Faculdade de Ciências Sociais e Humanas

Argumentation and Rhetoric



Academic unit

Faculdade de Ciências Sociais e Humanas


Ciências da Comunicação



Teacher in charge

António Marques, Giovanni Damele

Weekly hours


Teaching language



a) Have an adequate understanding of rhetoric as the study of rational and argumentative methods of persuasion.
b. Have an adequate understanding of the historical genesis of rhetoric as a discipline with specific methods and techniques aiming the persuasion.
c. To possess adequate knowledge of the most relevant contemporary interpretations of the status and function of rhetoric.
d. Be able to define the concept of argument as formal valid deduction from given premises and some of his main formal figures (e.g., modus ponens, modus tollens).
e. Be able to evaluate from a critical point of view the formal conception of the argumentative reasoning, its empirical and contextual limits.
f. Understand and identify failures of reasoning through the study of some more frequent fallacies.



Subject matter

Intro: Conditions of possibility of Rhetoric
1. Rhetoric as persuasive communication
2. Rhetoric and dialectic
3. The Aristotelian rhetoric
4. Relevant aspects of Perelman’s New Rhetoric: audience, beliefs, emotions and lógos
5.The uses of arguments: D. Toulmin
6. Argumentation theory: tipology of arguments, argumentation schemes and falacies.


ARISTOTELES, Retórica, IN-CM, 2005
PERELMAN, Chaïm, L’empire rhétorique. Rhétorique et argumentation, Vrin, 2002. Trad. portuguesa: O Império Retórico, Asa, 1993
TOULMIN, Stephen, The Uses of Argument. CUP, 2003. Trad. portuguesa: Os Usos do Argumento, Martins Fontes, 2001

Teaching method

Theoretical exposition (60%) of the contents by the teacher and realization, in practical classes, either of exercises or oral presentations of group work (40%). Each group must do written essay, on a subject previously submitted to the teacher for his acceptance.

Evaluation method

Each student must be evaluated by a written element presencial (a test or exam), concerning the whole contents (60%), and by the oral presentations of group work (40%).