par Ferry, Victor
Référence Canadian Society for the Study of Rhetoric (CSSR) (May 28-30: Broke University (Ontario))
Publication Non publié, 2014-05-28
Communication à un colloque
Résumé : In multicultural societies, empathy (i.e. the ability to endorse someone else’s point of view) appears as an especially useful skill for civic life. However, while empathy is nowadays well documented by physiological and cognitive researches (Ruby & Decety: 2004; Berthoz & Jorland: 2004; Rizzolatti & Sinigaglia: 2008; Berthoz, Ossola & Stock: 2010), there is little discussion on the kind of exercises that might help to enrich this faculty and to use it effectively in argumentation.My claim is that Rhetoric, defined as the practical knowledge (Sennett: 2010) that one can gain by observing (theoresai : Aristotle, Rhet., 1356a) uses of logos, ethos and pathos, has a say on the issue of how to exercise empathy. To support my claim, I will study the use of the faculty to represent others’ point of view by a well trained orator: Barack Obama advocating for a new beginning in the relationship between “Islam” and the “West” in his Cairo’s speech (2009).To conduct my analysis, I propose to answer the following question: what construction of ethos, logos and pathos might ensure that the rhetorical proposition “I understand your point of view, now let us work together” is optimally effective?As far as ethos is concerned, the challenge for the orator is to represent his comprehension of the “others’” point of view without loosing the face vis-à-vis his “home” audience.As far as pathos is concerned, the challenge is to engage his audience into the “other’s” feeling without impeding his ability to overcome divisions by a feeling of concord (Ferry & Zagarella: 2013).As far as logos is concerned, the challenge is to transcend opposite point of views without appearing as biased or, even worse, as naïve.To sum up, following Perelman and Olbrechts-Tyteca’s definition of universal audience as what an orator knows about his fellow men (1969: 33), my proposal aims at showing how an inquiry on the rhetorical means to exercise empathy offers a promising way to cultivate our conceptions of universal audience.