Article published in:Dialogue and Representation
Edited by Alain Létourneau and François Cooren
[Language and Dialogue 2:1] 2012
► pp. 80–104
The arroseur arrosé or the misfortunes of pathos in a media dialogue
The case study which is presented here refers to the Polanski affair (2009) and the resulting debate in France and is an illustration of the loss of legitimacy that some intellectuals, the so-called media intellectuals, suffer in their relationship to dialogues on the Internet . It also illustrates what has been called by Charaudeau (1997)the pathemization of public discourse and its spectacularization in the media. I will analyze the argumentation in a dialogue (or its refusal) between two philosophers on the French public radio, France Inter. I will describe the discursive ethos of the main speaker, Alain Finkielkraut, but also the fallacies, the dominance of pathos and the accusation of amalgam (fallacious analogy) that characterize his discourse. This accusation, which is very frequent in French public discourse, will be examined in the framework of Angenot’s approach of the logics of resentment (1997). I will then confront this analysis to the discourse and argumentation used by some Internet users on the Polanski affair and more generally on dialogues in the media.
Published online: 12 May 2012