Argumentation, Political

Democracy, governance by the people collectively, entails collective thoughts and actions—realities in rhetoric alone. Therefore, adapting to the fluid political needs and desires of a free society necessitates freedom of individual expression via argumentation. In this regard, political argumentation's foundations were laid in 339 B.C., when Aristotle's Rhetoric advocated use of “all available means of persuasion,” to maintain a free society.

Academic definitions of argumentation emphasize its “logocentricity,” or focus on logic and reasoned argument. Politics, by nature, however, has always been schizophrenic, part reason-governed or substantial and part illusory. Political communication's ever-increasing reliance on mass media in the past half century has exacerbated this duality, making emotional images all but inseparable from logical claims. Scholars agree, however, that argumentation involves controversy between an advocate and ...

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