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Bakhtiniana: Revista de Estudos do Discurso

On-line version ISSN 2176-4573


PISTORI, Maria Helena Cruz. Ethos and Pathos in Justice-Rapporteur’s Discourse in Brazilian Federal Supreme Court. Bakhtiniana, Rev. Estud. Discurso [online]. 2018, vol.13, n.1, pp.71-93. ISSN 2176-4573.

In a democratic and pluralistic lawful society, countless clashes of opinion often give rise to heated polemics. In Brazil, the promulgation of the Biosecurity Act 2005 was followed by a wide debate about its constitutionality, especially in relation to the permission to use embryonic stem cell for research. In 2008 the Federal Supreme Court (FSC), responding to a Direct Action of Unconstitutionality (ADI 3510), filed by the Prosecutor General of Brazil, found it constitutional and maintained their initial position. This decision was guided by the Rapporteur’s vote, which was preceded by a procedural report and widely presents the polemic generated by this Act. Aimimg to understand the development of the legal argumentation, this study is intended to show how the ideological sphere of law reflects and refracts this clash of opinions discursively and linguistically. In order to comprehend, analyze and interpret this text, - i.e. the vote of the rapporteur, Justice Carlos Ayres Britto, we are theoretically and methodologically grounded in the dialogical discourse analysis, which is inspired in the works of Bakhtin and the Circle, and also in the rhetoric notions of ethos and pathos. We observed that, although the legal discourse preferably seeks a consensus, it is not what always occurs. In the particular case of this article, a consensus was not reached either in the FSC or in society in general.

Keywords : Legal Discourse; Bakhtin and the Circle; Rhetoric; Ethos; Pathos.

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