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Pathos and the Rhetorics of Love

Prepared for Dr. Celeste Condit, Fall 2011

Atilla Hallsby

on 12 September 2013

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Transcript of Pathos and the Rhetorics of Love

Rhetorics of Love
discourse and practice prepared by Atilla Hallsby
for "Pathos" on 12/1/11
instructor Dr. Celeste Condit Aristotle's "Rhetoric" (Books I and II) Saint Augustine's "Confessions" C.S. Lewis' "The Four Loves" Classical and Theological
Approaches Biological and Cognitive
Approaches Psychoanalytic and Critical
Approaches Plato's "Phaedrus"

A brief case study: Loving Ronald Reagan "...it is precisely this imbecilic devotion to the referent that made television news the dupes in their batle with Reagan. So absorbed were the news staff in pinning down the president's lies and errors - his referential failures, let us call them - that they neglected to consider the intersubjective dimensions of the whole affair; they forgot to take account of the strength of the American audience's love for Reagan."

Copjec, "Read My Desire" p. 143. Quick and Dirty: An Overview of Rhetorical Critics on Reagan Argument Narrative & Fantasy
Scheele, "Ronald Reagan's 1980 Acceptance Address: A Focus on Family Values." QJS (1984)

Ivie, "Speaking 'Common Sense' About the Soviet Threat: Reagan's Rhetorical Stance." Western (1984)

Medhurst, "Postponing the Social Agenda: Reagan's Strategy and Tactics." Western (1984)

Goodnight, "Ronald Reagan's Reformulation of the Rhetoric of War: Analysis of the "Zero Option," "Evil Empire," and "Star Wars" Addresses. QJS (1986)

Rushing, "Ronald Reagan's "Star Wars" Address: Mythic Containment of Technical Reason. QJS (1986)

Lewis, "Telling America's Story: Narrative Form and the Reagan Presidency," QJS (1987)

Bormann, "A Fantasy Theme Analysis of the Television Coverage of the Hostage Release and the Reagan Inaugural." QJS (1982)

Failures of Reason "Rather than backing away from anti-Soviet rhetoric when it threatens his command over public opinion, Reagan as President advances with the intent of making his case against America's number one enemy sound reasonable so that his policies may ultimately prevail. From the point of view of his critics, however - to borrow a phrase from Murray Edelman - Reagan's words are succeeding even as his policies fail. That is, a flawed policy is being percieved as successful because of how it is symbolized." (Ivie, p. 40) "[In light of arguments for the predominance of technical reason over public argument] Reagan's address seems to constitute a rhetorical anomaly - an effective victory of public discourse over the technical sphere. Why was Reagan's non-technical statement decisively successful while others, such as that of Schell, were derisively dismissed? As Leon Weiseltier phrases the dilemma: "Jonathan Schell is a dreamer. Ronald Reagan is a visionary. The double standard is breathtaking."" (Rushing, p. 416) "Fantasies are dramatizations of events not in the here -and-now experience of speakers and listeners. ... Messages that contain rhetorical fantasies cast there-and-then events in narrative frames and provide a structured, understandable and meaningful sequence of events. Fantasies always provide an organized artistic explanation of happenings, and thus create a social reality which makes sense out of the blooming buzzing confusion of experience. (Bormann, p. 134) archetypes "Jamieson summarizes these elements of Reagan's rhetorical style under the label "effeminate." Her point is historical. "Because it was presumably driven by emotion," she suggests, "womanly speech was thought to be personal, excessive, disorganized, and unduly ornamental ... Where womanly speech sowed disorder, manly speech planted order. Womanly speech corrupted an audience by inviting it to judge the case on spurious grounds; manly speech invited judicious judgment."

... We have in Reagan a double irony. Despite his masculine, avuncular image, his rhetoric is "self-disclosive, narrative, personal, 'womanly.'" And despite his fondness for nostalgic reminisence, his style is supremely appropriate to the modern electronic age: "The initimate medium of television requires that those who speak comfortably through it project a sense of private self, unselfconsciously self-disclose, and engage the audience in completing messages that exist as mere dots and lines on television's screen .... Once condemned as a liability, the ability to comfortably express feelings is an asset on television." "

Michael Weiler and W. Barnett Pearce, "Reagan and Public Discourse in America" (1992) p.37 Style Kathleen Hall Jamieson, "Packaging the Presidency: A History and Criticism of Presidential Campaign Advertising," (New York: Oxford University Press, 1984)

Kathleen Hall Jamieson, "Eloquence in an Electronic Age: The Transformation of Political Speechmaking," (New York: Oxford University Press, 1988) I see you have a large scroll. KEY CONCEPTS: Pleasure (the natural and the consistent) and Pain (its opposite); Desire (a longing for the pleasant); Rational/Irrational Desire.

LOVE: (ii:4) "Let loving, then, be defined as wishing for anyone the things which we believe to be good, for his sake, but not for our own, and procuring them for him insofar as lies in our power."

"What emerges is not a genus of friendship that forms a whole which unifies its species, but a range of relationships held together less by subsumption under a single formula than by reference to a single type." (A.W. Price, "Love and Friendship in Plato and Aristotle, p.146) PH: "It is aimed at seducing a beautiful boy, but the speaker is not in love with him - this is actually what is so clever and elegant about it: Lysias argues that it is better to give your favors to someone who does not love you than to someone who does."

SO: "What a wonderful man! I wish he would write that you should give your favors to a poor rather than to a rich man, to an older rather than to a younger one - that is, to someone like me and most other people: then his speeches would be really sophisticated, and they'd contribute to the public good besides!

KEY CONCEPTS: Desire-for-Pleasure, Judgment-for-the-best, EROS (a relation between the former and the latter).
Love Lysias Socrates II Socrates I The Three Speeches Love is not to be trusted because desire is temporary, it involves a 'give and take,' is subject to 'new loves,' is an admitted 'sickness,' limits your selection of partners, leaves both 'out of control,' incurs social stigma, and fosters jealousy. Non-lovers are "voluntary," have a large selection of partners, exercise self-control, and rather than jealousy, will want everyone to want who they've had! It's a mutually beneficial situation. Love makes the lover prefer weaker boys, and the lover yearns for the soft, the unprotected, and the impoverished. When the older lover finally comes to his senses and "installs a new ruling government," it becomes impossible to explain the change to his boy. "Do wolves love lambs? Thats how lovers befriend a boy!" "There's no truth to that story - that when a lover is available you should give your favors to a man who doesn't love you instead, because he is in control of himself while the lover has lost his head. That would have been fine to say if madness were bad, pure and simple; but in fact the best things we have come from madness, when it is given as a gift of the god." But suppose that the unlikely is achieved, and the lovers actually become similar, even indistinguishable in important respects, though freely modeling themselves on the same ideal. Would that give rise to a forgetfulness of self wherey it became indifferent to both which of them was the subject of some characteristic experience? ...In their case do the ariers between lives collapse? (A.W. Price, "Love and Friendship in Plato and Aristotle, p. 102)

SO: THE POSSIBILTY OF A PROTO-AGONISM OR.... "So my soul was in rotten health. In an ulcerous condition it thrust itself to outward things, miserably avid to be scratched by contact with the world of the senses. Yet physical things had no soul. Love lay outside their range. To me it was sweet to love and be loved, the more so if I could also enjoy the body of the beloved. I therefore polluted the spring water of friendship with the filth of concupiscence. I muddied its clear stream by the hell of lust, and yet, though fouled and immoral, in my excessive vanity, I used to carry on in the manner of an elegant man about town. I rushed headlong into love, by which I was longing to be captured." (35)

KEY CONCEPTS: The relation between LOVE and GUILT.

OMITTED: The Love of God v. The Love of the Senses

Need-Love: "Relations of Dependency." Mortal Love.

Gift-Love: "Giving without return." Divine Love.

Need Pleasures: A pleasure that is preceded by a(n irrational) desire. The glass of water.

Pleasures of Appreciation: Aesthetic appreciation, a need which arrives as a "super added" gift.

Affection/Storge: a need to give.

Friendship/Philia: An unnatural form of friendship which entails a selective attachment apart from a larger social body.

Eros: Reiterates that this does not mean sex. A need that exceeds and overwhelms one's ability to be satisfied.

Charity/Agape: An impossible divine love. No pre-condition for love. A love for the object in itself and only for itself. Biological and Neurological Love Love as Social Cognition Love as Cognitive Attachment Helen Fisher, “Lust, Attraction, Attachment: Biology and Evolution of the Three Primary Emotion Systems for Mating, Reproduction, and Parenting,” Journal of Sex Education and Therapy 25 (2000): 96-104.

Madoka Noriuchi, Yoshiaki Kikuchi, and Atsushi Senoo, “The Functional Neuroanatomy of Maternal Love: Mother’s Response to Infant’s Attachment Behaviors,” Biological Psychiatry 63 (2008): 415-423.

Stephanie Ortigue et al., “The Neural Basis of Love as a Subliminal Prime: An Event-related Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging Study,” Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience 19 (2007): 1218-1230.
Brad J. Bushman and Roy F. Baumeister, “Threatened Egotism, Narcissism, Self-Esteem, and Direct and Displaced Aggression: Does Self-Love or Self-Hate Lead to Violence?,” Journal of Peronality and Social Psychology 75 (1998): 219-229

Hazel Rose Markus and Shinobu Kitayama, “Culture and the Self: Implications for Cognition, Emotion, and Motivation,” Psychological Review 98 (1991): 224-253.

Marilynn B. Brewer, “The Psychology of Prejudice: Ingroup Love or Outgroup Hate?,” Journal of Social Issues 55 (1999): 429-444. Cindy Hazan and Phillip Shaver, “Romantic Love Conceptualized as an Attachment Process,” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 52 (1987).

Gerard McCarthy and Barbara Maughan, “Negative Childhood Experiences and Adult Love Relationships: The Role of Internal Working Models of Attachment,” Attachment & Human Development 12 (2010): 445-461.

Wendi L. Gardener and Megan L. Knowles, “Love Makes You Real: Favorite Television Characters are Perceived as “Real” in a Social Facilitation Paradigm,” Social Cognition 26 (2008): 156-168. The role of the face Carroll E. Izard, “Basic Emotions, Relations Among Emotions, and Emotion-Cognition Relations,” Psychological Review 99 (1992): 561-565.

“Perhaps the first, and simplest, affective-cognitive structure is the associative bond between an infant’s feeling of enjoyment and an image of the face of its mother (or primary caregiver). The social smile is regularly elicited by the infant’s perception of caregivers in daily ministrations and face-to-face play. The formation of this affective-cognitive structure begins at about 3 weeks of age, when the social smile emerges and the infant is capable of perceiving the contours of the face, but well before appraisal process enable discrimination among faces. At this age (and until about 4 or 5 months), the infant smiles at faces indiscriminately. With the emergence of perceptual discrimination, recognition memory, and storage-retrieval capacities, the bond can be established between the feeling of joy and an image of the Mother’s face. With the advent of verbal representation this initial affective-cognitive structure (joy-image bond) can differentiate into the complex affective-cognitive network called love, a network of feelings, memories, and anticipations that are activated by an image of a beloved mother’s face.” The role of neurochemicals
Stephanie Ortigue et al., “Neuroimaging of Love: fMRI Meta-Analysis Evidence toward New Perspectives in Sexual Medicine,” Journal of Sexual Medicine, 7 (2010): 3541-3552.

Together, the present fMRI studies of love point to a common subcortical dopaminergic reward- related brain system (involving dopamine and oxytocin receptors), independently of the types of love. The dopaminergic system mediates functions that are important for goal-directed motivation, reward, and pair-bonding. As it has been found previously for other partner-related responses (such as sexual desire, sexual arousal), love-related stimuli induce the activation of dopamine-rich brain areas that mediate motivational drive states and rewards. By demonstrating a specific activation of the subcortical dopaminergic system in love, as it has been found for different phases of sexual response, these findings fit well with the long-lasting theories of love, defining love as a central motivation for pair-bonding in human beings.

Interestingly, the present fMRI results demonstrate that love not only recruits subcortical dopaminergic brain areas, but also activates higher-order cortical brain areas. This reinforces the fact that love is more than a basic emotion. Love also involves cognition. Passionate love activates specific cortical areas with respect to the other types of love.

Notably, passionate love recruits brain areas mediating complex cognitive functions, such as body image, self-representation, attention, and social cognition…. Together, these results show that love is more than a basic emotion. Love is also a complex function including appraisals, goal-directed motivation, reward, self-representation, and body-image. Interestingly different types of love call for different brain networks that carry a broad variety of basic and complex mechanisms that are also implicated in sexual response, such as: emotional processing, reward, autonomic regulation, motivation, and also self-representation, and body image. Need: in the sense of a biological need, which has a particular aim and can only fulfilled by that need. The baby needs food. There is nothing that will satisfy the need but food.

Demand: this is the domain of love. It is an absolute, universalizing request, one which does not depend on what is received in return, but which will accept any compensation given that it comes from the proper source.

A child loves their mother. It doesn’t matter what is given to the child, so long as it is given, the child will willingly accept it as a token of the Mother’s love.

Desire: desire is like the demand in that it is absolute, but it is the opposite of the demand. While the demand can be fulfilled by any object, desire is that which is held back even as the demand is satisfied. Desire describes the thing that is held back by the ‘giving’ Other. It lingers on the threshold of giving everything, but conceals the fact that there is always something more that is kept back.

LOVE: is a species of demand. It is a change in the object and the subject, and is therefore traumatic, but not in the sense of devastation, grief, or mourning – it is a self-shattering, an insight that does not have a pin-point-able meaning.
Psychoanalysis: Need, Demand, Desire.
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