Political debates

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Drawing on Isabela and Norman Fairclough’s (2012) recent approach to practical reasoning in political discourse analysis, the chapter seeks to identify the premises, the goals, the means, and the values that impact upon the participants’ ethos construction in the 2012 American Presidential debates. The political debate is investigated as a form of deliberative argumentation, but also as a persuasive dialogue, in which the participants put forward proposals for actions and argue about the advantages and disadvantages of a certain course of action, in the attempt to both clarify the issues and exert influence on the audience.


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