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What are Kategoria and Antapologia?

In Apologetic rhetoric on September 4, 2009 at 1:53 pm

In order to answer the question of what kategoria and antapologia are, we have to understand the process of apologies and apologiae.

As Lazare (2004) described, each apology is a unique and complex negotiation of responsibility that involve shame and remorse on the part of the offender, articulations of suffering on the part of the offended, appropriate explanations, acceptance of responsibilities, and ultimately acceptance of an apology as an indication that the offended party’s needs have been met (p. 205).

Tavuchis (1991) referred to such a negotiation as the “middle term in a moral syllogism” or speech act that consists of an accusation, an apology, and acceptance or rejection (p. 20). That idea echoes Halford Ross Ryan’s (1982) argument that an apology should be discussed as a response to a specific accusation. Drawing on terms from classical rhetoric, he called for analysis to focus on the speech act of kategoria (or accusation) and apologia (or speech in defense).

Recently, Kevin Stein (2008) added a third element—antapologia—to the speech act.

According to Stein’s description, an offended party issues an accusation (kategoria) and the offender responds with an account or defensive response (apologia). However, if the offended party has an issue with that account or response, he or she initiates a counter-accusation (an antapologia) specifically addressing the content or delivery of the apologia itself.  Thus, the antapologia differs from the kategoria in that “the former is designed to be a response to the apologetic discourse and the latter is designed to be a response to the initial harmful act perpetrated by the accused” (Stein, 2008, pp. 19-20).

With the addition (or acknowledgment) of this third element, the process is more accurately represented and analyzed as a negotiation in which the offender and the offended function as co-creators of an apology (Yamazaki, 2004).

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  1. […] By apologia, I mean the entire apologetic exchange in which wrongdoing is situated through kategoria and a defense is offered. The idea of a process relates to what Keith Michael Hearit called the […]

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