Preface

Chiara Pollaroli, Sara Greco, Steve Oswald, Johanna Miecznikowski-Fuenfschilling, Andrea Rocci
2019 Informal Logic  
Focusing the topic The topics of "rhetoric" and "language" are so vast that dealing with them in one special issue is quite challenging. Discussing rhetoric and language entails discussing the practice of situated persuasive communication and its use of a communication system which is recursive, discrete, structure-dependent and which is shared within a community as a means of communication and of context change. A lot on our plate. And even if we limit the topics to "emotions" and "style,"
more » ... still needs to be covered. Such an investigation requires that we address one of the three rhetorical appeals-pathos-that does not always receive the attention it deserves in argumentation studies (cf. for example Gilbert 2001; Macagno and Walton 2014) and the issue of elocutio-"wording" or "style"-which, in the past centuries, has been narrowed down to the study of figuration and often restricted to the study of metaphor only. So, emotion and style might be overlooked and sentenced to be rhetorical aspects which are not at the core of a discourse and thus not rightfully at the core of argumentative investigation. Or even worse: Jacobs (2000, p. 275) grumbles at those who consider appeals to emotions as a load that "shuts down in an audience critical scrutiny of the issues" and who cage it into "a kind of irrelevant contribution that distracts an audience from factual considerations" with the result that if pathos is "not condemned outright, the reader is warned to view [it] with deep suspicion." As for style and rhetorical strategies, they might be lamentably dismissed as mere violations of ideals of argumentative discourse (as noted by Jacobs 2006, p. 42) or their analyses might result in observations that spill over without any focal point because of a lack of proper focus on what style is (van Eemeren 2019, p. 153). Luckily, this is not the case for most scholars interested in rhetoric and argumentation. Scholars would hardly deny that the topical potential of a message works hand in hand with audience demand and presentational devices to balance an argumentative contribution both rhetorically and dialectically (van Eemeren 2010; framing presentational devices as style and audience demand as pathos is suggested in Fahnestock 2009, p. 211). Notably, Preface 289
doi:10.22329/il.v39i4.6047 fatcat:jaqu4xkafjdxdfeksq6jlr2xfe