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Argumentation Theory

Code 14820
Year 1
Semester S1
ECTS Credits 6
Workload OT(15H)/TP(45H)
Scientific area Communication Sciences
Entry requirements Not applicable.
Mode of delivery Face-to-face.
Work placements Not applicable.
Learning outcomes This curricular unit aims to provide students with theoretical and practical knowledge about the various uses and techniques of argumentation.
At the end of the course, students should be able to:
- Know the main historical foundations of argumentation and the theory of argumentation in Western culture;
- Know the basic concepts of current argument theory;
- Know how to analyze technically any argumentative process;
- Know how to produce, defend, criticize, evaluate and improve properly structured arguments.
Syllabus 1. The roots of argument: the problem of truth; brief historical framework on the birth of knowledge (rhetoric, sophistry and philosophy);
2. Social and political contexts of argumentation (democracy, rhetoric, argumentation, opinion and truth);
3. The Argumentation Theory and the argumentative process;
a) Principles, methodology and techniques: the primitives of argumentation;
4. What is an argument?
a) Good argument (principle of relevance, principle of acceptability, principle of sufficiency, principle of refutation) and bad argument;
b) Organization and force of argument;
5. What is a fallacy?
a) Typical cases;
6. The argumentative essay: the thesis, the strength ofosition, the contraposition and the criticism;
Main Bibliography 1. Main bibliography
Weston, A. (1996). A arte de argumentar. Lisboa: Gradiva.
Walton, D. (2005). Fundamentals of Critical Argumentation. NY: Cambridge University Press.
Damer, T. E. (2008) Attacking Faulty Reasoning: A Practical Guide to Fallacy-Free Arguments. Belmont: Wadsworth Publishing.

2. Supplementary bibliography
McInerny, D.Q. (2005). Being Logical: A Guide to Good Thinking. NY: Random House Trade Paperbacks; Herrick, J.A. (2007). Argumentation: Understanding and Shaping Arguments. US: Strata Publishing; Pirie, M. (2007). How to Win Every Argument: The Use and Abuse of Logic. London: Continuum; Blair, A. J., & Johnson, R. H. (2006). Logical Self-Defense - Key Titles in Rhetoric, Argumentation, and Debates Series. NY: International Debate Education Association.
Teaching Methodologies and Assessment Criteria 1. Individual Argumentative Essay - 50% of final grade;
2. Individual work project - 10% of final grade;
3. Group Thematic Essay - 40% of final grade;
Language Portuguese. Tutorial support is available in English.
Last updated on: 2022-01-28

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