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RHETORICAL-DISCURSIVE PERSPECTIVES FOR THE STUDY OF PATHETICIZATION

Mário Acrisio ALVES JUNIOR Micheline Mattedi TOMAZI About the authors

RESUMO

Tomando como ponto de partida as reflexões sobre a dimensão patêmica do discurso, este artigo focaliza a discussão sobre as três provas retóricas de persuasão – logos, pathos e ethos –, buscando argumentar em favor de sua integração, a partir de contribuições advindas tanto da Nova Retórica e da Sofística quanto da Teoria Semiolinguística do Discurso. Recusando a perspectiva dicotômica do paradigma cartesiano, nosso objetivo principal é realçar a necessidade de concebermos uma relação de interdependência entre o pathos e o logos. Para ilustrar nossa proposta, procedemos, após exposição teórica sobre o tema, ao exame de excertos de uma crônica jornalística, na expectativa de reforçar a legitimidade do assunto em apreço e de confirmar a necessidade de debates e demonstrações mais consistentes. Elegidas as categorias da intergenericidade e da metáfora como estruturas discursivas representativas do logos, a análise permite observar seu desdobramento em efeitos de patemização, concebidos aqui como efeitos de sentido.

Pathos; Logos; Nova Retórica; Sofística; Semiolinguística

ABSTRACT

Taking as a starting point some reflections on the pathetical dimension of discourse, this article focuses the discussion of the three rhetorical modes of persuasion – logos, pathos, and ethos – in an attempt to argue in defence of their integration, with contribution from the new rhetoric, sophistics and the semiolinguistic theory of discourse. Refusing the dichotomous perspective of the Cartesian paradigm, our main purpose is to draw attention to the need to reconfirm a relationship of interdependence between pathos and logos. To illustrate our proposal, after a theoretical exposition on the subject, we analyse excerpts from a journalistic chronicle in the hope of confirming the legitimacy of the subject under consideration and the need for more consistent debates and demonstrations. Once the categories of intergenericity and metaphor have been chosen as discursive structures representative of the logos, the analysis allows us to observe their deploymenting in the effects of patemization, considered here as meaning effects.

Pathos; Logos; New Rhetoric; Sophistics; Semiolinguistics

Introduction

In recent decades, discussions regarding emotion in discourse have been taking shape, especially based on the postulate that certain emotions can be intentional and, therefore, rational. Such a posture calls into question a traditional view in which reason and emotion are understood in a relationship of opposition — an idea derived from the classical Platonic dualism body/mind but which was actually established by Descartes in the seventeenth century. It advocated the suppression of passions on the grounds that only by being free of them does the mind remain healthy.

In the wake of Plato and the Cartesian paradigm, from which paradoxes such as body and mind, and reason and emotion came to be crystallized, other dichotomies were established. Among the many formulations, we can cite some that are both widely known and widely disseminated, for example, argumentation x rhetoric, objectivity x subjectivity, exact sciences x humanities, and one that particularly interests us: logos x pathos/ethos dualism, which encompasses the three means of persuasion covered by Aristotle in Rhetoric (ARISTÓTELES, 2012ARISTÓTELES. Retórica. Tradução de Manuel A. Junior, Paulo F. Alberto e Abel N. Pena. São Paulo: WMF Martins Fontes, 2012.).

On the basis of this problem and in light of the finding that very little has been produced to support further discussion and revision of the dichotomy, we believe it is necessary to bring the debate to the fore. A review of the literature shows that there has been some progress with regard to the assumption of a less rigid idea, according to which there emerges a more harmonious movement between artistic proofs of the Aristotelian triangle, which we interpret as discursive perspectives in interactions or — in Galinari’s words (2014, p.257) — as “dimensions of the same discourse”. Further, because our position is to avoid dichotomous formulas, understanding that many of them put up barriers to the building of knowledge and the integration of different disciplines, we will seek to establish our discussion by articulating notions derived from different approaches to language studies that are apparently distinct, but which, in our view, complement one another. Such notions include the following: discourse analysis, in its semiolinguistic aspect; new rhetoric, with its most prominent representatives; and a debate with sophistics, whose contributions are so fundamental as to effectively exceed the limits imposed by Cartesian rationalism.

Although our proposal for theoretical evaluation and analysis had as the main target pathos — a means of persuasion concerning the emotions aroused by the orator/speaker in the audience/co-speaker, in this introductory section it is worthwhile to anticipate the inevitability of using the concept of logos. Unlike the model that considers logos (rational/objective) to be the opposite of pathos and ethos (less rational/more subjective) from the viewpoint of a fragmenting rationalism, we understand the latter as the development of the former. Given that logos is related to discourse itself — or to argumentative construction — we cannot ignore that the construction of a representation of the self (ethos) or the linguistic expression of certain emotions (pathos) must be the result of discourse (logos).

Thus, admitting that pathos (as well as ethos) always results from logos — the latter materialized in texts through different rhetorical-discursive strategies — and understanding pathos as a property of “discourses that work on emotional effects for strategic purposes” (CHARAUDEAU; MAINGUENEAU, 2014CHARAUDEAU, P.; MAINGUENEAU, D. Dicionário de análise do discurso. Coordenação da tradução: Fabiana Komesu. São Paulo: Contexto, 2014., p.372), after a theoretical exposition this article investigates processes for managing emotions in a journalistic chronicle. To continue with this theoretical-analytical path, we assume the following:

  • in a dialogue between the elements of discourse studies and sophistic doctrine, it is possible to understand pathos as an outcome of logos and thus to more didactically and intelligibly systematize a framework of emotions (pathos) as an effect of discourse (logos);

  • accordingly, certain stereotypes or social representations are activated in discourse with strategic purposes so that they achieve — and also reflect — pathetic effects. However, if Charaudeau (2013)CHARAUDEAU, P. Discurso político. Tradução de Fabiana Komesu e Dilson F. da Cruz. São Paulo: Contexto, 2013. understands emotions as being linked to knowledge based onbelief (one of the ways to construct and/or maintain representations), there is no way to dissociate them from the way in which discursive activities condition the appeal to emotions based on social representations in discourse, particularly in the scope of journalistic media;

  • because the journalistic chronicle is one of the most emblematic textual media genres with respect to the appeal to all types of subjectivity, including emotions in discourse, it is a privileged discursive space for the examination of the possible pathetic effects reflected and potentially produced in the interlocutor, above all because of the openness enjoyed by the speaker to “take a chance” on various strategies, whether they are those guaranteed by the language itself, or through certain representations to which the chronicler resorts to achieve his or her purposes in the discourse.

The article continues with a brief presentation of the state of the art on the subject before the reappearance of rhetoric in the twentieth century; a proposal for the revision of the subject in focus, with the contributions of the new rhetoric, sophistics, and semiolinguistics; a brief qualitative and interpretative analysis of excerpts from a journalistic chronicle by Lya Luft to illustrate the proposal under discussion; and some final considerations on the articulation between the theoretical trajectory and the analysis.

Patheticization and language: some problems

The issue of the importance of emotions in the study of discourse is nothing new. It was first treated by rhetoricians as a phenomenon concerning the passions, and according to Aristotle (2012, p.13), it is one of the three persuasive modes present in discourse: “some depend on the moral character of the speaker [ethos]; others putting the listener in a certain frame of mind[pathos]; and others in the discourse itself, in so far as it proves or seems to prove [logos]”.

Of the three modes of persuasion, pathos is linked to the passions, affections, and emotions aroused in listeners by a speaker. Addressing such a subjective aspect — as is the affective disposition of the listener — may give the impression that pathos is a phenomenon that escapes the control of the discourse because the emotional effects produced in another person are always dependent on the other’s receptivity. However, not even for this reason can we attribute a less essential role to pathos. Aristotle himself (2012, p.XXX) states that ethos, pathos, and logos are the “three elements of proof that together contribute to enthymematic reasoning”1 1 Our emphasis. ; that is, the rationale assumes shared knowledge between speaker and audience, treating certain assertions and assumptions as non-problematic.

Although Aristotle’s framework suggests the integration of the three modes of persuasion, in the classical period there were already those who, similar to Plato, elaborated their canonical postulates based on dichotomies such as body/mind — which was possibly the most prominent in the “golden age” of rhetoric, having served as a paradigm for so many other oppositions such as conviction/persuasion and, along the same lines, reason/emotion. It is important to highlight that the latter was sustained for centuries, gaining even more force in the seventeenth century under the aegis of Cartesian thought:

[...] With Plato we have a sample of the exclusion to which emotion has been relegated throughout history — a thought followed by various philosophers (e.g., St. Augustine) from other times. However, it is with some philosophers, such as Descartes and Kant, that such a split was shown to be even more acute. If, as Descartes postulated, passions are a sign of illness, only if they were jettisoned would the mind be in perfect health. This dichotomous way of thinking about emotion and reason contributed to centuries of delay in debates on the subject. (LIMA, 2007LIMA, H. Patemização: emoções e linguagem. In: MACHADO, I. L.; MENEZES, W.; MENDES, E. (Orgs.). As emoções no discurso. v.1. Rio de Janeiro: Lucerna, 2007. p.140-149., p.140).

In later centuries, this rational-mechanistic idea was the foundation that resulted in almost the annihilation of the Greek rhetorical tradition. However, the Western world of the Age of Enlightenment — dominated by scientism — could not accept the plausible forms of thought or credible demonstrations predicted by Aristotle’s rhetoric. The rational and the absolute were required to arrive at truly valid statements that privileged logical forms of reasoning and notions such as the assertion that the value of truthis established in the space of argumentative theory. This is how the great conceptual schisms occurred because the influence of philosophers such as Descartes would be responsible for the definitive separation between argumentation and rhetoric, which carries

[...] in its “DNA”, the property of reproducing in cascade, bringing to light other dualisms, respectively analogue, such as: “convince x persuade”, “reason x emotion”, “logic x rhetoric”, “not misleading x misleading”, “valid x invalid argument”, “good rhetoric x bad rhetoric”, “objectivity x subjectivity”, “logos x ethos/pathos”. (GALINARI, 2014GALINARI, M. M. Logos, ethos e pathos: “três lados” da mesma moeda. Revista Alfa, São Paulo, v.58(2), p.257-285, 2014., p.261, bold highlighting by the author).

In view of the specific purposes of our proposal, it should be observed that such a split ended up affecting the harmony of the Aristotelian triangle formed by the three modes of persuasion due to the domination exerted by the Cartesian philosophical paradigm on epistemological models in various sectors of knowledge, which has persisted to the present day.

Thus, among the studies that articulate emotion and discourse, we must note the reflections of Galinari (2007GALINARI, M. M. As emoções no processo argumentativo. In: MACHADO, I. L.; MENEZES, W.; MENDES, E. (Orgs.). As emoções no discurso. v.1. Rio de Janeiro: Lucerna, 2007. p.221-239., 2014GALINARI, M. M. Logos, ethos e pathos: “três lados” da mesma moeda. Revista Alfa, São Paulo, v.58(2), p.257-285, 2014.), who indicates some barriers to the reintegration of the modes of persuasion, describing the paradigmatic influence as a “Cartesian fetish” (GALINARI, 2014GALINARI, M. M. Logos, ethos e pathos: “três lados” da mesma moeda. Revista Alfa, São Paulo, v.58(2), p.257-285, 2014.). Another way to describe such influence is as a mania or a culture of dichotomization, whereby the Aristotelian triangle is often the target of a bipartition in which logos — shown as objective proof — is opposed to ethos and pathos. In his analysis of certain authors, Galinari (2014)GALINARI, M. M. Logos, ethos e pathos: “três lados” da mesma moeda. Revista Alfa, São Paulo, v.58(2), p.257-285, 2014. observed obstacles that impede the effective integration of rhetorical proofs (although such authors were not aware of the hindrance caused by these obstacles):

[...] Eggs (2008)2 2 Reference to: EGGS, E. Ethos aristotélico, convicção e pragmática moderna [Aristotelian ethos, conviction, and modern pragmatics]. In: AMOSSY, R. (Org.). Imagens de si no discurso: a construção do ethos [Images of oneself in discourse: the construction of ethos]. São Paulo: Contexto, 2008, p.29-56. , for example, based on his reading of Aristotle, separates the modes of persuasion into ‘two blocks of conviction’: on the one hand, we find logos (classified as inferential, as reasoning, and as argumentation); while in another block of the dichotomy, ethos (habitus, virtue, character) and pathos (passion, affection) come together. In turn, Plantin (2005)3 3 Reference to: PLANTIN, C. L’argumentation: histoire, théories et perspectives. Paris: PUF, 2005. , when mentioning the three paths for validating an opinion, executes his divorce within the loving/rhetorical trio: to one side goes, solitarily, logos (objective, propositional proof); and to the other, ethos and pathos (subjective non-propositional ‘proofs’) follow entwined. (GALINARI, 2014GALINARI, M. M. Logos, ethos e pathos: “três lados” da mesma moeda. Revista Alfa, São Paulo, v.58(2), p.257-285, 2014., p.260).

With respect to Eggs’ stance, we note a contradiction because, given that his proposal is based on his reading of Aristotelian rhetoric, which seems to offer no room for a dichotomous view, the division into blocks would be an almost declared paradox. The purpose of Plantin’s idea — the logos x pathos/ethos opposition — probably comes from another, more comprehensive view, between objectivity and subjectivity. Galinari emphasizes that although the reflections of these and other authors offer ample contributions to the analysis of discourse, there is still a preference for strict separations.

Although we can understand that such authors are guided by an epistemological model suited to their purposes, dichotomies, in this case, can be real obstacles, so that studies related to rhetorical proofs go beyond the barriers of theory to become more operational, for example, in the practices of reading and discursive analysis.

It is important to emphasize that our positioning coincides with that of Galinari (2007GALINARI, M. M. As emoções no processo argumentativo. In: MACHADO, I. L.; MENEZES, W.; MENDES, E. (Orgs.). As emoções no discurso. v.1. Rio de Janeiro: Lucerna, 2007. p.221-239., 2014GALINARI, M. M. Logos, ethos e pathos: “três lados” da mesma moeda. Revista Alfa, São Paulo, v.58(2), p.257-285, 2014.), in the sense of accepting the interrelationship of proofs of persuasion. Thus, instead of considering that logos is opposed to pathos and to ethos, we deem it imperative to revise this proposal, thereby abandoning old dichotomies. In the integrative outlook adopted here, both pathos and ethos would consist of a semantic-discursive development of logos (see GALINARI, 2014GALINARI, M. M. Logos, ethos e pathos: “três lados” da mesma moeda. Revista Alfa, São Paulo, v.58(2), p.257-285, 2014.), or better — of discourse as the result of an enunciative action, which naturally involves the action of the subject of the enunciation.

In the next section, we will show how the reformulations performed by the new rhetoric and how the sophistic doctrine regarding logos are productive sources in supporting the proposal adopted here.

Contributions of the New Rhetoric and Sophistics

As noted in the section above, despite rhetoric having suffered — from the seventeenth century onward — as a discipline or art of argument, it reappeared with considerable energy in the twentieth century. The work The New Rhetoric: A Treatise on Argumentation (PERELMAN; OLBRECHTS-TYTECA, 1996PERELMAN, C.; OLBRECHTS-TYTECA, L. Tratado de argumentação: a nova retórica. Tradução de Maria Ermantina de Almeida P. Galvão. São Paulo: Martins Fontes, 1996.), first published in 1958, marks, in particular, the (re)integration of rhetoric and argumentation, which would — among other contributions — offer to language studies the following: the incorporation of all discursive forms of persuasion, such as advertising and other media (e.g., the consideration of non-verbal matter, whether in purely imagistic discourses or in syncretic forms); and the insertion of the non-rational, thus opening up the discourse to the passionate universe (pathos). Consequently, the new rhetoric indicates the path for escape from an outdated rationalism, giving way to a logic of the reasonable, the probable, and the credible (see FERREIRA, 2015FERREIRA, L. A. Leitura e persuasão: princípios de análise retórica. São Paulo: Contexto, 2015.).

In the wake of this integrative posture, the neo-rhetorical postulates point to the fact that the three components of persuasion — logos, pathos, and ethos — complement more than detract from one another. They are — before being isolated perspectives —fully interactive elements. However, it is not difficult to admit that, in a situation of communication, an orator/speaker is capable of connecting with the affectivity (pathos) of the audience/co-speaker through a representation of him- or herself (ethos) as the effect of the discourse itself (logos).

Thus, the modes of persuasion can productively be compared to integrated perspectives or, in the case of a didactic application, different reading perspectives that act simultaneously. This does not mean that each of them cannot be examined separately; however, this must be done, clearly and solely, for the sake of systematization, so that the three elements are understood within the particularities that characterize each of them.

Although all of the sophistication provided by the new rhetoric had been part of a very important turning point, some legacies of the Cartesian paradigm remain strong. We must explain — once again based on the studies of Galinari (2011GALINARI, M. M. A polissemia do logos e a argumentação: contribuições sofísticas para a análise do discurso. EID&A – Revista Eletrônica de Estudos Integrados em Discurso e Argumentação, Ilhéus, n.1, p.93-103, nov. 2011., 2014GALINARI, M. M. Logos, ethos e pathos: “três lados” da mesma moeda. Revista Alfa, São Paulo, v.58(2), p.257-285, 2014.) — that a more solid understanding of the interrelation of the rhetorical proofs requires a deepening of the notion of logos. In Galinari’s view, the sophistic element of rhetoric involves a theoretical-conceptual framework capable of conceiving logos as more than a set of reasonable mental operations, which, as we have seen, would have been a great innovation of the neo-rhetoricians. Based on a study of the sophists — who were considered to be great thinkers and educators in the fifth century B.C.4 4 We refer to sophistics as practiced in its first era — ancient sophistics or first sophistics — in the second half of the fifth century B.C., and whose most prominent representatives were figures such as Gorgias, Protagoras, and Hippias, among others. It differs from thesecond sophistics, which was developed in the second century A.D. , despite being somewhat marginalized — and contemporary works about the subject, Galinari understands that logos “is not restricted to the field of mental operations or the reasonings outlined in the materiality of the discourse, since, thinking such as this, one can interpret that this would exclude the field of the saying, of the enunciation”, of which “the sophists were great scholars, covering several of its dimensions, and always — which is most important — from a rhetorical and communicative perspective” (GALINARI, 2014GALINARI, M. M. Logos, ethos e pathos: “três lados” da mesma moeda. Revista Alfa, São Paulo, v.58(2), p.257-285, 2014., p.263, bold highlight added by the author).

Pinto’s study (2000), titled “A Doutrina do Logos na Sofística” [The Doctrine of Logos in Sophistics], is based on a deep theoretical foundation and investigates the way in which logos was created, and how it developed with the fostering of the school of the first sophists. Among many viewpoints, Pinto cites a work by Emmanuele Riverso about the influence of these thinkers:

With sophistics, a crisis arises with logos, as had been elaborated by the preceding philosophies. Its validity for discovering an absolute truth — situated in the structure of the real — was demolished, and with it, the primitive objectivity of the truth was demolished. On the other hand, its persuasive force was perfected; that is, its capacity for modelling interpretations of the things which — by their internal coherence and the ability to elicit the adhesion of others — were constituted as truths created by the human being. (RIVERSO apud PINTO, 2000PINTO, M. J. V. A doutrina do logos na sofística. Lisboa: edições Colibri, 2000., p.100).

Pinto (2000)PINTO, M. J. V. A doutrina do logos na sofística. Lisboa: edições Colibri, 2000. also notes that there was a sophistical concern with language — a concern centred above all else on the use of the words, which is evidence of a less rigorous idea of logos, given the view of the dynamicity of the language itself. Thus, the author cites the examples of Protagoras, who “elaborated on grammar issues, dealing with the gender of names and the classification of parts of speech”, as well as the “criticism of mismatched expressions and the syntactic composition of speech” (PINTO, 2000PINTO, M. J. V. A doutrina do logos na sofística. Lisboa: edições Colibri, 2000., p.173); Prodicus, because his activity “in the field of spoken logos-related issues is documented by numerous sources who attribute to him [...] the mastery in the art of the division of names” (PINTO, 2000PINTO, M. J. V. A doutrina do logos na sofística. Lisboa: edições Colibri, 2000., p.182); and Antiphon, whose teachings include the assumption that “the concepts we use in discourse [...] do not have a single meaning because the ultimate constituents of nature — discernible through meaning or thought — are singular things” (PINTO, 2000PINTO, M. J. V. A doutrina do logos na sofística. Lisboa: edições Colibri, 2000., p.208), in a possible glimpse of consideration of the dependence of contextual factors for the interpretation of discourse.

Based on the activities developed by these and other sophists, who, as we can see, offer an expanded view of logos, seizing it — in the case of logos in relation to saying — by means of different categories of language, Galinari (2014GALINARI, M. M. Logos, ethos e pathos: “três lados” da mesma moeda. Revista Alfa, São Paulo, v.58(2), p.257-285, 2014., p.264) suggests a subdivision of logos into different dimensions such as “word logos”, considering “the whole rhetorical weight of vocabulary formation and of lexical selection”; “syntax logos”; “prosodic logos”; “reasoning logos”; “narration logos”; “description logos”;“enunciation logos” (in the first-, second-, and third-person). The author further explains as follows:

Obviously, all these and other dimensions of logos, including — why not! — the reasonings, reinforce or construct opinions, “theses”, or worldviews, based on their cognitive and referential structure; however, they also develop — that is the question — in the ethos and in the pathos during the interaction. In other words, this is equivalent to saying that ethos and pathos (the images of the selfand the responsive emotions in the audience) only become reality based on discourse; that is, from the use of its structure and its reasonings; in short, from everything that was referred to above as logos. (GALINARI, 2014GALINARI, M. M. Logos, ethos e pathos: “três lados” da mesma moeda. Revista Alfa, São Paulo, v.58(2), p.257-285, 2014., p.264).

Taking the quotation above as a parameter— which records, for the purposes intended here, the presuppositions with which we agree and from which we shall proceed later to the analysis — we now more clearly reaffirm our initial hypothesis, which is that pathos — an aspect of discourse related to emotions — must be defined and examined from its overlap with logos and with ethos; and we establish a second hypothesis, according to which the orator/speaker has an ample strategy space — of a linguistic and rhetorical-discursive nature — to put into practice his project of action and influence over the other, in the most varied exchange situations (oral or written).

Having reached the end of the contributions of the new rhetoric and of sophistics, we turn to the subsequent section, in which we proceed to some considerations of Charaudeau (2007CHARAUDEAU, P. Pathos e discurso político. In: MACHADO, I. L.; MENEZES, W.; MENDES, E. (Orgs.). As emoções no discurso. v.1. Rio de Janeiro: Lucerna, 2007. p.240-251., 2010CHARAUDEAU, P. A patemização na televisão como estratégia de autenticidade. In: MENDES, E.; MACHADO, I. L. (Orgs.). As emoções no discurso. v.2. Campinas: Mercado de Letras, 2010. p.23-56.) about his discursive proposal on the study of emotions.

The notion of patheticization: contributions from Charaudeau

In this section we will show that the study of emotions must be complemented by a theory on discourse. We believe that the contributions presented thus far are essential; however, they lack explanation as to how the analyst should grasp emotions.

Charaudeau (2010)CHARAUDEAU, P. A patemização na televisão como estratégia de autenticidade. In: MENDES, E.; MACHADO, I. L. (Orgs.). As emoções no discurso. v.2. Campinas: Mercado de Letras, 2010. p.23-56. warns that the viewpoint of an analysis of discourse should be distinguished, for example, from the viewpoints of a psychology of emotions, whose perspective reflects upon that which the subjects actually feel, or a sociology of emotions — the social relationships and behaviours of social groups. Without underestimating these realities, Charaudeau emphasizes that emotions must be studied from an interdisciplinary perspective, or rather, with an approach involving analysis of integrative discourse, which is not strictly in the field of the relations between language and discourse but which seeks in disciplines such as philosophy, psychology, and sociology points of contact that allow a multidimensional and, therefore, broader understanding of the phenomenon of emotions in discourse. Thus,

[...] despite differing from psychology and sociology, discourse analysis needs them, insofar as their analyses show the intentionality mechanisms of the subject and the mechanisms of social interaction, and the way in which social representations are constituted. Certain notions are more conducive to interdisciplinarity than others, precisely because they are at the centre of different mechanisms. This is the case of “emotion”. (CHARAUDEAU, 2010CHARAUDEAU, P. A patemização na televisão como estratégia de autenticidade. In: MENDES, E.; MACHADO, I. L. (Orgs.). As emoções no discurso. v.2. Campinas: Mercado de Letras, 2010. p.23-56., p.26).

For this reason, Charaudeau places his proposal in a psycho-socio-discursive dimension. Supported, on this account, in these different disciplines, particularly with regard to emotions, the author proposes some reflections toaddress what he calls the “pathetic effects of discourse”, focusing, therefore, on two presuppositions, to which we briefly return below.

Emotions are intentional

Discourse always arises according to a want-say, a make-think, a make-make, and/or a make-feel. If, as we saw in the previous section, emotions can be included in discourse along with reason, we must believe, along with Charaudeau, that “it is due to the fact that emotions manifest themselves in a subject ‘for the purpose’ of something that the subject represents for themselves that emotions can be referred to as intentional” (CHARAUDEAU, 2010, p.28).

In accordance with the semiolinguistic “map” of the author, we cannot fail to mention tha tpathos will always be a game, abet, since, for it, to communicate is to venture into the staging (mise en scène) of an act of language. Thus, for semiolinguists, the intended effects (intentions) overlap with the effects that are actually produced.

Emotions are at the same time linked to knowledge based onbelief and included in a problematic of representations

In the definition of Charaudeau (2013CHARAUDEAU, P. Discurso político. Tradução de Fabiana Komesu e Dilson F. da Cruz. São Paulo: Contexto, 2013., p.198), knowledge based on belief is that which has the purpose of proposing a “judgment on the world”, according to “values that we attribute to it”, through “an evaluation movement”. Different from factual knowledge, which imposes itself on the subject, above all by virtue of scientific reason, knowledge based on belief is constructed from choices made by the speaking subject, “according to a logic of the necessary and the credible, in which either reason or emotion can intervene” — a trait that naturally indicates the relativity of knowledge based on belief, which finds its counterpart in the indisputable character of factual knowledge.

Emotions and beliefs are linked to the extent to which it is not sufficient that the subject has the capacity to perceive the intentions of others or to capture some information or some knowledge. It is necessary that through socially shared values, the subject evaluates this knowledge, and, for this, he “mobilizes one or more of the inferential networks proposed by the universes of belief available in the situation in which he finds himself, which is susceptible to triggering in him an emotional state”, a state that “puts him in contact with a social sanction that will culminate in various judgments of a psychological or moral order” (CHRARAUDEAU, 2010, p.30).

For this aspect of emotions, Charaudeau (2010CHARAUDEAU, P. A patemização na televisão como estratégia de autenticidade. In: MENDES, E.; MACHADO, I. L. (Orgs.). As emoções no discurso. v.2. Campinas: Mercado de Letras, 2010. p.23-56., p.28) states: “Any individual can perceive a lion, recognize its morphology, know its habits [...], but as long as he does not assess the danger that it may pose [...], he will not experience any emotion of fear”, and it is belief — individual or collective — that allows the subject such an assessment of danger.

The pathetical (affective) relationship of the subject with a fact, phenomenon, situation, or event leads him to a reaction, according to the social norms to which he submits himself, whether they have been previously internalized or arise from his representations. These representations

[...] can be called ‘socio-discursive’, when the process of the symbolic configuration of the world is done by means of [...] statements that signify [...] [and] witness [...] how the world is perceived by subjects living in community, the values they attribute to the perceived phenomena, and what the subjects themselves are. These statements circulate in the social community, become the object of sharing, and contribute to a common knowledge and, in particular, a knowledge based on beliefs. (CHRARAUDEAU, 2010, p.31-32).

In other words, if social representations are in the (socio)cognitive plane, we can say that socio-discursive representations are characterized by the way in which collectively shared beliefs and knowledge are constructed and discoursed from credible utterances, based on the common experiences internalized by more complex social groups.

The media, for example, make use of these representations in journalistic articles and publicity pieces as inciting components to connect with the affectivity of their target audience. In a news piece, for example, the headline that announces the death of a baby, the accusation of a priest committing paedophilia, or the acquittal or condemnation of a corrupt politician activates representations capable of arousing the same feelings in the interlocutors — obviously to different degrees, given that we must consider the dependence of the status of each interlocutor and his pathetic dispositions at the time of the announcement.

In any case, we cannot deny that in the illustrated case, socio-discursive representations are always “staged” to reach the greatest possible number of interlocutors in a similar manner.

It should also be clarified that the link between emotions and representations is attested to by the terminological choices of Charaudeau, who — instead of “emotions” — opts for terms derived from the word pathos — “pathetic”, “patheticalness”, and “patheticization”. According to the understanding of Mendes, S. and Mendes, P. (2007MENDES, S. S.; MENDES, P. H. A. Uma análise discursiva das emoções em Laranja Mecânica: o estranhamento, a humilhação e a indignação. In: MACHADO, I. L.; MENEZES, W.; MENDES, E. (Orgs.). As emoções no discurso. v.1. Rio de Janeiro: Lucerna, 2007. p.272-289., p.274), patheticization can be thought of “as an effect of meaning, which, therefore, must be taken in a specific context of exchange, in accordance with the inference capacity of the interlocutor and the social representations that underlie this exchange”. With regard to the determinants of the effects of patheticization, the representations would consist of the evaluations of a given proposal about the world, whose judgement of value is assigned in a particular situation of enunciation.

We present above only a few of Charaudeau’s considerations with regard to emotions, which seem to be applicable to any discourse. We will not dwell on his considerations because his analysis focuses on a corpus of television media, while our analysis focuses on written journalistic media.

Pathetic effects in the journalistic chronicle

Because the space of this article does not permit a lengthy investigation and examination, our analysis will take into account two rhetorical-discursive strategies that clearly stand out in the chronicles under consideration: metaphor and intergenericity. We can see the rhetorical activity of these strategies, considering that both engender what we will call here a representation logos, with the potential to arouse certain emotions, given that pathos is always a probability, an expectation.

Some clarifications are needed before we proceed to the proposed analysis. In 2014, the chronicler Lya Luft — who writes biweekly for Veja magazine — published four chronicles in which the word nau (ship) appears in the title, always in reference to the Brazilian nation. The chronological order of the publications is indicated in the following table:

Date Title
12/02/2014 We cannot be a rudderless ship
05/11/2014 The ship for all
19/11/2014 The faulty ship
03/12/2014 Prayer of the drifting ship

As we explain above, despite it not being possible to proceed with the analysis of the four chronicles, it is necessary to restrict ourselves to the first three titles, whose texts to which they refer are — by the dialogical nature of the language — returned to in the last chronicle, “Prayer of the drifting ship”, which is the focus of our analysis. In other words, to ignore that it is a series of chronicles — the most evident common element of which is the repetition of the word “ship” in the four titles — would be the same as to disregard the heterogeneous property of discourse.

In accordance with our proposal, the representation logos will show the pathetic effects of indignation, dissatisfaction, hope, and optimism. This demonstration is elaborated through different linguistically marked discursive strategies5 5 This perspective guides our analysis method, as we consider the trajectory from language to discourse, exercised through acts of enunciation produced from the choices made by the chronicler. . In view of the fact that pathos is always a consequence of aspeaker’s choices, which, in the discourse, govern the processes of production, comprehension, and persuasion of the co-speaker, we will first consider two strategies that are striking in the chronicle under analysis: metaphor, focusing on its persuasive function; and intergenericity, based on the ideas of Marcuschi (2008)MARCUSCHI, L. A. Produção textual, análise de gêneros e compreensão. São Paulo: Parábola Editorial, 2008.. At the same time, we will discuss how these strategies engender certain representations, reflecting, in the enunciative scene, the effects of a pathetic order.

Thus, the first of the strategies that catches the eye is the use of the metaphor “ship”. When mention is made of this term throughout the text, one should not only consider a direct reference to the Brazilian nation, but — depending on the chronicle’s temporal production context — one should also bear in mind the circumstances experienced by Brazil and its people at the time. After all, it was a year marked by the outbreak of the Lava Jato operation of the Federal Police, which involved a series of investigations into a major money laundering scheme involving Petrobras and renowned contractors as well as Brazilian politicians. In addition to this scandal, which involved billions missing from the public coffers, Brazil was still recovering from a crushing defeat in the 2014 World Cup.

In the titles of the chronicles listed in the table above, the Brazilian nation — this great “ship” — is already qualified as “the rudderless ship”, “the faulty ship”, “a drifting ship”, and throughout the text under analysis, it can be seen that a series of expressions, words, and statements reinforces the negative image suggested by the titles.

In the chronicle “Prayer of the drifting ship”, this emphasis is achieved by means of statements such as “indecisive and often rough sea” (1st paragraph), “I float slowly, inclined, on a dead sea, on the verge of being shipwrecked” (5th paragraph), and “debris from a shipwreck” (8th paragraph). In these cases, the representation, which is easily assimilated by the readers of the chronicle — of an inert country in the midst of discoveries of scandals about diversions of millions —which lacks a cohesive, incorruptible and common sense administration — is capable of eliciting, more or less similarly in readers, the emotions of uncertainty, indignation, pessimism, and even a restricted optimism, given that improvement would depend on overcoming the mediocrity and the resignation of so many missing “passengers” from this “uncertain and threatened ship” (6th paragraph).

Thus, it is not difficult to consider some associations between the content of the chronicle and the reality experienced by Brazil, specifically in 2014, which is a moment characterized by a succession of discoveries that justified the economic imbalance of the country, in which, moreover, the rumours about a probable recession were already being echoed, even in the international media. This analogy between the “ship” and concrete reality is in line with an affirmation by Pinto (2000)PINTO, M. J. V. A doutrina do logos na sofística. Lisboa: edições Colibri, 2000., who, quoting an anonymous author, returns to definitions of the rhetorical and aesthetic functions of metaphor:

Generally speaking, in the realm of the former, the dominant aims are those of the mode and persuasion, while the latter — mimetically evoking possible universes — arouses in the listeners effects more or less profound that unravel at the margin of any criterion of true and false. (PINTO, 2000PINTO, M. J. V. A doutrina do logos na sofística. Lisboa: edições Colibri, 2000., p.277).

Typical of the journalistic chronicle — a genre characterized by the integration of reality and current events with a relaxed prose, and by the freedom given to the chronicler to express her or his point of view through various linguistic-discursive mechanisms — the use of figures such as metaphors enables both rational (in the sense of being reasonable and credible) and aesthetic effects, and contributes — perhaps more than dry, ornament-free language — to the production of pathetic effects. In the case of the chronicle under analysis, comparing Brazil with a “ship” or a “large ship” can produce in the reader’s imagination a closer representation of empirical reality because they are objects that are easy to cognitively assimilate, as are the specifiers used in the titles — “drifting ship”, “rudderless ship”, and “faulty ship” — as well as the correlated terms identified throughout the text — expressions such as “storm clouds” and “fatal rocks” (2nd paragraph); “rotting waters” (3rd paragraph); and “fatal whirlpools” (8th paragraph).

As Charaudeau reminds us, when proposing that emotions are related to knowledge based on belief, evaluating situations experienced by the subject (in this case, a chronicler in complicity with the reader) is essential for certain emotions and representations to be activated. In the passage transcribed below, we can see certain elements related to fear: “[...] in the fog, and with so many storm clouds threatening, perhaps fatal rocks under the water line, I am afraid of keeling over” (LUFT, 2014LUFT, L. Oração da nau à deriva. Veja. São Paulo, 03 dez. 2014, p.24., p.24. Prayer of the drifting ship).

The dangers that the country is experiencing and the obscure environment in which it finds itself due to the poor management and corruptibility of some of its rulers, engender worry and fear — again through easily identifiable images such as the “fog”, the “storm”, and the “rocks”. The belief that the country is in danger, and the representation of a nation that suffers (or that should be concerned) with the uncertainties about the future, is reactivated in this chronicle.

The title — Prayer of the drifting ship — registers exactly the way that the text presents itself: a prayer. In other words, it is a journalistic chronicle in the form of a prayer, from beginning to end. When addressing such cases of genre hybridization, Marcuschi (2008)MARCUSCHI, L. A. Produção textual, análise de gêneros e compreensão. São Paulo: Parábola Editorial, 2008. states that in some situations — to meet specific communicational goals — “it is common for us to circumvent the canon of a genre by mixing forms and functions” (MARCUSCHI, 2008MARCUSCHI, L. A. Produção textual, análise de gêneros e compreensão. São Paulo: Parábola Editorial, 2008., p.164). Such a procedure characterizes what the author calls intergenericity.

It should be clarified that in the specific case of the chronicle “Prayer of the drifting ship”, the intergenericity observed in the mixture of this genre with a prayer is perfectly legitimate because the chronicler’s strategy space allows this transgression, which, therefore, does not compromise the chronicler’s restriction space.

Returning to the chronicle in question, we transcribe below excerpts that show a strong dominance of the appeal and cry to God:

“Lord, give me a competent and highly skilled crew that will alleviate me of these difficulties and afflictions [..])”

“Lord, give me an experienced, reliable and honest helmsman with a firm hand and clear, coherent, and decisive ideas, who knows what he does and wants to do what it takes to correct course so that this voyage ends well [...]”

“Lord, give me responsible people who choose their crew according to their merits and preparation — good, courageous, and tireless people who can cleanse the rotten waters in which I am now immersed.”

“Lord, give me clear waters to navigate [...]”

“Lord, give me people who believe that it is worth changing, that inconveniences, annoyances, even fears that any transformation imposes are essential and beneficial in this hour [...]”

“Lord, give me the gift of renewal so that I may be a respected and beautiful ship, and not debris of a shipwreck on some forgotten island.”

The passage reveals itself to be a personal petition, in which the speaker, by assuming the form of the ship itself in the first person singular, summons divine direction and intervention. In this case, the intergenericity transcends the limits of the form and function of the genres and causes the text to be produced in an interdiscourse whose exchange of distinct spheres — the mediatic and the religious — evokes emotions such as the sensation of fragility of mortal man and the hope that the divine being will come in response to the cry for help.

The repetition of the “Lord, give me” formula throughout the text may indicate both hope — if we consider that God, being omnipotent, will have to attend to the insistent request — and its opposite, anguish. This anguish/hope theme (CHARAUDEAU, 2010CHARAUDEAU, P. A patemização na televisão como estratégia de autenticidade. In: MENDES, E.; MACHADO, I. L. (Orgs.). As emoções no discurso. v.2. Campinas: Mercado de Letras, 2010. p.23-56.) seems to dominate the content of the chronicle. The representations oscillate between positive and negative, depending on whether the focus is on the dangers and doubts or on the trust that, through divine intervention, the country may find itself freedoftorment.

Intergenericity, as well as the use of metaphor, converges in the representation logos, which, in turn, puts into play plausible expectations of pathetic effects. The very fact of subscribing to an interdiscursive space — thus allowing the mixture of different spheres and genres — suggests a specific representation: that of the Christian reader because prayer to God can suggest a view of capturing as many readers as possible in a country with a Christian majority, as Brazil is, although (we speculate) a part of the readership is not adept or sympathetic to Christianity.

Although the analysis focuses on the development of logos in pathos, which is still the purpose of the interrelationship of the rhetorical evidence, we believe it is possible to speculate on the question of ethos in pathos proposed by Galinari (2007GALINARI, M. M. As emoções no processo argumentativo. In: MACHADO, I. L.; MENEZES, W.; MENDES, E. (Orgs.). As emoções no discurso. v.1. Rio de Janeiro: Lucerna, 2007. p.221-239., 2014GALINARI, M. M. Logos, ethos e pathos: “três lados” da mesma moeda. Revista Alfa, São Paulo, v.58(2), p.257-285, 2014.). In this analysis, Galinari describes a case in which a columnist — when projecting a certain image of himself — ends up “contributing to the establishment of feelings” (GALINARI, 2014, p.281).

With this in mind, we could reflect on an ethos of a sacred nature, capable of establishing hope and a sense of fragility. In the doctoral research of Alves Jr. (2015), in which a corpus of 54 chronicles of Lya Luft was examined, indications of the construction of a Christian ethos — were identified, expressed through different linguistic configurations (e.g., nominal expressions, portions of text of various extents, isolated vocabulary).

Thus, it would not be novel for the chronicler to make use of, deliberately or not, an image of herself that is committed to Christianity. However, the overlapping of the persuasive evidence found at this point in our analysis shows, in Galinari’s words (2014, p.261), the “ability of ethos to act by empathy or identification, ethically and emotionally including the interlocutor”. Consequently, in the case of the chronicle “Prayer of the drifting ship”, this Christian ethos — projected by the chronic/prayer intergenericity — would be the inciting component of several of the effects of patheticization possibly sought by the speaker, with an emphasis on hope — suggested, above all, by the pleading tone of the prayer.

In conclusion, we hope that this brief analysis fulfils the purpose of illustrating the articulation among rhetorical proofs, especially with regard to the conversion of logos into pathos but also with evidence of the development of the representation logos into a Christian ethos — the latter with the potential to engender certain pathetic effects.

Final considerations

What we presented in this article was an approach — that had already been proposed by the new rhetoric — to review the relationships between rhetorical proofs, particularly with regard to the interrelationship between pathos and logos. It was a study of the emotions in discourse, which we conceive as a result not necessarily of the desire of an orator/speaker to affectively connect with the target audience, but of a possibility glimpsed by the discursive act itself, based on acts of enunciation produced in effective situations of exchange.

As with the new rhetoric, sophistics provides important contributions; however, they are not as widespread. This is likely due to the lack of written records attributed to the sophists. Hence, there is a need to seek, in the work of other researchers, some contributions left by neo-rhetoricians of antiquity.

Charaudeau’s considerations are equally fundamental for a broader and more integrated study of pathos and patheticization. His assumption, according to which emotions are linked to social representations — socio-discursive in cases in which the enunciation acts that are actually produced are analysed — is, in our view, an innovative and essential perspective for understanding the pathetic phenomenon.

The theoretical itinerary covered, followed by the examination of the chronicle, attempted, among other aims, to stimulate greater debate on rhetorical proofs and their very close relationship, which could also serve as an opening to a less fragmented analysis model, considering the different dimensions that are part of discourse.

References

  • ALVES JUNIOR, M. A. O intertexto bíblico como expressão de um ethos em crônicas de Lya Luft 2015. 183 f. Tese (Doutorado em Língua Portuguesa) – Faculdade de Letras, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, 2015.
  • ARISTÓTELES. Retórica Tradução de Manuel A. Junior, Paulo F. Alberto e Abel N. Pena. São Paulo: WMF Martins Fontes, 2012.
  • CHARAUDEAU, P. Pathos e discurso político. In: MACHADO, I. L.; MENEZES, W.; MENDES, E. (Orgs.). As emoções no discurso v.1. Rio de Janeiro: Lucerna, 2007. p.240-251.
  • CHARAUDEAU, P. A patemização na televisão como estratégia de autenticidade. In: MENDES, E.; MACHADO, I. L. (Orgs.). As emoções no discurso v.2. Campinas: Mercado de Letras, 2010. p.23-56.
  • CHARAUDEAU, P. Discurso político Tradução de Fabiana Komesu e Dilson F. da Cruz. São Paulo: Contexto, 2013.
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  • GALINARI, M. M. A polissemia do logos e a argumentação: contribuições sofísticas para a análise do discurso. EID&A – Revista Eletrônica de Estudos Integrados em Discurso e Argumentação, Ilhéus, n.1, p.93-103, nov. 2011.
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  • LUFT, L. Oração da nau à deriva. Veja São Paulo, 03 dez. 2014, p.24.
  • MARCUSCHI, L. A. Produção textual, análise de gêneros e compreensão São Paulo: Parábola Editorial, 2008.
  • MENDES, S. S.; MENDES, P. H. A. Uma análise discursiva das emoções em Laranja Mecânica: o estranhamento, a humilhação e a indignação. In: MACHADO, I. L.; MENEZES, W.; MENDES, E. (Orgs.). As emoções no discurso v.1. Rio de Janeiro: Lucerna, 2007. p.272-289.
  • PERELMAN, C.; OLBRECHTS-TYTECA, L. Tratado de argumentação: a nova retórica. Tradução de Maria Ermantina de Almeida P. Galvão. São Paulo: Martins Fontes, 1996.
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  • 1
    Our emphasis.
  • 2
    Reference to: EGGS, E. Ethos aristotélico, convicção e pragmática moderna [Aristotelian ethos, conviction, and modern pragmatics]. In: AMOSSY, R. (Org.). Imagens de si no discurso: a construção do ethos [Images of oneself in discourse: the construction of ethos]. São Paulo: Contexto, 2008, p.29-56.
  • 3
    Reference to: PLANTIN, C. L’argumentation: histoire, théories et perspectives. Paris: PUF, 2005.
  • 4
    We refer to sophistics as practiced in its first era — ancient sophistics or first sophistics — in the second half of the fifth century B.C., and whose most prominent representatives were figures such as Gorgias, Protagoras, and Hippias, among others. It differs from thesecond sophistics, which was developed in the second century A.D.
  • 5
    This perspective guides our analysis method, as we consider the trajectory from language to discourse, exercised through acts of enunciation produced from the choices made by the chronicler.

Publication Dates

  • Publication in this collection
    Jan-Mar 2018

History

  • Received
    29 Mar 2017
  • Accepted
    08 Nov 2017
Universidade Estadual Paulista Júlio de Mesquita Filho Rua Quirino de Andrade, 215, 01049-010 São Paulo - SP, Tel. (55 11) 5627-0233 - São Paulo - SP - Brazil
E-mail: alfa@unesp.br