By J. Rudanko
Freedom of speech is a practice specified to American political tradition, and this publication makes a speciality of significant debates and discourses that formed this custom. It sheds clean mild on key Congressional debates within the early American Republic, constructing and employing an method of fallacy concept compatible to the learn of political discourse.
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Extra info for Discourses of Freedom of Speech: From the Enactment of the Bill of Rights to the Sedition Act of 1918
However, it should again be remembered that Sherman was opposed to amendments at this time, and that the argument may be viewed as deceptive and as a fallacy, as a type of ad hominem. This fallacy has been described as follows: The “argumentum ad hominem,” ... is addressed to the peculiar circumstances, character, avowed opinions, or past conduct of the individual, and therefore has a reference to him only, and does not bear directly and absolutely on the real question, ... (Whately  1975, 191; see also Walton 1998) For his part, Douglas Walton writes that the “argumentum ad hominem, or argument against the person (literally, ‘against the man’), is traditionally meant to denote the kind of argumentation that argues against somebody’s argument by attacking the person who put forward the argument” (Walton 1995, 36).
This gives warrant to viewing his motion for postponement as a fallacy and to viewing his point about Madison having done his duty as a fallacy. It is also noteworthy how confident Jackson was that the House of Representatives was against Madison’s motion. The fate of the project of amendments was indeed hanging by a thread in those summer days of 1789. 11 Summary and concluding observations To sum up, it is argued here that the notion of covert speaker intention should be allowed as a concept in fallacy theory.
Such would be satisfied with securing to themselves and their posterity all those blessings of freedom which they are now possessed of. (Gales 1834, 705) The beginning of Thomas Hartley’s speech, as reported in Gales (1834), suggests that he might have been opposed to Lee’s motion, but there are contemporary newspaper accounts of the debate that include him among those supporting Lee’s motion (see the Providence Gazette and Country Journal, August 29, 1789). Elbridge Gerry, speaking next, opposed Lee’s motion, arguing that the subject of amendments would occasion “more copious debate” than The Decision of August 13, 1789 49 Madison contemplated.