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Polemics is the practice of disputing or controverting religious, philosophical, or political matters. As such, a polemic text on a topic is often written specifically to dispute or refute a topic that is widely viewed to be beyond reproach.

The antonym of a polemic source is an apologia.

There are other meanings of the word, as well. Polemic is also a branch of theology, pertaining to the history or conduct of ecclesiastical controversy.

The word is derived from the Greek word polemikos (πολεμικως) which means warlike. Plato uses a character named Polemarchus in Plato's Republic as a vehicle to drive forward an ethical debate.

Polemics often concern issues in religion or politics. A polemic style of writing was common in Ancient Greece, as in the writings of the historian Polybius. 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 socialist philosophers Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, the novelist George Orwell, the psycholinguist Noam Chomsky, the social critic Christopher Hitchens, the existential philosopher Søren Kierkegaard, and Friedrich Nietzsche, author of On the Genealogy of Morality: A Polemic.


From French polémique, from Ancient Greek πολεμικός (polemikós, “of war”), from πόλεμος (pólemos, “war”)

See also

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Polemic" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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