Principles and techniques of persuasion through argument, evidence, and logical inference. Practice in debate.
Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:
- Understand how reasoned argumentation can help them make their own decisions, and how people use arguments to influence others’ decisions through communication.
- Survey dialectical, rhetorical, and logical approaches to argumentation, and practice reconstructing real-life argumentation in order to evaluate its reasonableness and identify fallacious reasoning.
- Apply these insights to build an argumentative case about an issue of your choice. You will evaluate each other’s arguments, engage each other in debate, and finally write an argumentative essay in which you argue your side of the issue.
- Appreciate the risks of improper or sloppy argumentation in applied contexts in life, and the ways critical thinking about argumentation can generate fresh understanding of conflicts in interpersonal, public, and institutional settings.