ajouter au panier
L’originalité de ces études consiste dans la perspective aménagée : il s’agit d’analyser non pas ce que les penseurs et hommes d’État de Chine ancienne ont dit, mais de comprendre comment et pourquoi ils l’ont dit de telle ou telle façon. Il est aussi question de comprendre comment les conceptions politiques de la Chine ancienne ont orienté le développement de la rhétorique et de l’art de bien écrire.Exceptionnellement, les articles de ce numéro sont entièrement rédigés en anglais.
I. Difficulties and Dangers of Political Persuasion
Sly Mouths and Silver Tongues: the Dynamics of Psychological Persuasion in Ancient China Albert GalvanyRhetoric that Kills, Rhetoric that Heals Romain Graziani
II. Overt and Covert Rhetoric against Ruling ElitesAlienating Rhetoric in the Book of Lord Shang and its moderation Yuri Pines “Waiting for the Sages of Later Generations”: Is there a Rhetoric of Treason in the Shiji? Dorothee Schaab-Hanke
III. Stories and Slogans as Rhetorical Tool
Tilting Vessels and Collapsing Walls—On the Rhetorical Function of Anecdotes in Early Chinese Texts Paul van Els“People as Root” (min ben) Rhetoric in the New Writings by Jia Yi (200-168) Elisa Sabattini
Political Rhetoric in China and in Imperial Rome : the Persuader, the Ruler, the Audience Alexander YakobsonJust Words, Right Words Gabrielle Radica Abstracts 提要 Bio-bibliographical notes
The philosophical adventure begins in ancient China with a clear consciousness of the power and the potential dangers deriving from the rhetorical use of words. In spite of all the efforts made by Confucius in order to subjugate discourse to an ethical code and to certify a strict and appropriate relationship between names and deeds, the truth is that the Warring States period is characterized by the increasing intellectual and political influence of a new class of orators who, stripped of any moral attachment, consider persuasion from a purely strategic perspective. As in the art of war, as it was understood in early China, this kind of persuasion based on psychological skills needs malleability, adaptability, simulation and dissimulation; exhaustive knowledge about the adversary and, at the same time, impenetrable secrecy and opacity concerning one’s own intentions. In my paper, I will try to show the essential dynamics of these rhetorical techniques as well as some of the most relevant attempts to neutralize and evade the persuasive capacity of orators, diplomats and counsellors.Romain Graziani Rhetoric that Kills, Rhetoric that Heals
The political context of a throng of courtiers engaged in keen competition to be heard by a lord whose power was not limited by any institutional mechanism, accounts for the highly risky and often deadly game of political persuasion in the pre-imperial period. In this article I examine how early Chinese speeches of persuasion hover between reason and treason, salvation and suicide. Without seeking to exhaust the wealth and ambiguities of each text drawn on, I aim to identify and evaluate contrasting attitudes, ranging from cognitive optimism to moral pessimism, regarding the capacity of language to convince and influence the listener or improve his behavior.
After analyzing in the Han Feizi and in the Intrigues of the Warring States a type of deliberative rhetoric that disregards moral ends, I turn to situations where, for once, rhetoric does not serve the purpose of winning a case, obtaining something specific or defeating an opponent, but seeks to accomplish the highest task of the educated man (shi) : that of changing the ruler, reforming his mind, triggering a process of transformation that may have an impact on the political body at large.Yuri Pines Alienating Rhetoric in the Book of Lord Shang and its Moderation
The Book of Lord Shang, supposedly composed by Shang Yang (d. 338 bce) and his disciples, is one of the most controversial texts of the Warring States period. Aside from engagement in what may be defined as “normal” polemics with ideological opponents, the authors at times adopt a radically alienating rhetoric, assaulting ideas and values which were overwhelmingly cherished by members of the educated elite. This rhetoric is fully visible in two chapters (3 and 4), which apparently belong to the early layer of the book. There, the authors deride fundamental moral values; call for establishing a regime in which “scoundrels rule the good people”; and advocate military victory by performing “whatever the enemy is ashamed of.” These pronouncements may explain the strongly negative reaction that the Book of Lord Shang and its putative author, Shang Yang, generated among intellectuals from the Warring States period, throughout the imperial era and well into our time.
In my article I argue that while the rhetoric adopted in the two early chapters of the Book of Lord Shang was alienating for most readers, it could have targeted those members of the intellectual elite who were attracted by the text’s novelty and freedom from conventions. I further show how this harsh rhetoric was moderated in the later layers of the Book of Lord Shang and conclude that analyzing the changing rhetorical patterns in the text may help us to understand better its nature, composition, and the periodization of individual chapters.Dorothee Schaab-Hanke “Waiting for The Sages of Later Generations”: Is there a Rhetoric of Treason in the Shiji ?
This paper explores five passages in the Shiji in which the author addresses sages and superior men of later generations and encourages them to draw conclusions from the historical facts presented there. All five passages allude to one specific passage in the Gongyang zhuan, a text that transmits the teachings of Confucius relating to the “Spring and Autumn” Annals (Chunqiu). Under the entry relating to the 14th reign year of Duke Ai of Lu (481) in which the capture of a unicorn is recorded, the Gongyang commentary reports on Confucius’ reaction to this event: the arrival of this auspicious animal meant to him that the time had come to devote his work to sages and superior men of later generations.
Closer examination of the five Shiji chapters in which the allusion to the Gongyang zhuan occurs reveals that they all discuss aspects related to the rule of a sage. These aspects are all—directly or indirectly—related to measures taken by Emperor Wu of the Han dynasty (r. 141-87), implying that this emperor can scarcely be regarded as a sage ruler. Importantly, in all five cases the intention behind this emperor’s deeds is given more weight than the deed itself. However, as will be argued, the historiographer’s critical assessment is more than merely a warning addressed to his emperor in the hope he might change his mind and become a sage ruler in the end. Rather, by using this allusion to the Gongyang zhuan the historiographer passes a final judgement on his own emperor, by devoting his work, very much like Confucius before him, only to the readers of a future generation. By doing so, the historiographer incurred the risk of being charged with high treason, but this did not prevent him from fulfilling the duty of an “excellent scribe” (liangshi), namely compiling a “true record” (shilu).
Paul van Els Tilting Vessels and Collapsing Walls—On the Rhetorical Function of Anecdotes in Early Chinese Texts
Early Chinese argumentative texts are full of historical anecdotes. These short accounts of events in Chinese history enhance the appeal of the text, but they also have an important rhetorical function in helping the reader understand, accept, and remember the arguments propounded in the text. In this paper I examine the rhetorical function of historical anecdotes in two argumentative texts of the Western Han dynasty (202 bce-9 ce): Han’s Illustrations of the Odes for Outsiders and The Master of Huainan. These two texts found creative use for anecdotes, namely as illustrations of quotations from canonical sources. Through case studies of several combinations of anecdotes and quotations, I argue that the combinations serve to present the creators of these texts as beacons of knowledge with profound understanding of historical events and canonical literature, and with the necessary skills to fruitfully combine the two.Elisa Sabattini “People as Root” (min ben) Rhetoric in the New Writings by Jia Yi (200-168)
The ancient idea of the “people as root,” which experienced a revival in China starting from the early twentieth century, is usually related to the philosophy of Confucius (551-479 bce) and Mengzi (ca 379-304 bce). Contrary to the traditional reading, which perceives the manifestation of virtues that benefit the people as the key to genuine leadership, this paper aims to stress the rhetorical use of the expression “people as root” and mainly focuses on the “Great Command, Part I” and “Great Command, Part II” of the New Writings, a collection of texts ascribed to the Former Han empire (202 bce-9 ce) scholar Jia Yi (200-168 bce). Its appeal to “the people” is due to its “emotive connotation” rather than signifying a concrete set of people-oriented policies and the “people as root” easily became a rhetorical device. The “people as root” is part of the political phraseology of Jia Yi and is strongly influenced by statesmen such as Shang Yang (d. 338), Shen Buhai (d. 337) and Han Feizi (d. 233). According to Jia Yi, the people—the grassroots of the empire—are potentially dangerous and must be controlled.
ajouter au panier