Faculdade de Ciências Sociais e Humanas

Argumentation and Rhetoric - 2nd semester



Academic unit

Faculdade de Ciências Sociais e Humanas


Ciências da Comunicação



Teacher in charge

Dima Mohammed, Giovanni Damele, Marcin Lewinski

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, dialectic and logic as three disciplines of argumentation with specific methods and techniques of reasoning aimed at rational persuasion.
c. To possess adequate knowledge of the most relevant contemporary interpretations of the status and function of argumentation and rhetoric.
d. Be able to define the logical 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 and informal conception of 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. Introduction to rhetoric and argumentation: basic concepts
2. Formal arguments
3. Informal arguments
4. Fallacies
5. Rhetorical figures, rhetorical situation, audience


ARISTOTELES, Retórica, IN-CM, 2005
PERELMAN, Chaïm, L’empire rhétorique. Rhétorique et argumentation (Vrin, 2002). Trad. portuguesa: O Império Retórico, Asa, 1993
PLANTIN, Christian, L´argumentation (Paris, Seuil, 1996). Trad. Portuguesa: A argumentação, Grácio Editor, 2011.
WESTON, Anthony, A Rulebook for Arguments (Hackett Publishing Company, 1986). Trad. Portuguesa: A arte de argumentar, Gradiva, 2005
Texts and further bibliography will be announced during class

Teaching method

Theoretical exposition (60%) of the contents by the teacher and realization, in practical classes (40%) either of exercises or oral presentations of group work and debates concerning some subjects. Each student must do a small written essay on a subject, based on written bibliography and previously submitted to the teacher for his acceptance.
In class teaching.

Evaluation method

Each student must be evaluated by a written element (a test or exam), concerning the whole contents, and by the small written work (cf. above).
Written text: 40%
Final exam: 60%