Archives de l’auteur : Christian Plantin

Exemplum

1. Le genre prédicatif

Les genres rhétoriques classiques, le délibératif, le judiciaire, l’épidictique, ont tous trait à la vie civile. La rhétorique religieuse chrétienne a développé à travers un genre nouveau, la prédication, où la persuasion est mise au service de la foi religieuse.

Prédication est le nom d’action associé au verbe prêcher, et au substantif prêcheur ; il n’a pas été atteint par les orientations péjoratives parfois associées à ces deux mots dans l’usage contemporain. Il est homonyme du mot prédication utilisé en grammaire et en logique pour désigner l’opération par laquelle on associe un prédicat (un groupe verbal) à un sujet.

La prédication est un genre argumentatif qui entre pleinement dans la définition que Perelman et Olbrechts-Tyteca donnent de l’argumentation ; elle vise à « provoquer ou d’accroître l’adhésion des esprits aux thèses qu’on propose à leur assentiment » ([1958], p. 5), les thèses sont ici des croyances qui sont articles de foi du point de vue du prédicateur. Si l’auditoire est composé de fidèles, par la prédication leur pasteur assure leur formation permanente et accroît l’adhésion de leur âme à la croyance qu’on leur prêche. Si l’auditoire est composé d’incroyants, par la prédication le missionnaire provoque l’adhésion de leur âme à ces mêmes croyances. Si l’auditoire est composé d’hérétiques en position de force, la rhétorique doit faire place à la dialectique, V. Foi.

Les contenus de foi catholique sont donnés par les Écritures saintes, commentées par les Autorités que sont les Pères de l’église. Ces contenus sont articulés et appliqués dans les sermons au moyen de diverses techniques de la parole, qui se sont affirmées dans une tension parfois polémique entre appel dialectique à la raison et enthousiasme rhétorique de la foi, V. Foi.

2. L’exemplum

L’exemplum (plur. exempla) est un instrument de prédication particulièrement développé, par les ordres mendiants, Dominicains et Franciscains, à partir du début du XIIIe siècle. Structurellement, l’exemplum est une forme de récit, exploitant les ressources de la fable. Le genre est légitimé par l’exemple même du Christ qui a prêché par paraboles. Les exempla présentent des modèles d’action, à suivre ou à éviter.

L’exemplum est « un récit bref donné comme véridique et destiné à être inséré dans un discours (en général un sermon) pour convaincre un auditoire par une leçon salutaire » (Brémond et al. 1982, p. 37-38). Brémond distingue les exempla métaphoriques et métonymiques.

Exemplum métaphorique : « le récit ne cite plus alors un échantillon de la règle, mais un fait qui lui ressemble » (id.) :

Le hérisson, dit-on, quand il entre dans un jardin, se charge de pommes qu’il fixe sur ses piquants. Mais quand le jardinier arrive, et qu’il veut fuir, sa charge l’en empêche, et c’est ainsi qu’il se fait prendre avec ses pommes. […] C’est ce qui arrive au malheureux pécheur qui se fait prendre à la mort avec la charge de ses péchés.

Humbert de Romans, Le don de crainte ou l’Abondance des exemples (rédigé à la fin du XIIIe Siècle.[1]

— Exemplum métonymique, où le fait est donné comme vraisemblable. Il y a alors une certaine identité de statut entre les héros de l’anecdote et les destinataires de l’exhortation. On présente aux riches la parabole du mauvais riche, aux logiciens un de leurs collègues tourmenté en enfer pour ses péchés, c’est-à-dire ses sophismes.

L’exemplum suivant traite du destin des âmes après la mort, et particulièrement du purgatoire. La leçon qu’il contient est une « dénonciation chrétienne de la vaine érudition païenne » (Boureau, voir infra, p. 94) , et un appel à la conversion des logiciens à une vie religieuse.

Troisièmement, pour notre édification, il peut être utile de nous faire savoir qu’une lourde peine est infligée aux pécheurs, au terme de leur vie. C’est ce qui se produisit à Paris, selon le Chantre parisien, [= Pierre le Chantre]. Maître Silo pria instamment un de ses collègues, fort malade, de venir lui rendre visite après sa mort et de lui faire part de son sort. L’homme lui apparut quelques jours après, avec un manteau de parchemin couvert d’inscriptions sophistiques et entièrement fourré de flammes. Le maître lui demanda qui il était ; il répondit : « je suis bien celui qui t’a promis sa visite. » Interrogé sur le sort qu’il subissait, il dit « Ce manteau me pèse et m’oppresse plus qu’une tour ; on me le fait porter pour la vaine gloire que j’ai retirée des sophismes ; les flammes dont il est fourré représentent les fourrures délicieuses et variées que je portais, et cette flamme me torture et me brûle. » Et comme le maître trouvait cette peine légère, le défunt lui dit de tendre la main pour éprouver la légèreté de la peine. Sur sa main tendue, l’homme fit tomber une goutte de sueur qui perça la main du maître aussi vite qu’une flèche. Le maître éprouva un tourment extraordinaire et l’homme lui dit : « il en va ainsi de tout mon être. » Effrayé de la dureté de ce châtiment, le maître décida de quitter le siècle et d’entrer en religion ; et le matin, devant ses étudiants rassemblés, il composa ces vers :

Aux grenouilles, j’abandonne le coassement
Aux corbeaux, le croassement
Aux vains la vanité ; j’attache mon sort
A une logique qui ne craigne pas le “donc” conclusif de la mort.

Et, quittant le siècle, il se réfugia dans la religion.
Jacques de Voragine, La légende dorée (rédigée vers 1260)[2]

La pratique de l’exemplum dépasse le domaine strictement religieux : « La dent d’or” de Fontenelle constitue un exemplum métonymique illustrant la démarche fallacieuse consistant à trouver la cause d’un fait qui n’existe pas, V. Causalité (II).


[1] Trad. du latin par Christine Boyer, postface de Jacques Berlioz, Lyon, PUL, 2003, p. 116.
[2] Texte présenté par Alain Boureau, dans J.-C. Schmitt éd., Prêcher d’exemples. Récits de prédicateurs au Moyen Âge, Paris, Stock, 1985, p. 7.


 

ATCCT — « If you prevail over me”

Chuang Tze
If you prevail over me and I do not prevail over you, does that mean that what you say is so and what I say is not?”

 

2.14: Escaping the infinite regress of adjudication*

Now let’s say that you and I debate. If you prevail over me and I do not prevail over you, does that mean that what you say is so and what I say is not? If I prevail over you and you do not prevail over me, does that mean that what I say is so and what you say is not? Or is it that one of us is right and one of us wrong? Or are both of us right or both of us wrong? If you and I are both unable to know, then others will become muddled as we are.

Whom shall we call upon to put it right? Shall we call upon one who agrees with you? But if he agrees with you, how can he put it right? Shall we call upon one who agrees with me? But if he agrees with me, how can he put it right? Shall we call upon one who differs with both you and me? But if he differs with both you and me, how can he put it right? Shall we call upon one who agrees with both you and me? But if he agrees with both you and me, how can he put it right?

Thus you and I and these others all cannot know – shall we await yet another? Harmonize all of these by the horizon of heaven. Relying on it to stretch forward is the way to live out your full lifespan; forgetting the years, forgetting all judgments, stirring within the boundless.

What do I mean by the horizon of heaven? It is to say, assert what is not true; affirm what is not so. Were what is true so different from what is false, there would be no arguments; were what is so that different from what is not, there would be no arguments. The mutual dependence of shifting voices is the same as if they were not mutually dependent.

Therefore lodge all this in the boundless.

 

Zhuangzi, The Inner Chapters. Translated by Robert Eno. Version 1.0. 2010.
Chap. 2, On making things equal. § 2.14: Escaping the infinite regress of adjudication. P. 20.

ATCCT — “Practice what you Preach”

Mencius “Practice what you preach!

Mencius, “Chen Xiang said: ‘A true worthy tills the soil beside his people, cooking his own meals as he orders the state.’”

3A.4 A man named Xu Xing came to Teng from Chu, preaching the doctrines of the Sublime Farmer. He marched through the court gate and announced to Duke Wen, “I, a distant stranger, have heard that Your Highness is practicing humane governance, and I wish to receive a dwelling place here that I may become one of your common subjects.”
Duke Wen provided him a place. His several dozen followers all wore clothes of coarse hemp and eked out a living by weaving sandals and mats.

[…] Chen Xiang came to Teng from Song with his brother Xin, both bearing ploughs upon their backs. Chen Xiang said, “I have heard that Your Highness is [59] practicing the governance of sages. This makes you a sage as well, and it is my wish to become the common subject of a sage.”

Then Chen Xiang met Xu Xing and was delighted. He discarded all he had learned before and took Xu Xing as his teacher. When he met Mencius, he spoke to him of Xu Xing’s teachings. “The lord of Teng is certainly a worthy ruler. Still, he has yet to hear the Dao. A true worthy tills the soil beside his people, cooking his own meals as he orders the state. Now, Teng has granary stores and treasure vaults; this shows that the Duke treats his people with harshness in order to nurture his own person. How could this be worthy?”

Mencius said, “Does Master Xu only eat what he himself has planted?”
“Yes.”
“Does he only wear clothes that he himself has sewn?”
“No,” said Chen Xiang. “He wears hemp.”
“Does he wear a cap?”
“Yes.”
“What kind?”
“It is of plain silk.”
“He weaves it himself?”
“No, he traded some grain as barter for it.”
“Why doesn’t Master Xu weave it himself?”
“It would interfere with his farm work.”
“Does he cook with pots and steamers and work his land with an iron ploughshare?” “Yes.” “Does he make these things himself?”
“No, he trades grain to get such things.”
“Then to trade grain for implements cannot be treating the potter and smith with harshness, and when the potter and smith exchange their wares for grain, neither is that treating the farmer harshly. But why does not Master Xu work as a potter and smith so that he will be able to get from within his own home everything that he needs? Why does he enter into this welter of exchanges with various craftsmen? Doesn’t he begrudge all this bother?”

“No one,” said Chen Xiang, “could undertake the work of all craftsmen and be a farmer besides!”

“Well, then, is ruling the world the only occupation that one can undertake while farming? There are affairs of great men and affairs of ordinary men. If it were necessary for each individual first to make all the implements of his work before using them, it would simply march the world down the road to exhaustion.

“For this reason, it is said, ‘Some labor with their minds, some labor with their strength.’ Those who labor with their minds bring order to those who labor with their strength, and those who labor with their strength are ordered by those who labor with their minds. Those who are put in order by others feed people, and those who order people are fed by others. This is a universal principle throughout the world.

“In the time of Yao, […]

MenciusEno, 3A.4


Categorization – Analogy

Auteurs-Noms-Dates

Auteur – Nom transcription  -Dates

  Pinyin W-G EFEO
Mencius

 

Meng ke
Meng Zi
Meng tzu lifetime period: 380 to 300 (Eno)
372–289 BC (Wikipedia)
Deng Xi Teng Hsi c. 545 – 501 BCE (W.)

c. 545-501 BCE (Chinaknowledge)

Xunzi
Hsün Tzu Siun-tseu c. 310 – c. after 238 BCE (W)
(trad. 313-238 BCE) (Ck)
Confucius Kongfuzi K’ung-fu-tzu c. 551 – c. 479 BCE (W)
Zhuangzi  Chuang-tzu Tchouang-tseu around the 4th century BCE (W)
Micius Mozi Mo Tzu c. 470 – c. 391 BCE (W)
c.476 – c.390 BCE (Ck)
Lu Buwei Lü Pu-wei 291 – 235 BCE (W)
d. 253 BCE (Ck)
Hanfeizi c. 280 – 233 BCE (W)
c. 281 – 233 BCE (Ck)
  Wang Chong Wang Ch’ung 27 – c. 97 (W)
27-97 (Ck)
Liu Hsieh ca. 465–522 (W)
Liji
Book of Rites
written during the late Warring States (5th cent.-221 BCE) and Former Han periods (206 BCE-8 CE).
Huánzi Huan T’an Huan Tzu c. 43 BC — AD 28 (W)

(W) = Wikipedia
(Ck) = China Knowledge

 

Liji
Book of Rites
written during the late Warring States (5th cent.-221 BCE) and Former Han periods (206 BCE-8 CE).

ATCCT — Plants Kill, Give Life

If Heaven produces drugs which kill man …

I told Liu Tzu-chün that cultivating one’s nature does not help (postpone old age). His elder brother’s son Po-yü said “If Heaven produces drugs which kill man, it must certainly produce drugs which gives man life.” I said, “The plant ourouparia rhynchophylla does not agree with man, so eating it causes death. But it is not produced for the purpose of killing man. Similarly, Szechwan beans poison fish, arsenic kills rats, cassis injures otters, and apricot stones kill dogs. But these are not made by Heaven for this purpose.
Fragment 66, p. 80-81.

Huan T’an (-43, +28) Hsin-lun (New Treatise) and other Writings.
An annotated translation with index by Timoteus Pokora. Michigan Paper in Chinese studies, The University of Michigan, Center for Chinese Studies.

*

“If Heaven produces drugs which kill man, it must certainly produce drugs which gives man life.”

ATCCT — Topos des Contraires

Topos des contraires
“si A est B, alors neg-A est [neg-B]”


Wang Chong (27-97 CE)

De quatre interdits
68, 1 Les gens se conforment communément à quatre interdits. Le premier commande de ne pas construire d’annexe à l’ouest de la maison. On estime que cela porte malheur et peut être fatal. […]

68, 2 Bâtir une aile aile à l’ouest porterait malheur : cela signifie-t-il que démolir une telle annexe, ou en construire une à l’est, soit au contraire source de chance ?

[1] Wang Chong, De quatre interdits. Discussions critiques. Trad. du chinois, présenté et annoté par Nicolas Zuffery. Paris, Gallimard, 1997, p. 200-201. Wang Chong a vécu de 27 à 97 (environ).

Affirmation à réfuter : “[construire une aile à l’ouest]  porte malheur »
Cette affirmation admet deux paires de contraires, opposant respectivement le prédicat « porter malheur” à
1) action opposée (démolir)  en un même lieu (l’ouest)
2) même action (construire) en un autre lieu (l’est)

construire une aile à l’ouest porte malheur
démolir une aile à l’ouest porte bonheur
construire une aile à l’est porte bonheur

***

Han Fei Tse

Punishment of error does not avoid the great ministers, reward for good does not overlook commoners
Han Fei Tzi, Section 6, “On having standards”; quoted and translated by A. C. Graham, 1989; 2 ed. 1991, p. 277.

The linguistic paralelism serves the topos of the opposites

punishment [of error] does not avoid great ministers
reward [for good does not overlook commoners

———

[Les épouses] souhaitent ardemment la mort du roi. Ce qui me le fait croire ? Les épouses n’ont aucun lien de sang avec le souverain, aussi ne lui sont-elles chères que tant qu’elles sont désirables. Et du proverbe qui dit fort justement “À mère aimée, fils chéri” on peut déduire la réciproque “À mère délaissée, fils méprisé”.

Les précautions contre les siens.[2]

mère aimée (de son époux]
(alors) fils aimé (de son père)
mère délaissé (par son époux)
(alors) fils délaissé (par son père)

***

Lu Hsieh (ca. 465–522 CE)
XXXV, Linguistic parallelism (Li-tz’u) (p. 251)

Crime: when in doubt, then deem it light. Merit: when in doubt, then deem it heavy

The linguistic paralelism serves the topos of the opposites

crime deem light
merit deem heavy

***

Liji – Book of Rites
Chap. 1. Elements of Propriety. P. 1.

You should know the weakness of the man you loved and know the strength of the man you hated.

Liji – On Propriety [ Social and Individual Behavior]. Compiled by Dai Sheng.
Translated by Luo Zhiye.

ATCCT — Contradiction Principle

The rejection of contradiction is a fundamental feature of Western logic. According to the non contradiction principle, it is not possible to support something and its opposite, A and not A: the elementary logical world is made up of stable elements that have stable relationships with each other.

The principle of non-contradiction is the basis of ordinary reasoning, as well as logical and scientific reasoning. In ordinary exchanges we tend to talk about coherence. If the same person has just argued this and now, three minutes later, argues that, and if this and that are contradictory, he owes his interlocutors at least an explanation; if he makes incoherent statements in the same discussion, he destroys the discussion.

Mental confusion characterises the state of contradiction

The requirement of coherence does not only apply to statements. The following case appeals to the coherence of feelings (Leslie 1964, [1]); lack of coherence leads to (mental) confusion

Confucius, AnalectsEno
12.10 Zizhang asked about […] discerning confusion. The Master said […] When one cherishes a person, one wishes him to live; when one hates a person, one wishes him to die – on the one hand cherishing and wishing him life, while, on the other, hating and wishing him death that is confusion.
Truly, it is not a matter of riches, Indeed, it is simply about discernment.

ATTC — Tchuangtze

ATCCT — Confucius vs Tchuang Tze

Inconsistency between words and deeds

In the following passage, ChuangTzu uses an ad hominem argument to accuse the Confucians of opportunism and amorality,

Ch’ang, Viscount T’ien Ch’eng, murdered his sovereign and stole his state, and yet Confucius was willing to receive gifts from him. In pronouncement they [the Confucians] condemned them, but in practice they bowed before them. Think how this contradiction between the facts of word and deed must have troubled their breasts! Could the two help but clash? So the book says, Who is bad? Who is good? The successful man becomes the head, the unsuccessful man becomes the tail.
Chuang Tzu, chap. 29, Robber Chi.

A dialectician might try to correct his interlocutor’s understanding; Chuang Tzu is content to condemn the Confucian’s behaviour and resign himself to their good fortune.

ATCCT —Disciples vs Confucius

The rejection of contradiction is a fundamental feature of Western logic. According to the non contradiction principle, it is not possible to support something and its opposite, A and not A: the elementary logical world is made up of stable elements that have stable relationships with each other.

The principle of non-contradiction is the basis of ordinary reasoning, as well as logical and scientific reasoning. In ordinary exchanges we tend to talk about coherence. If the same person has just argued this and now, three minutes later, argues that, and if this and that are contradictory, he owes his interlocutors at least an explanation; if he makes incoherent statements in the same discussion, he destroys the discussion.

Mental confusion characterises the state of contradiction

The requirement of coherence does not only apply to statements. The following case appeals to the coherence of feelings (Leslie 1964, [1]); lack of coherence leads to (mental) confusion

Confucius, AnalectsEno
12.10 Zizhang asked about […] discerning confusion. The Master said […] When one cherishes a person, one wishes him to live; when one hates a person, one wishes him to die – on the one hand cherishing and wishing him life, while, on the other, hating and wishing him death that is confusion.
Truly, it is not a matter of riches, Indeed, it is simply about discernment.

Inconsistency between words and deeds

In the following passage, ChuangTzu uses an ad hominem argument to accuse the Confucians of opportunism and amorality,

Ch’ang, Viscount T’ien Ch’eng, murdered his sovereign and stole his state, and yet Confucius was willing to receive gifts from him. In pronouncement they [the Confucians] condemned them, but in practice they bowed before them. Think how this contradiction between the facts of word and deed must have troubled their breasts! Could the two help but clash? So the book says, Who is bad? Who is good? The successful man becomes the head, the unsuccessful man becomes the tail.
Chuang Tzu, chap. 29, Robber Chi.

A dialectician might try to correct his interlocutor’s understanding; Chuang Tzu is content to condemn the Confucian’s behaviour and resign himself to their good fortune.

Face to face ad hominem accusation

Ad hominem refutation always requires a certain amount of editing of the target’s words or words and actions. For example, it is always unpleasant for a master to be critically confronted with his own teaching. In passages 1.6 and 1.7 of the Confucius Analects, the scholar is characterised by his correct behaviour towards worthy people, his parents, people in general, his masters (those who are ren), and seems to attach only secondary importance to knowledge of the texts.

1.6. The Master said: A young man should be filial within his home and respectful of elders when outside, should be careful and trustworthy, broadly caring of people at large, and should cleave to those who are ren. If he has energy left over, he may study the refinements of culture (wen).

Zixia, a disciple of Confucius, offers a definition of a scholar along the same lines, though perhaps less categorically,

1.7. Zixia said: If a person treats worthy people as worthy and so alters his expression, exerts all his effort when serving his parents, exhausts himself when serving his lord, and is trustworthy in keeping his word when in the company of friends, though others may say he is not yet learned, I would call him learned.
AnalectsEno, 1.6-7

In another passage, Zilu, one of Confucius’ disciples, has just hired another of his disciples, Zigao. Confucius seems to reproach him for this:

Zilu appointed Zigao to be the steward of Bi. The Master said, “You are stealing  another man’s son!”
Zilu said, “There are people there; there are altars of state there – why must one first read texts and only then be considered learned?”
The Master said, “This is why I detest glib talkers!”
AnalectsEno, 1, 25

The Master seems to take offence at Zilu’s repartee.
Again, R. Eno’s note clarifies the passage by relating it to an earlier passage,

Note Eno : Zilu seems to be invoking lessons Confucius himself taught, much like the ideas in 1.6-7, to confound Confucius himself, which is the basis of Confucius’s answer.
En effet, en 11, 25 Zilu lui rappelle qu’il a dit qu’un comportement parfaitement réglé vis à vis des personnes de référence – parents, Seigneur, amis – suffisait pour que quelqu’un soit reconnu comme « a learned [person] », et traité comme tel, par exemple en recevant un emploi. Zilu se défend ainsi de lui avoir “volé Zigao”, ou défend la décision de Zigao.

This contradiction is just one way of exercising the right of admonition, which is the counterpart of the right and duty of obedience to the ruler and the father.

_______________

[1] Leslie, Donald, 1964. Argument by Contradiction in Pre-Buddhist Chinese Reasoning. Faculty of Asian Studies, ANU., Canberra.

 

ATCCT Causalité et coincidence

Does catching a crane cause thunderclaps?

In the Empire there are cranes which are eaten in all the commanderies and kingdoms. Only in the Three Capital Districts does no one dare catch them because of the custom that an outbreak of thunder will occur if a crane is caught. Could it be that Heaven originally favored only this bird? [No],the killing of the bird merely coincided with thunder. (Huan T’an  (-43, +28) Hsin Lun (New treatise), fragment 133, p.122)

Huan T’an  (-43, +28) Hsin Lun (New treatise). Translated by Timoteus Pokora. University of Michigan, Center for Chinese studies, 1975. https://library.oapen.org › bitstream.

*

Succession doesn’t imply causation

Causal arguments justify or deny the existence of a causal link between two facts, « B because of A ».
A classic counter-argument to the claim “B, because of A” denies the existence of a causal relationship : « there is no causality between events A and B, but a simple coincidence » — here, « catching a crane » and « thunderclap« .
This fallacy is identified by Aristotle as a fallacy independent of language, sometimes referred to by the Latin label non causa pro causa, that is, “non cause as cause”.