Does Ideal Speech Ever Really Take Place?

In: Philosophy and Psychology

Submitted By spuggy
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Does ideal speech ever really take place?

Jürgen Habermas formulated a concept in his early works, which is known as the ideal speech situation. Ideal speech can be simply defined as idealised conditions of speech, which is speech that focuses on reasoning rather than persuasion. Habermas sets out four conditions that must be followed in order for ideal speech to be achieved. All participants must have equal opportunity to speak. They all must have the right to state, defend or question any factual or normative claim. Discussion must not be constrained by status differences. Finally, the members must only be motivated by the desire to reach an agreement on the truth (Stickle). The ideal speech situation does not and cannot take place because it is merely impossible for everyone to have equal opportunity to speak, there will always be participants with varying status and power and it is human nature for people to argue persuasively. It is because of these conditions that the ideal speech situation is not possible, although aspects of it are beneficial.
Ideal speech cannot work in reality due to the fact that Habermas’ idea is based on perfect human traits such as equality and honesty, and in a case of discussion or argument these traits are not the priority of participants. The ideal speech situation focuses on quintessential speakers that are always faithful to their words. From a biblical point of view, no human can be always faithful, in the sense that it is impossible to be completely honest, and unrealistic to have a desire to agree on nothing but the truth (Jardine 1998, p. 146). Leading on from this, the truth can often be impossible to find, and to have conditions which state every participant must be committed to speak until an agreement of the truth is made is simply ridiculous. Humans have a rhetorical thought process embedded within, it is a…...

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