A polemic (/pəˈlɛmɪk/) is contentious rhetoric that is intended to
support a specific position by aggressive claims and undermining of
the opposing position. Polemics are mostly seen in arguments about
controversial topics. The practice of such argumentation is called
polemics. A person who often writes polemics, or who speaks
polemically, is called a polemicist. The word is derived from Greek
πολεμικός (polemikos), meaning 'warlike, hostile', from
πόλεμος (polemos), meaning 'war'.
Polemics often concern issues in religion or politics. A polemic style
of writing was common in Ancient Greece, as in the writings of the
Polemic again became common in medieval and early
modern times. Since then, famous polemicists have included the
satirist Jonathan Swift, Christian anarchist Leo Tolstoy, the
1 Overview 2 History 3 See also 4 References 5 Bibliography 6 External links
Polemics are usually addressed to important issues in religion and
Polemic journalism was common in continental Europe at a
time when libel laws were not as stringent as they are now. To
support the study of the controversies of the 17th–19th centuries, a
British research project has placed online thousands of polemical
pamphlets from that era. Discussions around atheism, humanism and
Christianity have remained capable of polemic into modern times; for
example, in 2007 Brian McClinton argued in Humani that anti-religious
books like Richard Dawkins's
The God Delusion
Critic Devil's advocate Dialectic Disputation Internet troll Irenicism Philippic Rhetoric Social gadfly Trash talk
^ a b Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary (Merriam-Webster, Springfield,
MA, 2005), s.v. "polemic"
^ American College Dictionary (Random House, New York)
^ πόλεμος, Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English
Lexicon, on Perseus
^ polemic, or polemical literature, or polemics (rhetoric).
britannica.com. Archived from the original on April 11, 2008.
^ "Pamphlet and polemic: Pamphlets as a guide to the controversies of
the 17th-19th centuries". St Andrews University Library. Retrieved
^ a b c d e McClinton, Brian (July 2007). "A Defence of Polemics"
(PDF). Humani (105): 12–13.
^ Grayling, A. C. (2008). Against All Gods: Six Polemics on Religion
and an Essay on Kindness. Oberon Books.
^ Lloyd, Geoffrey; Sivin, Nathan (2002). The Way and the Word: Science
and Medicine in Early China and Greece. Yale University Press.
^ Walbank, F. W. (1962). "
Polemic in Polybius". The Journal of Roman
Studies. 52 (Parts 1 and 2): 1–12.
^ Suerbaum, Almut; Southcombe, George (2016). Polemic: Language as
Gallop, Jane (2004). Polemic: Critical or Uncritical (1 ed.). New York: Routledge. ISBN 0-415-97228-0. Hawthorn, Jeremy (1987). Propaganda, Persuasion and Polemic. Hodder Arnold. ISBN 0-7131-6497-2. Lander, Jesse M. (2006). Inventing Polemic: Religion, Print, and Literary Culture in Early Modern England. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-83854-1.
Look up polemic in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.
Quotations related to Polemic at Wikiquote