• Uwagi o mowie cynicznej. Kallikles i Trazymach jako mówcy cyniczni

Uwagi o mowie cynicznej. Kallikles i Trazymach jako mówcy cyniczni

DOI: https://doi.org/10.19195/1895-8001.14.4.3
Marcin Pietrzak
Google Scholar Marcin Pietrzak


Notes on Cynical Speech. Callicles and Thrasymachusas Cynical Speakers

Cynical speech is a proper form of manifestation of what we call cynicism. It takes the form of a persuasive strategy which assumes the achievement of the rhetorical consubstantiation of a cynical speaker and her/his auditorium. Cynical speech is a game that takes place between three sides: a cynical speaker posing as an immoralist, a moralist and an auditorium, the acquisition of which is the aim of both interlocutors. At the outset, the cynical speaker gives the identity of naive dilettantes’ to both the members of the auditorium and the moralist and then tries to persuade the audience to side with him and take on the role of the students of a cynical expert. This is what can be described as cynical modulation. In its course, the initial opposition of a professional versus dilettante turns into an opposition of master versus student, while the unattractive identity of a dilettante is transferred to a moralist. In this way, the speaker achieves what Kenneth Burke thinks is the right goal for any rhetorical act: the speaker’s consubstantiation with the auditorium. This process is presented based on the example of the disputes between Socrates, as a moralist on the one hand, and sophist-politicians Thrasymachus and Callicles, who personify the type of cynical speakers, on the other. The analysis of cynical speech carried out in the paper leads to an indication of some basic features of this way of speaking, as well as the relationship that exists between them and the content of viewpoints voiced by cynical speakers. These viewpoints have been described as aristocratic democratism and people’s anti-democratism. These are two forms of what has been described as the cynical counter-ideal. The adoption of these positions is an indirect expression of the same systematic ambiguity that lies in the form of cynical speaking, which belongs to the very essence of cynicism as a cultural phenomenon.

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