thesis argues that the moments of uniqueness or un-uniqueness relate on a structural level to the concepts of certainty or doubt. Thus, the outline of an epistemic founded theory of persuasion arises.



  • Summer term 2015:
    • (SQ) Presentation skills, Virtual Rhetoric
  • Winter term 2015/16:
    • (SQ) Presentation skills, Virtual Rhetoric
  • Summer term 2016:
    • (SQ) Presentation skills, Virtual Rhetoric
  • Winter term 2016/17:
    • (PS) Meaning, Belief, Knowledge, Certainty – The meaning of epistemic concepts for rhetoric
  • Winter term 2016/17:
    • (SQ) Presentation skills, Virtual Rhetoric
  • Winter term 2016/17:
    • (PS) Spontaneity and quick-wittedness in communicative situations



  • Drescher, Simon (2019). Persuasion zwischen Zweifel und Gewissheit. Ein philosophischer Beitrag zur Fundamentalrhetorik. Berlin: de Gruyter.