By J. Rudanko
Freedom of speech is a convention unique to American political tradition, and this publication makes a speciality of significant debates and discourses that formed this custom. It sheds clean gentle on key Congressional debates within the early American Republic, constructing and utilising an method of fallacy idea compatible to the examine of political discourse.
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Extra resources for Discourses of Freedom of Speech: From the Enactment of the Bill of Rights to the Sedition Act of 1918
Overall, this chapter involves a concurrent emphasis on the study of important historical speech events and of fallacy theory. From the point of view of the history of the Bill of Rights, the present chapter also highlights the extraordinary perseverance shown by James Madison, especially on June 8, 1789, in arguing for a Bill of Rights. It seems safe to say in the light of debates considered that without his engagement Informal Fallacies in Procedural Debates 45 the project of a Bill of Rights would not have got anywhere in the first Congress.
In the case of the debate of June 8, 1789 Sherman concentrated on Madison’s motive for proposing amendments, reducing the motive to the fulfilling of a campaign pledge. 42 Discourses of Freedom of Speech It is suggested here that Sherman was engaging in the fallacy of ad hominem and that he had a covert intention which may be represented as follows: Sherman’s first-order intention: Sherman wanted to thwart the project of amendments by means of persuading Madison that he had fulfilled his election pledge and should now stop arguing for them.
To represent the fallacy, we need to distinguish two first-order intentions. Here is a representation of the first of them: Ames’s first-order intention: Ames wanted to save time and to facilitate the business of amendments by referring it to a select committee. Ames’s second-order intention: Ames wanted this first-order intention to be recognized by his audience. Reason or rationale on which the overt first-order intention is based: Ames was friendly to the project of amendments. Ames’s tactic of argumentation: Ames proposed that the matter be referred to a select committee.