ISSA Proceedings 2010 – Conceptual Metaphors And Flexibility In Political Notions In Use In 19th Century Romanian Parliamentary Discourse
Each political event is inscribed in a natural chronology, but at the same time, through the way society experiences its appearance and existence, it constructs a mode of temporality of its own (Kosellek 2004, p. 95); the subjective temporal structures which render a political event and are partially responsible for the set of conceptual tropes by which it is indicated in the discourses of a particular historical age suggest the way in which that political event is conceptualized by society or by a more restricted group at a given moment. Also, the modelling of a political notion is done by the unitary association with a certain range of emotions, with a particular appraisal system, and a predominant type of engagement of the ‘voices’ that advocate it and are of the epoch tenors.
In this study, we shall dwell upon the agrarian reform effected in a particular 19th century period and we shall regard it as a historical event and as a concept; the agrarian reform was the stake of a large argumentative endeavour.
We have started from the pre-theoretical observation that, retrospectively in the second half of the 19th century, two major concepts, the agrarian reform and the Union of the Romanian Principalities, had a different emotional potential by comparison with our time and by comparison with the feudal and pre-modern period. We have also noticed that the discourse of that age was couched in sensualist terms and employed constructions such as the feeling of the law, the feeling with which something is uttered, the love for property, the wary feeling that enveloped this or that political decision, the metaphorical adjective on the wing used to express the concept of progress, all of which coinages were frequent and considered to be fashionable expressions. The frequent phrase have a keen sense for the law appears to us as symptomatic for the merger of emotions with concepts in Romanian parliamentary discourses in the 19th century, which occurred probably also under the influence of late Romanticism. Today this expression would not be used in political discourse at all, being felt as probably too „pathetic”.
From the new rhetoric perspective, a concept might have particular and distinct argumentative values in the discourse of an epoch; these values can change depending on the historic and cultural context. The concept might be acknowledged to have negative argumentative value, which does not meet the agreement of the audience; it might become a presumption of normality and, having this status, it might be placed in the centre of the epoch’s fulfilled expectations. Also, a concept might acquire the status of a positive value, which meets the agreement of the majority.
In the grammar of argumentation, values represent the next argumentative category after the presumptions with respect to their force of triggering agreement. Ch. Perelman and Olbrechts-Tyteca (1958) present the presumptions as objects of general agreement, while values, they say, are only objects of agreement, without meeting the criterion of generality ( pp. 94-107). Values assure a certain commitment to a particular mode of acting, they indicate the efficient human behavior, and serve as foundation for political, historical, social, legal, and philosophical arguments. Ch. Perelman and Olbrechts-Tyteca (1958) quote E. Dupreél’s definition of values in Sociologie générale:
Des moyens de persuasion (…) qui ne sont que cela, purs, sorte d’outils spirituels totalement séparables de la matière qu’ils permettent de façonner, antérieures au moment de s’en servir, et demeurant intacts après qu’ils ont servi, diponibles, comme avant, pour d’autres occasions (p. 102).
The values’ capability of being separated from the modelled matter (la matière), when regarded in the reverse perspective can be understood as an association whose role is to individualize the notion and to confer it a unique character.
In the present study, we have started from two hypotheses: that a concept is always accompanied by appraisal and emotions which finally impregnate the notion, and that appraisals and emotions play an important role in the argumentative recategorization of the notion. The emotions which become a constitutive part of the notion’s significance might modify the links between the concept and the other notions in the network. These hypotheses were fostered by the observation that Romanian political discourses in the 19th century were impregnated to a great extent with emotions and evaluations, which have prompted us to consider that we have to do with romantic parliamentary discourses.
2. The Domain of Analysis and Contextual Information
The corpus analyzed consists in a series of discourses delivered by Mihail Kogălniceanu in the Romanian Parliament of the 19th century, all focusing on the problem of the agrarian reform. The discourses which we take into account here were delivered during a period spanning between December 1857 and May 1861.
M. Kogălniceanu was a revolutionary spirit, inspired by the French Revolution, by German reforms, by English parliamentarism; in Romanian culture, M. Kogălniceanu is surnamed the “architect” of modern Romania. He pleaded for the introduction of democratic reforms, such as:
– the abolition of feudal privileges
– the modernization of the electoral law
– the agrarian reform which presupposed to give the right of land ownership to the peasants
– the secularization of Church property.
All in all, he advocated democratic principles, he introduced a democratic system and boosted State power.
M. Kogălniceanu was a prominent political figure conscious of the inherent historical character of his principles and of the political events to which he fully contributed. In fact, M. Kogălniceanu’s politics were liberal and his political attitude was moderate (Berindei 2009, pp. 114-125). Romanian cultural historians and anthropologists actually hold that M. Kogălniceanu was not the modern spirit of the age par excellence, in spite of the fact that he laid the foundations of Romanian cultural modernity less than two centuries ago (Lovinescu 1997, pp. 48-62).
M. Kogălniceanu was the first modern Romanian historiographer with a philosophical understanding of history, in so far as he inaugurated the idea of tracing the permanent links between the past, the present and the future. Present time is understood from the point of view of the past, and the future can be prognosticated by taking into account the present. Because he was thinking in the framework of this permanent connection between the three temporal axes, M. Kogălniceanu discussed the relevance of the past for the present and believed in the capacity to prognosticate the future. He understood the interpretive power of history as magistra vitae due to its messianic, militant and rejuvenating functions (Zub 1974, p. 401). This also meant that one cannot understand progress outside history, and that the present was historical. Consequently, M. Kogălniceanu’s modernity, courage and revolutionary spirit stemmed from his political reforms. He defined himself in these words: “I am revolutionary through my projects.” (as cited in Zub 1974, p. 439).
In the second part of the 19th century, Romanian society changed from one based on tight hierarchical ranks, to one inspired by the ideas of the French Revolution, namely a society based on classes with equal rights and a new system of ranks stemming from the state structure (Kosellek 2004, p. 77).
3. Modes of Temporal Experience
History has two meanings, according to Kosellek (2004):
the meaning of ipsa historia or history by itself, a notion anticipated theologically, which represents the semantics of the events ordered chronologically, or, as Saint Augustin and other theologians put it, history itself which is derived from God;
history as the construction of human institutions, or “history as experience” (pp. 93-95).
These two different meanings of history are organized by several temporal structures: history by itself is organized by ordo temporum, or the natural order of events, while history as knowledge of the historic experience, briefly history as experience, is articulated by three major modes of temporal experience. The first temporal structure is the irreversibility of the events: every event has a “before” and an “after”.
The second temporal organization of history as experience is the repeatability of the events, which claims a presupposed identity of events – the so-called “return of constellations” (Kosellek 2004, p. 95). The organization of the historic knowledge according to this temporal mode is very figurative, very iconic, or typological. In Romanian culture, for instance, it gave birth to the theory of imitation (which appeared before Gabriel Tarde 1890 book Les lois de l’imitation). The French Revolution was replicated on Romanian soil, but later and in a feudal rather than bourgeois milieu, nevertheless.
Titu Maiorescu, one of M. Kogălniceanu’s contemporaries theorized about empty forms in Romanian culture, which are the result of the imitation (i.e. the repeatability) of occidental institutions. In the 20th century, Eugen Lovinescu, one of the most prominent sociologists and historical anthorpologists, who also happened to be a famous literary critic working under the influence of Gabriel Tarde, reshaped Maiorescu’s thesis as the theory of synchronism.
The repetitive mode in configuring the temporal experience of an event is expressed in several ways in the texts of this period: in a faithful and, at the same time, idealized form, which is specific for the phase of enthusiasm, such as the sun of the French Revolution, the sacred principle of the Paris Convention (Alecsandri 1977, pp. 60-62); in the shape of distorting imitation, either epigonic or caricatural, and dominated by contradictions. The latter form is typical for a phase of ulterior, critical reflection about what has been the historical event. In a humorous play written by Vasile Alecsandri (1977), a prominent Romanian writer of the time, one of the characters exclaims, “What I wish is to imitate in my country all the phases of the French revolution, for it is only by public commotion that a nation can become civilized” (p. 60).
The third mode of historical temporal experience is that of contemporaneity of the the noncontemporaneous, which presupposes a diversity of deviated temporal strata – which are of varying durations, according to the agents and the circumstances; during communism, the interpretation of Romanian cultural history as being based on this temporal pattern produced protochronism – a flattering perspective on Romanian culture, opposed to the theory of synchronism, without the realism of the theories wielded by Titu Maiorescu and Eugen Lovinescu. Obviously criticized later on, this theory was authored by Edgar Papu, better known as a literary critic than as a historian of ideas. This theory aimed at demonstrating that in Romanian culture some phenomena occurred much earlier than in other major cultures.
The combination of these three formal temporal patterns is, says R. Kosellek (2004), at the base of our deductions such as, conceptual “progress, decadence, acceleration or delay” (p. 95). But natural chronology is contained as a minimal precondition for all these philosophic interpretations of the historical category of time.
3.1. How the modes of temporal experience intermingle
The natural chronology and the temporality of history as experienced intermingle. The temporal patterns of historic experience shape the natural chronology of events. The temporality of experienced history generates several representations which derive from the reflections of the historical age about the way an event gets inscribed in time; just like cognitive metaphors associated to an event, the emotional and appraisal textures of the respective event and its mode of inscription in time help us reconstruct the mental representation of the event (in the ensuing discussion, the agrarian reform will be the event prioritized).
3.2 The natural chronology of the period
The natural chronology of the events starts in1743 and 1746, when the Phanariot ruler Constantin Mavrocordat formally abrogated the system of feudal obligations of peasants to the land-owners (iobăgia) in Wallachia and Moldavia. This was followed by the successful conditioning of the boyars’ privileges not by birth but by their position in the administrative or political system. This weakened the boyars’ hierarchy . In 1783 the Phanariot ruler Nicolae Caragea asked the Ottoman Empire to grant the Romanian Principalities right of way for free trade in the region. The French Revolution started in 1789. The Ottoman monopoly over Romanian grains was removed in 1829 by the Treaty of Adrianople, which allowed Western commercial navigation in the lower Danube. The price of wheat rose which opened the way for characteristically agrarian progress in the Romanian Principalities (Harre 2010; Lovinescu 1997, p. 15). Natural chronology continues with the first Romanian written constitution of 1832, which was called The Organic Regulations. This constitution rested on feudal principles and was issued while Romania was a Russian Protectorate. The Romanian revolution followed in 1848, in the two Romanian Principalities (Moldavia and Walachia). The boyars’ elites adopted the ideas of the French Revolution and focused on the agrarian question rather than on solving problems of the urban skilled workers; their aim was to reform agriculture so as to increase agrarian production and exports which could benefit the boyars themselves (Harre 2010). The year1858 was the year of The Paris Convention which provided a second written constitution for the Principalities; it stipulated both a partial union of the Principalities with two rulers and established some common institutions; it also acknowledged the need for reforms, primarily the agrarian reform. The actual political Union of the two Principalities under one ruler, one capital, and with the same institutions was achieved in 1859 and the agrarian reform was achieved in 1864 by a coup (d’etat). The agrarian reform was followed by other changes during the 19th century and at the beginning of the 20th century.
3.3. The temporality of experienced history
Concepts do not form series which run parallel to the natural chronology of the events. The historical concepts of the union of the Principalities and the agrarian reform preceded the historical events and promoted their own patterns of temporality, which are built in texts. These modes of temporality constitute the time-related mental representation of the ongoing reality. They contribute to the configuration of political attitudes and of discourses, being an implicit support in argumentation.
We shall focus on the year 1857, which remained relatively unnoticed in the background of more significant events in the natural chronological series. It is rarely mentioned, in cursory references of historical and history of ideas studies dedicated to the respective period. The events of this year influenced the order of natural events and seem to us to reflect the assimilation of experience according to the time patterns of the contemporaneity of the the noncontemporaneous and the irreversibility of events. For example, in 1857 an increase in the number of political agents was noticeable, while the conditions which favoured modernization were maintained. Some of the unprecedented political voices heard now belonged to the representatives in the lower parliament chamber of the journeyman peasants; in November 1857 they applied for being granted land as proprietors and being considered citizens. Their application was denied by the grand landowners’ commission, whose tone was “inappropriate” and gave rise to “agitation” (Kogălniceanu 1983, p. 84). In December, M. Kogălniceanu spoke in parliament; his two discourses called for the postponement of the agrarian reform, although he had earlier been committed to militate for the reform. The role of these two discourses, in a factual and chronological perspective, was to make the Union precede the agrarian reform.
The argumentative frame points to a mixed dispute. The critical proof invoked by M. Kogălniceanu can be presented in sequence as follows: if an agrarian bill that was convenient for the boyars was introduced in parliament, this would wrong the peasants. If the peasants’ bill was introduced, on the other hand, the boyars would come to an agreement with the enemies of the Union and jeopardize it. Consequently, these two political notions, albeit in competition with each other, would have to be introduced successively and in a timely manner. The historian M. Kogălniceanu was obviously aware of the fact that progress is not linear but “there is, in the natural order of things, a succession of forward movement of timely events followed by a reaction to this” (as cited in Zub 1974, p. 433).
M. Kogălniceanu’s argument for postponing the agrarian reform is its untimeliness: “Ţhe country is not yet ripe” (Kogălniceanu 1983, p. 75), “it is not enlightened and it needs time to study and get used to the idea (Kogălniceanu 1983, p. 75).
In M. Kogalniceanu’s voice one can hear echoes of the various discourses couched in terms of the various political voices of the year 1857: the peasants’, the grandees and the liberals’ who were in favour of reforms. They acted as distinct types,manoeuvering and turning into events the potentialities of the moments.The discourse of the members who were representive for the interests of the journeyman peasants were instrumental in accelerating the agrarian reform while postponing the Union; M. Kogălniceanu’s discourses slowed down the implementation of the agrarian reform and accelerated the Union; the grandees’ discourse acted as a brake, in general. M. Kogalniceanu’s 1857 discourses allow us to trace the instances of acceleration, blocking and braking of the agrarian reform on its tortuous way towards being implemented in a de facto manner and turned into a historical event. Here are some expressions that suggest the acceleration of the agrarian reform: “This question which is now 200 years old hangs over our heads like the Damocles’sword (Kogălniceanu 1983, p. 84); “I am confident that we could have cut the Gordian knot if we had taken counsel from our own patriotism” (p. 84). References to the fact that the proposal of the peasants struck the great landowners like the explosion of a bomb (p. 85), because the latter raised their voices and “cried in terror and fight” (p. 85); the fact that the “weak souls”, “the people who have gone astray”, “the rusty people”, “the popularity-seekers” made a “miserable manifestation” against the union of the Principalities, but who had “little or no effect upon the men of character who had their own convictions” (p. 87) – all of these are instances of event-blocking.
The sense that the political elite derived, when confronted with the agrarian reform in the year 1857, was that it came as an impending, untimely event. This sense of something occurring “too early” may be the effect of representing the object of understanding in accordance with the structure of the contemporaneity of the non-contemporaneous.
The untimeliness argument that M. Kogălniceanu invoked when pleading for the postponement stems from an organic evolutionist conception, whose representation of reality is structured along the lines of the irreversibility pattern. Both temporal structures, namely the contemporaneity of the non-contemporaneous and the irreversibility structure, coexisted in the representation of the reality as experienced around the year 1857 and influenced the decision making.
In the two discourses delivered on the subject of the agrarian reform in 1857, M. Kogălniceanu’s position as an orator and his engagement with this political notion, which he interprets as a value, determined him to make a multiplicity of associations and dissociations. Starting with the dissociations, M. Kogălniceanu’s dissociations appeared at the level of the logos. He partially dissociated himself from both camps, since he did not support some of the ideas of the grandees, just as he did not support the peasants’ ideas in their entirety.
In M. Kogălniceanu’s discourse, however, associations are as important as dissociations. One of the associations made by this daring Romanian political figure, which seems to be extremely inspired, comes from his appeal through pathos to all the political agents of the age without exception; he joins all of them in an emotional appeal from top to bottom. M. Kogălniceanu (1987) invoked pity otherwise than sophists would: “We commiserate with you in what ails you.” (p. 89); “We all wish that injury may be healed.” (p. 89); “Do not think that boyars are insensitive to what ails you.” (p. 89).
There is a multiplicity of factors that placed the agrarian reform notion at the centre of a tense universe of expectations: the lively, enthusiastic and urgent presentation of the agrarian reform idea; the fact that the orator repeatedly resorted to wishful thinking as a discursive strategy which allowed him to anticipate events and positive reactions to them; flattering the boyar elites by constructing a triumphalist ethos with expressions such as “we, the leaders of our country, intellectually skilled Romanians, patriots” (Kogălniceanu 1987, p. 76); extending compassion for the peasants predicament and describing their sufferances; and the mental configuration of the present according to the structure of the contemporaneity of the non-contemporaneous.
This is what we wish to demonstrate by ensuing analysis in which we deal with the rhetorical effects of the conceptual tropes and emotional texture, and with the evaluations inherent in the discourses made between 1857 and 1864 by the same political orator on the subject of the agrarian reform and the role of the law. The rhetoric inherent in the denomination of the agrarian reform concept and in the emotions that envelop it were used by the orator to devise a method for boosting the argumentative status of the notion in order to secure the agreement of a divided audience. Concomitantly, the rhetorical means employed served as markers of the modelling of the agrarian reform concept in accordance with the mentality of that particular age.
4. The Denominations of the Agrarian Reform at the Inception of Romania’s Modern Social History
Inspired by the method of Begriffsgeschichte (history of ideas), the researcher should try to make the inventory of the synchronic denominations of the concept across the texts of the epoch: the political texts, the texts of the journals, the language of the writers, regarding the two extremes, the most prominent writers and the minor ones. This collection of data is necessary for establishing the linguistic use of the concept in a certain period of time. The investigation should be extended also diachronically, to the use of language in the preceding generation, and to the study of the language of the following generation (Kosellek 2004, p. 3). We present here only some partial results excerpted from M. Kogălniceanu’s discourses or motions introduced by M. Kogalniceanu in the Senate, which were delivered before and after the agrarian reform (1857-1872); also we refer to the exchanges of the year 1872 in the Lower Chamber on the subject of the agrarian law (Rosetti 1907, pp. 3-52).
We have investigated and classified the conceptually metaphorical representations, or the Idealized Conceptual Models (ICM) of the (agrarian) LAW notion . We have checked to see which of the ICMs had the most diverse and richest lexical presentation. I have put aside such explicit lexicalizations of the agrarian reform and law notions as, for example “the most difficult problem”, the vague and generic terms, such as “the issue of the peasants” (Kogălniceanu 1983, p. 226), “the agrarian issue” (Kogălniceanu 1967, p. 92), “the thing in question” (Kogălniceanu 1967, p. 241), etc. The ICMs with the richest lexical actualization in discourses are also first-order dominant conceptual representations of the notion for a given period.
The ICMs for LAW are the following:
– LAW is a SPACE, a TERRA FIRMA or even more specifically, LAW is the LAST PERMISSIBLE LIMIT (nec plus ultra) of this space;
– LAW is a TREASURE which must be guarded;
– LAWS are like PERSONS (to respect the law; to obey the law; to bow before the law, to submit to the law; the law defends you; the shield of the law);
– LAW is and EDIFICE (which is grounded and supported by certain principles);
– LAW is an ORGANIC ENTITY (because it is a constructed and a living form; it has a period of growth, it grows like a plant, it needs a favorable time, in order to appear and to be used).
Some of the recurrent figurative denominations of the agrarian reform are:
– The reform as a solution, as a direction, as a wish, as happiness, as a need, bringing “peace and quiet” (Kogălniceanu 1983, p. 76), raising the status of the peasants and their feeling of dignity, emancipation, liberation (Kogălniceanu 1983, pp. 386-389); “the sun of the emancipation which has risen over the peasantry” (Kogălniceanu 1983, p. 153); the mission or even the “sacred mission” of making the reform, securing the “holy land” (Kogălniceanu 1983, p.153), a weapon in the hands of the adversary; the reform equips the Romanian peasantry with a shield, offering them protection in times of turmoil, providing peasants with free work (Kogălniceanu 1983, p. 76). “The reform should not be thrown out of the window, but, when the time is ripe it should be ushered in through the front door” (Kogălniceanu 1983, p. 193).
We notice that most of the characteristic tropes, which reference the agrarian reform, send to the person and the organic reform at their ICM level. This allows us to conclude that, stylistically, we have to do in their case with an iconic variation convergent towards these two patterns of concept representation. Cognitively, in the discourse of this epoch we record two mentally very detailed representations of the law as, firstly, an organic entity, and, secondly, as a person; emotions rank high in the second detailed representation. The actualization of the emotive zone within the cognitively idealilzed model for the representation of the law as a person is indicative of a modified sense in which this notion is used in the period under study by contrast with the feudal period and with our present age. We consider this a sensualist sense of the law as a notion and of the agrarian reform, consequently. Argumentatively, the denominations of the agrarian law in accordance with its conceptualization as a person or as a plant grant it more power and increase its degree of persuasion.
The fact that it has been possible to detect in the discourse of the modern age, for which M. Kogălniceanu’s speeches are emblematic, any new ICM for the concept of law indicates that the ICMs of the concept of law have continuity from one type o society to the other, and that the organic ICM was perhaps the strongest representation of law in Romanian culture as a whole. It appears even in the denomination of the first Romanian written constitution, the Organic Regulations (1831).
Despite this uniformity, there is a subtle variation noticeable with respect to the substantial meaning of the new law versus the old, the feudal and the organic conception of the law. In the new, modern, post-revolutionary epoch, organicity is, sensualistic and predominantly oriented to the model of the person. The feudal organicity is primarily oriented to the model of nature. Feudal organicity is inert and passive, it is vertically structured in order to preserve the privilege and the status quo (Mazilu 2006, pp. 73-95). Perhaps this is the reason why the old age discourse concerning the laws was so much interested by the dimension of responsibility and punishment, while the new discourse lays the accent on the law as a space of controlled liberty by principles, and as a sign of progress.
The theory of stylistic variation has demonstrated that the intra-stylistic creativity and variety is not always a response to the contextual factors, but it might be a way by which the orator shapes the reality and builds new relations (Schilling-Estes 2002, p. 378). And this – I think – is the explanation for M. Kogălniceanu’s high degree of sensualistic figurativeness and – as I will try to show in what follows – also for his frequent use of appraisals and of emotions.
5. The Correspondence between Appraisal and Emotions in the New Discourse
The pathos which arises and envelops the notion of the agrarian reform at the time when Romanian modernity was crystallizing can be detected in the figurative denomination of the concept and in the pathemic potential that this notion triggered in the conscience of the subjects involved one way or another in this question. We maintain that the general pathos which this notion gave rise to had its own discursive structuring. If we follow the way emotion and the evaluation of the notion appeared in the minds of the great protagonists of the age, we can observe the symmetries thus created and we record the fact that this political idea became central in the universe of the people who experienced it. We shall deal in the next section with the emotions and values that this notion gave rise to in the consciences of the main protagonists on the political stage of that period, namely in the boyars and peasants. There are symptomatic expressions of this in coinages such as: the agrarian reform will bring “peace and quiet” (Kogălniceanu 1983, p. 76), it will rise the status of the peasants and their feelig of dignity, emancipation, liberation (Kogălniceanu 1983, pp. 386-389), which are symptomatic for establishing what relationship exists between the political notion, on the one hand, and the emotions and evaluations stemming from the classes who were influenced one way or another by it.
We shall also pause for a while in order to show the connection between two sensualist rhetorical approaches: one that refers to concepts (the plasticity of notions as developed by the new rhetoric) and the other which studies emotions (Chr. Plantin’s theory of emotions). We need these technical specifications to shed light upon the methodology that we have resorted to here in our analysis.
5.1. “Plasticité des notions”
Ch. Perelman and Olbrechts-Tyteca embraced Ogden and Richards’ dynamic perspective cast on the idea of notion. The significance of a notion consists of a representational part and of an emotional part. The emotional significance is responsible for what they call “plasticité des notions”. Ch. Perelman and Olbrechts-Tyteca explain notion’s flexibility, namely “emotional meaning” of the concepts by means of the argumentative use of the concepts, such as:
– extension and narrowing of the domain of the concept
– foreshadowing and clarification of the concepts
– techniques of selection of the data
– devices of data mitigation or amplification according to the orator’s argumentative orientation (Perelman & Olbrechts-Tyteca 1958, pp. 185-188).
5.2. The cognitive part of emotion
Recently, Chr. Plantin (1998; 1999) has developed a theory for the explanation of the emotional texture of the discourse. His theory rests on the idea that emotion in itself has a structure – in Chr. Plantin’s terms, it has a a cognitive component – which is explained by the cited author by means of eight topoï: the topos of cause, the topos of the place of the affect, the one of intensity, the topos of the agent, the one of euphoric or dysphoric orientation of feelings, the topos of quantity (referring to the number of people affected by the emotion), etc.
We cannot overlook the complementarities of these two theories. Ch. Perelman and Olbrechts-Tyteca exposed the emotional component of the concepts, while Chr. Plantin deals with the cognitive component, in other words, with the conceptual part of the emotion. This complementarity proves the intimate relationship existing between thought and feeling. Roughly speaking this points to the fact that we cannot think in default of emotion and we cannot express a particular emotion in an articulate way without a conceptual structure that supports it. The sensualist perception on thinking originates in the French Enlightenment and has continued to the present (Ricken 1994, pp. 51-59). The rationalist interpretation denying the psychological bases of thinking and of language, that also denied the contribution of the imagination, of the senses and the passions upon thought, interrupted the domination of the sensualist point of view, but did not succeed in stifling it. Lately, we witness a revitalization of the this conception.
The linguistic system of appraisal and the linguistic expression of emotion permeate the whole discourse, forming the emotional and the appraisal textures. At the same time, from an argumentative perspective, the mechanisms of appraisal and for expressing affects are techniques of amplification or of mitigation, in other words they represent further methods for making a concept „flexible” and even for changing its substantial meaning.
We believe that one cannot discriminate between value and emotion. Often these categories merge and they contribute to the construction of the interpersonal sense. Values such as virtue, purity, honesty are also emotions or are constantly accompanied by certain feelings. Between values and affects there is a permanent to and fro movement (Martin & White 2005, pp. 42-56).
5.3 Presumptions, values, and emotions
Just one more observation about values and emotions in discourse. Their function is as to act as indicators of a group while helping to build the unique character of that group and to express its ideology, as well as its position in society. For example, the frequent commentaries related to peasants in M. Kogălniceanu’s discourses mention the fact that they suffer, they lament, they have wounds, their “bones turned white the fields” of Dobrudjea and Bulgaria (Kogălniceanu 1967, p. 262); they were seen to be disappointed, cheated and, because of that, they became indifferent; they were considered the “basis of Romanian nationality” (Kogălniceanu 1967, p. 241), “making the happiness of the country” (Kogălniceanu 1967, p. 232), being left in the dark, and helped to rise from this condition, etc. These evaluative and affective coordinates confer to the group the identity of a victim.
We have registered the values and emotions that occur in M. Kogălniceanu’s discourses about the agrarian reform. They represent an example of the fact that there is always a tension between the society and its concepts (Kosellek 2004, p. 76).
The reference to the reform triggers a wide range of emotions and values in the “great land owners”. Positive values, on the one hand, such as honesty, intelligence, dignity, patriotism, tact, and prudence, and negative values and emotions, on the other hand, such as haste, imprudence, worry, fear. All these emotions have the same cause: the agrarian reform. It constitutes the topos of cause predicated about the same experiencer. All emotions presuppose a high intensity (the topos of quantity), all have a certain orientation in connection with time dimension (the topos of time), and the majority of the manifested affects present an euphoric orientation. The conceptual structure of these emotions is stylistically very unitary and, contrary to our first impression, quite complex.
All these attributes are built inside a face flattering act, they constitute M. Kogălniceanu’s strategic maneuvering in order to bring the political concept into the space of agreement, and to present it as a normal decision to be taken; it was a decision conforming to these values. Little by little, they develop a flattering implicature whose reading would be: ‘The political act that you will perform will strengthen your values’. The support of this implied meaning is the presumption of quality which says that the quality of an act or of an event depends on the quality of the persons who perform that act or event.
The range of emotions in the other social group consists of: oppression, sufferance, lamentations, the sense of poverty, stringent, ardent need, turmoil, craving for emancipation, enlightenment, reassuring, sense of, happiness, sense of inner reconciliation, power, meekness, kindness. The conceptual structure of these emotions is the same with the one that supports the affects of the other group. The difference between these two sets of emotions and values is that the first are flattering, while the second set of emotions are descriptive. They contribute to the slow modification of the concept of peasant, bringing it near to the meaning of citizen. The polar disposition of the emotion on either side of the two social and antagonistic poles creates a mirror-effect and has the function to construct a dialogic image in which the boyars and the peasants are in a face-to-face interaction.
5.4. From negative value to presumption, and from presumption to positive value
The agrarian reform is successively placed in several argumentative categories. Initially, it is rejected by the dominant political class, being ascribed a negative value. Through his discourses, however, M. Kogălniceanu manages to transfer it to the category of presumptions at first, transforming it subsequently into a positive argumentative value ready to become an argumentative thesis supported by the vote of the majority in 1864.
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