La argumentación en los ensayos de William Ospina

Title: La argumentación en los ensayos de William Ospina
Authors: Peralta-Sánchez, Andrés-Felipe
Date: 2014
Abstract: This thesis analyzes the political essays of critically-acclaimed and best-selling Colombian author William Ospina (b. March 2, 1954) within the context of the contemporary political Spanish American essays published post 1989. Taking into account his original Romantic answer to the Spanish American left ideological crisis at the end of the 20th century, and the debate which arose among his commentators on the merits of his rhetorical and argumentative techniques used to justify his theses, I examine Ospina´s main political essays using Belgian philosopher Chaïm Perelman's argumentation theory. I claim that, despite his prominence as one of Colombia´s public opinion leaders and most politically engaged intellectuals, his originality within recent Spanish American essay and thought, and the relevance of his warnings against modern society's biggest problems and contradictions, the author’s controversial rhetoric and argumentation fell short of supporting his critique of Western civilization and promoting his Romantic alternatives to current problems. I also claim that Ospina's preference for certain argumentative devices results in literary texts which struggle between the essay and the pamphlet, and oversimplifies the Romantic ideas he tries to defend. Finally, my work has allowed me to point out the lack of academic studies and concrete textual analysis on Ospina´s essays and literary works, the recent Spanish American essay after 1989, and the study of the Spanish American essay’s argumentative purpose, structure and techniques, making this study a first step in the further development of these fields.
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