Media argumentation is a powerful force in our lives. From political speeches to television commercials to war propaganda, it can effectively mobilize political action, influence the public, and market products. This book presents a new and systematic way of thinking about the influence of mass media in our lives, showing the intersection of media sources with argumentation theory, informal logic, computational theory, and theories of persuasion. Using a variety of case studies that represent arguments that typically occur in the mass media, Douglas Walton demonstrates how tools recently developed in argumentation theory can be usefully applied to the identification, analysis, and evaluation of media arguments.
1. Logic, dialectic and rhetoric; 2. The speech act of persuasion; 3. Propaganda; 4. Appeals to fear and pity; 5. Ad hominem arguments in political discourse; 6. Arguments based on popular opinion; 7. Fallacies and bias in public opinion polling; 8. Persuasive definitions and public policy arguments; 9. The structure of media argumentation.