The Concessio is a rhetorical stylistic tool, which is mainly used in speeches. Anyone using a Concessio takes up the opponent’s argument and also acknowledges that it is correct. However, it makes it ineffective in the same train, by giving an argument which is stronger and thus weakened (→ argument types).
The term is derived from the Latin and can be translated with an admission. As a result, the translation already refers to what we are dealing with fundamentally: an argumentary acknowledgment that the opponent’s argument is correct [with simultaneous remark that one’s own strength is stronger and the other is ineffective]. Let’s look at an example.
The strikers are right when they point to the bad conditions.
Nevertheless, this should not lead to redundancies, since they comply with the standard.
In the example above, the observer is led to the objection that the strikers are perfectly correct, in order to defuse him as a result. In this case, it is pointed out that the conditions correspond to the standard, that is to say, are largely valid in the industry.
Their objection that the economy is on the ground is correct.
But that’s what their faction has to answer
In this case as well, the interlocutor is first compelled to take up the objection that the economic situation is bad. In the same train the whole thing is weakened when it is pointed out that the other side is responsible for the decline.
Yes. Günther has behaved immorally,
but he can not be legally punished for it.
The above example agrees with the other in that it is taken up that Günther has certainly behaved immoral. However, the objection is equally mitigated by pointing out that this is legally unimportant: but a clear concession.
Note: All of the examples listed above have a common denominator: they attack the objection to the other side, in order to refute or at least defuse it.
Effect and function of Concessio
Of course, it is not always useful to attribute a clear function or function to a rhetorical stylistic device. We run the risk of reducing it as a result. Nevertheless, we would like to suggest you some hints about the effect.
Overview: Effect, Function and Meaning of Concessio
The concession is the supposed capitulation before the opponent’s argument, because it is committed to it. However, this only serves the appearance, since it is weakened or at least defused in the next turn.
The Concessio can have an ironsic undertone. Namely, when there is a pause between the objected objection and the more powerful argument, the apparent effect of surrender becomes clearer.
Note: Another expression for the style figure is the Greek word “paromology”, which means the same figure. The Concessio is also related to the Permissio. In this respect, it is acknowledged to the addressee that he enjoys freedom of decision-making and freedom of action, assuming that this will ultimately take the speaker’s opinion.