The semiotics of multimodal argumentation(Paul van den Hoven,3月31日)

Paul van den Hoven(Utrecht University)
星期一, 三月 31, 2014 - 14:30 to 17:00
锡昌堂 322

内容提要:Rhetorical discourse is public discourse that attempts to influence an audience’s attitudes towards its future behavior. Argumentative rhetorical discourse is discourse that attempts to do this, predominantly employing the human inclination to reason. As a discourse phenomenon, argumentative discourse always presents a discourse world to its audience that maintains a complex relation to the audience’s reality. Considering the prototypical verbal propositional complex speech act argumentation, it sometimes seems that the semiotics of argumentative discourse are so simple that they do not need our specific attention. However, as soon as we allow a richer realm of modalities to convey arguments - as seems to be a current development in argument theory, strongly supported by me, also being a lawyer doing courtroom research and encountering these modalities all the time - the semiotics of predominantly argumentative rhetorical discourse require our theoretical attention, simply because the implications for theoretical developments are huge.\r\n\r\nIn this lecture I will start off with trying to convince you that the current lack of semiotic attention is also a theoretical gap in argument theory, even when we confine ourselves to the most simple, prototypical forms of verbal argumentation. I will give you six reasons why even the analysis of the next, extremely simple, verbal argument requires semiotics reflection, that is, reflection on how a discourse world is constructed and how this discourse world guides an audience in relating it to its perceived reality.\r\n\r\nThe city of Dongguan in South China’s Guangdong province is a city long known for its hotel sex trade. Prostitution is illegal in China and anyone who organizes prostitution can be arrested. Therefore the recent crackdown is definitely justifiable.\r\n\r\nFrom these six reasons it follows that acknowledging non-verbal modalities, but also acknowledging non-prototypical verbal discourse forms such as narratives and metaphors to convey argumentation, confirms this need for semiotic analysis to be able to model the proponent’s accountability in the reasonable discussing in which the argumentative discourse is assumed to be a move. \r\n