Edited By Agnieszka Kampka and Katarzyna Molek-Kozakowska
Hilde van Belle - Polemics and paradoxes in the media: The case of the Dutch TV-show Pauw
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Hilde van Belle
Polemics and paradoxes in the media: The case of the Dutch TV-show Pauw
In Apologie de la polémique, Ruth Amossy (Amossy, Ruth: Apologie de la polémique. Puf: Paris 2014) studies the place of polemical discourse in public space. This “argumentative modality” guarantees the possibility of non-violent coexistence of groups in political situations, in other words, situations of dissensus. In our pluralistic democratic society, where agreement often is not possible, polemics have a distinct social function, she claims, as they verbally manage conflicts that take place in the modus of dissent. They insure a way of coexistence in a complex society, and enable participants to share the same space and to communicate without reverting to physical violence. (Amossy 2014, pp. 12–13)
As a genre, polemics exist within a rich tradition throughout Western history: from Martin Luther to Karl Marx, from Robespierre to Noam Chomsky, from Desiderius Erasmus to Michael Moore. A polemic is a widely accepted and appreciated genre, and it certainly deserves a place in the study of rhetoric and argumentation. Scholars such as Arthur Schopenhauer or Marc Angenot (Angenot, Marc: La parole pamphlétaire. Typologie des discours modernes. Paris: Payot 1982) undertook elaborate efforts to classify every possible trick and move in polemical discourse. While in a democratic environment polemics exist in every domain of public life, their socio-political function is not all that widely acknowledged....
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