The Argumentative Uses of Emotive Language
Universidade Nova de Lisboa
October 4, 2010
Revista Iberoamericana de Argumentación, Forthcoming
Emotive language is one of the most powerful strategies used to elicit a value judgment on a situation. In this paper, we investigated how emotions can lead the interlocutor to assess a situation or state of affairs, what argumentative strategies are based on emotive language, and what the source of possible fallacies is. The argumentative effect of emotive language was described in the ancient tradition underlying its weaknesses and examining its impact on the interlocutor’s decision making process. In particular, the rhetorical ancient tradition highlighted the strict relation between representation and emotions. Our approach to emotive language proceeds from an analysis of emotions, showing how they are forms of judgment grounded on images of reality created by words. The rationality of emotions is the foundation of our argumentative account. Emotive language is analyzed from a logical and dialectical perspective, focusing on the reasoning pattern underlying the use of emotive words and on their dialectical effects. The fallacies which might arise are classified according to their dialectical and logical features, and explained in terms of presupposition, common knowledge, and dialectical rules.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 41
Keywords: Emotive Language, Definition, Argumentation, PragmaticsAccepted Paper Series
Date posted: January 15, 2011
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