A polemic ( //) is a variety of arguments or controversies made against one opinion, doctrine, or person. Other variations of argument are debate and discussion. The word is derived from the Greek polemikos (πολεμικός), meaning "warlike, hostile".
A polemic is a form of dispute, wherein the main efforts of the disputing parties are aimed at establishing the superiority of their own points of view regarding an issue. Along with debate, polemic is one of the more common forms of dispute. Similar to debate, it is constrained by a definite thesis which serves as the subject of controversy. However, unlike debate, which may seek common ground between two parties, a polemic is intended to establish the supremacy of a single point of view by refuting an opposing point of view.
Polemic usually addresses serious matters of religious, philosophical, political, or scientific importance, and is often written to dispute or refute a widely accepted position.
Polemic journalism was common in continental Europe, when libel laws were not as stringent.
To support study of the polemics and controversies of the 17th-19th centuries, a British research project has placed thousands of pamphlets of that era online.The worst offense that can be committed by a polemic is to stigmatize those who hold a contrary opinion as bad and immoral men.—John Stuart Mill, 1806-73
Polemic theology is the branch of theological argument devoted to the history or conduct of controversy on religious matters. As such, it is distinguished from apologetics, the intellectual defense of faith.
The following are some people associated with "polemic":
- Alain Chartier (French author)
- Angelus Silesius (Polish poet)
- Ann Coulter (American political commentator and author)
- Antero Tarquínio de Quental (Portuguese poet)
- Antoine Arnauld (French theologian)
- António Feliciano de Castilho (Portuguese poet and translator)
- Antony Khrapovitsky (Russian archbishop)
- Christopher Hitchens (Anglo-American journalist and literary critic)
- Daniel Defoe (English author)
- David al-Mukammas (Jewish philosopher)
- David Icke (English writer)
- Demetrius Augustine Gallitzin (American missionary)
- Edward Abbey (American author)
- Filippo Tommaso Marinetti (Italian author and artist)
- François Mauriac (French author)
- Gennadios II Scholarios (patriarch of Constantinople)
- George Gillespie (Scottish minister and writer)
- George Orwell (English author)
- Georges Bernanos (French author)
- Gian Francesco Poggio Bracciolini (Italian scholar)
- Jack London (American author)
- Jacob Israel Emden (Danish rabbi)
- Jean-Paul Sartre (French Philosopher)
- Johann Eck (German theologian)
- Johann Fischart (German satirist)
- Johannes Pfefferkorn (German controversialist)
- John Jewel (English bishop)
- John Milton (English poet)
- John Steinbeck (American writer)
- Jonathan Swift (Irish author and clergyman)
- Joseph de Maistre (French moralist)
- Juan Pablo Forner (Spanish writer)
- Junius (English author)
- Kaj Skagen (Norwegian author and essayist)
- Kyle Arvoy (American philosopher)
- Karl Marx (German philosopher)
- Laura Kipnis (American Author/Painter)
- Leo Pinsker (Russian-Polish physician and polemicist)
- Léon Bloy (French author)
- Léon Daudet (French journalist and author)
- Leon of Modena (Italian rabbi and writer)
- Lorenzo Valla (Italian humanist)
- Louis Maimbourg (French historian)
- Maximus Planudes (Turkish scholar and theologian)
- Michael Moore (Filmmaker)
- Murray Bookchin (American social philosopher)
- Patrick Buchanan (US politician, political commentator and author)
- Pierre Nicole (French theologian)
- Randolph Silliman Bourne (American writer and critic)
- Richard Montagu (English clergyman)
- Maximilien Robespierre (leader of the French Revolution)
- Saadia Gaon (Jewish exegete and philosopher)
- Saint Anastasius Sinaita (theologian)
- Saint Ephraem Syrus (Christian theologian)
- Saint Fulgentius of Ruspe (African bishop)
- Saint Lawrence of Brindisi (Christian saint)
- Saint Prosper of Aquitaine (Christian polemicist)
- Samuel Butler (English author)
- Simon-Nicolas-Henri Linguet (French journalist and lawyer)
- Søren Kierkegaard (Danish philosopher, theologian, and social critic)
- Sydney Smith (English preacher)
- Tertullian (Christian theologian)
- Theoleptus Of Philadelphia (Greek Orthodox bishop)
- Ulrich von Hutten (German knight)
- Victor-Henri Rochefort, marquis de Rochefort-Lucay (French journalist)
- Vladimir Lenin (Russian Marxist and leader of the Russian revolution)
- Conversational intolerance
- Devil's advocate
- Social gadfly
- ^ Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary (Merriam-Webster, Springfield, MA, 2005), s.v. "polemic"
- ^ American College Dictionary (Random House, New York)
- ^ "polemic, or polemical literature, or polemics (rhetoric)". polemic, or polemical literature, or polemics (rhetoric). britannica.com. http://www.britannica.com/eb/topic-467241/polemic. Retrieved 2008-02-21.
- ^ "Pamphlet and polemic: Pamphlets as a guide to the controversies of the 17th-19th centuries". St Andrews University Library. http://specialcollections.st-and.ac.uk/projpamph.htm. Retrieved 2008-02-21.
- ^ Nicole, Roger R. (Summer 1998). "Polemic Theology: How to Deal with Those Who Differ from Us". The Founders Journal (33). http://www.founders.org/FJ33/article3.html. Retrieved 2008-02-21.
- ^ http* //www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/467241/polemic
- Gallop, Jane (2004). Polemic: Critical or Uncritical (1 ed.). New York: Routledge. ISBN 0415972280.
- Hawthorn, Jeremy (1987). Propaganda, Persuasion and Polemic. Hodder Arnold. ISBN 0713164972.
- Lander, Jesse M. (2006). Inventing Polemic: Religion, Print, and Literary Culture in Early Modern England. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0521838541.
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