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    Let’s Disagree to Disagree

    giuliani-double.jpgQuote:  “Don’t expect to agree with me on everything because that would be unrealistic. I don’t even agree with me on everything.”  Rudolph Giuliani, speaking at Regent University

    Figure of Speech:  aporia, the figure of doubt.  From the Greek, meaning “doubt.”

    The leading Republican candidate for president believes supports gay rights and choice in abortion.  Rudy Giuliani was careful not to mention those tricky stands when he addressed Pat Robertson’s Regent University today.  (Robertson is not so keen on gays or abortion.)

    But the pugnacious former New York mayor hinted at their differences with a disarming aporia, a figure that admits ignorance or uncertainty.  Lincoln was a master of aporia, lowering his audience’s expectations at the beginning of a speech by telling them not to expect much.

    In Giuliani’s case, though, something else is going on .  He’s making fun of his own well-known pugnacity.  So he doesn’t plead uncertainty; he’s so certain that he can argue both sides and convince even himself.

    Now, there’s an arguer after Figaro’s heart.

    Snappy Answer:  “I don’t blame you.”

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    Reader Comments (4)


    excellent trick with these two photographs!
    Arie Vrolijk
    June 27, 2007 | Unregistered Commentera. vrolijk
    Thanks! Actually, it's pretty easy. Parsing non-aporic aporia is harder.

    June 28, 2007 | Registered CommenterFigaro
    You should see Stephen Colbert's Formidable Opponent, where he literally debates himself.
    June 28, 2007 | Unregistered Commentersomebody
    Yes, but unlike Giuliani, Colbert does not appear to convince himself--or, rather, each other.

    June 28, 2007 | Registered CommenterFigaro

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