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La réfutation chez Diderot : le discours du philosophe dans la polémique religieuse

Abstract : The purpose of this study is to observe the features and the scope of the use of refutation in Diderot's works regarding the religious controversy. The philosopher holds a major role in the fight against Superstition, and this study intends to look into the way this fight was put up. Refutation should not be taken here on its rhetorical sense: it is considered as instrumental in the contestation process - which, by the way, above all tackles the lifeless models of the classical rhetoric. Refutation provokes movement by going against the assertion it contradicts; thus it has a function of awakening. In the first part, we look into the different means used to challenge the opposite side, and also the different faces of the opponents. The study of the locutionary positions of these opponents completes this first part, which suggests a scale of polemicity characterising the relationships between Diderot and various kinds of opponents. The second part focuses on the treatment of the opposite discourse and tries to describe how Diderot reports the fallacies of his opponents. Of course Diderot condemns the opposite discourse because of its dogmatism, which necessarily leads to deception, but he also condemns it to death as soon as he includes it in his text. The last part deals with the philosopher's voice constructing its specificity by opposing itself to other ones : not only Diderot denounces and invalidates the opposite discourse, he also conveys his own counter-discourse, whose efficiency is founded on ethical features - among which, first of all, having respect for the other's discourse. The philosopher abides by them, whereas his very enemy, namely dogmatism, does not.
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Flore Villemin. La réfutation chez Diderot : le discours du philosophe dans la polémique religieuse. Linguistique. Université Nancy 2, 2011. Français. ⟨NNT : 2011NAN21024⟩. ⟨tel-01749103⟩

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