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Rethinking topos in the discourse historical approach: Endoxon seeking and argumentation in Greek media discourses on ‘Islamist terrorism’

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  • Salomi Boukala
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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>06/2016
<mark>Journal</mark>Discourse Studies
Issue number3
Volume18
Number of pages20
Pages (from-to)249-268
Publication statusPublished
Early online date28/03/16
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

The concept of topos(oi) has received considerable attention from both argumentation and discourse studies, although its usage and meaning remain obscure. In this article, I argue that the rediscovery of Aristotelian thought might provide a comprehensible explication of topos. Despite the discourse historical approach’s (DHA) emphasis on topos, its context is found to be limited and this exposes the argumentation strategies of the DHA to criticism. To overcome any shortcomings and provide a better understanding of topos, a classical approach to the concept is suggested, derived from Aristotle’s rhetoric and dialectic. By focusing on Greek media discourses on ‘Islamist terrorism’, I seek to illustrate the synthesis between the DHA’s argumentation strategies and Aristotelian topos as a fruitful analytical and theoretical tool.