Stratégies argumentatives dans le discours polémique d’Al-Ǧāḥiẓ
The article Argumentative Strategies in the Polemical Discourse of al-Ǧāḥiẓ is an expanded and revised version of a paper delivered by the author at the colloquium “Rhetoric and Argumentation in the Arab Field”, organized in Lyon in 2004 by Lyon 2 University and the University of Manouba, Tunisia. The article focuses on the polemics directed by the celebrated 9th century Arab writer al-Ǧāḥiẓ against the specific kind of nationalism promoted by the newcomers to the caliphate, especially the Iranians. Special attention is given to his Kitāb al-bayān..., in which the polemics is backed by excessive praise of the “pure, true Arabs” which he claims the Bedouins to be. The author emphasizes the fact that the polemical discourse targets collective identity, and that this type of discourse is tightly connected to ideology. The attempt to persuade translates into exaggerations and even linguistic violence, in an author who, under different circumstances, praises human diversity.