Poetics Today

Poetics Today 23.3, Fall 2002

Special Issue: Doxa and Discourse: How Common Knowledge Works
Edited by: Ruth Amossy and Meir Sternberg

Contents

Articles

    Eggs, Ekkehard, 1943-
    McElholm, Dermot, 1952-, tr.
  • Doxa in Poetry: A Study of Aristotle's Poetics
    [Access article in HTML] [Access article in PDF]
    Subject Headings:
    • Aristotle. Poetics.
    • Aristotle -- Technique.
    Abstract
      The aim of this article is to show that doxa is the point of reference and evaluation from which all of Aristotle's central poetic concepts—mímesis, mythos, peripeteia, praxis téleia, éleos, phóbos, and so forth—can be properly grasped. I first show the endoxical and opinion-bound character of catharsis in discussing pity and fear within the framework of Aristotle's theory of the passions. Since the understanding of the meaning and the function of the plot necessitates a comprehension of the necessary, the probable, and the contingent, I then analyze these logical and poetic categories in the context of the Rhetoric, the Topics, and the Poetics. On the basis of these analyses, I discuss in the last part three endoxical dimensions of mimesis: (i) astonishment and pleasure, (ii) ethos and social praxis, and (iii) style and representation.
    Herschberg-Pierrot, Anne.
  • Barthes and Doxa
    [Access article in HTML] [Access article in PDF]
    Subject Headings:
    • Barthes, Roland.
    • Literature -- History and criticism -- Theory, etc.
    Abstract
      This essay studies the uses and valuation of doxa in the work of Roland Barthes. Omnipresent and multiform, doxa appears there as a power informed by metaphors. The essay then focuses on the analysis of doxa in Barthes's S/Z, on its relation to the Flaubertian problematics of "received ideas," and on the impact of this problematics on literary story since the 1970s.
    Dufays, Jean-Louis.
  • Received Ideas and Literary Reception: The Functions of Doxa in the Understanding and Evaluation of Texts
    [Access article in HTML] [Access article in PDF]
    Subject Headings:
    • Discourse analysis.
    • Reader-response criticism.
    Abstract
      This essay starts by surveying different approaches to the concept of doxa—those developed by Roland Barthes, Charles Grivel, Marc Angenot, but also Daniel Castillo Durante—and by showing that the term doxa is used to designate a system of beliefs as well as a specific ideological maxim. It proceeds to emphasize the connection of doxa to the question of stereotype and its crucial role in the process of reading. Doxa can be assimilated to ideological stereotypes and, as such, does not reduce to content inscribed in the text; it also functions as a tool in meaning construction and in evaluation if not as the very condition of literary reading insofar as the latter relies on a sacralization of literature. Finally, doxa appears as a valuable tool for the analysis of reading effects when we consider its modes of enunciation. The essay thus compares the innocent doxa in a text by Edouard Bled with the distanced doxa in a text by Jean Cau and/or the ambivalent doxa in Enfance by Nathalie Sarraute (each of which is presented in the Appendix). However, it concludes on the idea that the perception of these effects primarily depends on the reader's ideological flexibility.
    Amossy, Ruth.
  • How to Do Things with Doxa: Toward an Analysis of Argumentation in Discourse
    [Access article in HTML] [Access article in PDF]
    Subject Headings:
    • Discourse analysis.
    • Rhetoric.
    Abstract
      Based on a rhetorical approach, claiming that shared values and beliefs work not only for communication but also for verbal efficacy, this essay explores the constructive functions of doxa in literary and nonliterary genres of discourse. Instead of condemning commonplaces in the name of innovation, or of denouncing collective representations by exposing their ideological foundations, the analysis of argumentation in discourse views doxa as an essential ingredient of all literature, classical and modern. This essay raises first the question of the nature of doxa: is it an orderly whole to be reconstructed as such or an aggregate of elements participating in a loose intertext? Is it the expression of a universal common sense or the mark of a given sociohistorical worldview? There follows an attempt at a taxonomy to provide some tools for text analysis. Rhetorical topoi as empty structures (Aristotle's topoï koinoï) are distinguished from pragmatical topoi in Oswald Ducrot's sense and from commonplaces in the positive sense of the term; the notions of idée reçue, of cliché, and of stereotype are described and reinterpreted in an argumentative perspective stressing their fundamental role in human communication. Expressed through a series of implicit and explicit forms—previously discussed within different disciplines and here integrated in a coherent model of text analysis—doxa appears as a condition of intersubjectivity and as a constitutive element of any verbal interaction.
    Sarfati, Georges Elia, 1957-
  • Cultural Study, Doxa, Dictionaries: The Case of Jewish Identity
    [Access article in HTML] [Access article in PDF]
    Subject Headings:
    • French language -- Dictionaries.
    • Jews -- Identity.
    • Discourse analysis.
    Abstract
      This essay is a contribution to the theory as well as to the critical analysis of doxa. Analyzing French dictionaries of the seventeenth through the twentieth centuries, it shows how they organize, transform, and develop dominant reprensentations of Jewish identity. It thus studies doxa across historical, cultural, and ideological issues in discourse and more specifically discourse endowed with a legitimizing power and a pedagogical vocation. One of the objectives of this study is to show that the neutrality of dictionary is only apparent: self-evidence is a cultural construction that escapes the subjects' awareness.The analysis as a whole is based on a fundamental distinction between the (dominant) exogenous and (dominated) endogenous perspectives.
    Angenot, Marc.
  • Doxa and Cognitive Breaks
    [Access article in HTML] [Access article in PDF]
    Subject Headings:
    • Persuasion (Rhetoric)
    • Knowledge, Sociology of.
    • Cognition and culture.
    Abstract
      Are public languages (as opposed to esoteric, i.e., scholarly or disciplinary discourses) that coexist in a given state of society to be distinguished—beyond their diverging points of view, the clash of data retained or set aside, the disparity of their objectives as well as of the interests that fuel them—by their incompatible cognitive and argumentative characters? The author suggests that such breaks may divide at a given point the topography of public opinion. For heuristic ends he outlines three degrees of argumentative breaks: (1) a weak form, in which the impression of insurmountable disagreement is superficial, the conflict between the individuals in question being attached to mannerisms of thinking and expression; (2) argumentative impasses that are linked to presuppositions and premises resolutely placed beyond any doubt; (3) finally, and most radically, certain ways of reasoning about the world, of finding connections and meaning in it, of perceiving a direction over the course of things, of posing oneself as a subject in society and history, and legitimizing this worldview, no longer differ only in their presuppositions, premises, and the basic axiology, but in the very rules defining the "arguable"—to the point that some of these ways of reasoning will appear, to those who remain "on the outside," as unintelligible, unacceptable, and arising from a "crazy" type of logic.

New Books at a Glance

    Feldman, Anat.
  • L'Italie en stéréotypes: Analyse de textes touristiques (review)
    [Access article in HTML] [Access article in PDF]
    Subject Headings:
    • Margarito Santinato, Mariagrazia, ed. Italie en stéréotypes: analyse de textes touristiques.
    • Travel writing.
    Pier, John Holmes.
  • Fonctions du Cliché: Du banal à la violence (review)
    [Access article in HTML] [Access article in PDF]
    Subject Headings:
    • Raynaud, Claudine, ed. Fonctions du cliché: du banal à la violence.
    • Vernon, Peter, ed.
    • Clichés.
    Feldman, Anat.
  • Declining the Stereotype: Ethnicity and Representation in French Cultures (review)
    [Access article in HTML] [Access article in PDF]
    Subject Headings:
    • Rosello, Mireille. Declining the stereotype: ethnicity and representation in French cultures.
    • French literature -- 20th century -- History and criticism.
    Hug, Patrice.
  • Discours ordinaires et identités juives: La représentation des Juifs et du judaïsme dans les dictionnaires et les encyclopédies de langue française, du Moyen Age au XXe siècle (review)
    [Access article in HTML] [Access article in PDF]
    Subject Headings:
    • Sarfati, Georges Elia, 1957- Discours ordinaires et identités juives: la représentation des Juifs et du judaïsme dans les dictionnaires et les encyclopédies de langue française, du Moyen Age au XXe siècle.
    • Jews -- Identity -- History.



[Project MUSE] [Search Page] [Journals] [Journal Directory] [Top]