Logic and argumentation

Course objectives

At the end of the course, it is expected that students are able to: 

  • distinguish between the different perspectives on argumentation;
  • construct argumentative texts and speeches;
  • use an appropriate logical and argumentative structure to both specialist and non-specialist public;
  • use argumentative strategies to justify, defend or attack a thesis;
  • identify the different arguments in a text or speech;
  • identify argumentative strategies in a text or speech;
  • reconstruct the argumentative structure of a text or speech;
  • set a thesis properly according to different argumentative models;
  • evaluate a text or speech from an argumentative point of view;
  • issue technical reports with skills in argumentation theory.


Logic is presented as one of the perspectives in the theory of argumentation (logic, dialectic and rhetoric) and the relationships between them will be fixed. These perspectives lead to different models or patterns of argument that have a common logical kernel. Although attention to this logical kernel is enough to construct, identify, analyse and evaluate the arguments found in the texts, speeches and argumentative interchanges, that kernel is complemented naturally, but necessarily, with the instruments that for us provide the other perspectives, to the extent that the aim of argumentation, going beyond the simple justification, reaches up persuasion.

1.1. The role of logic in argumentation.

1.2. Limits of logic in argumentation.

2.1. Relationships of the three perspectives (logic, dialectic and rhetoric) with the idea of argument.

2.2. On the possibility of a synthesis of the three arts.

3.1. Reasons to differentiate between ‘argument’ and ‘argumentation’.

3.2. Towards an integral model of argumentation.

4.1. Application of the model.

4.2. Open problems. 

Basic and complementary bibliography 


HINTIKKA, J. & SANDU, G.: “¿Qué es la lógica?”. En Filosofía de la lógica. Edited by M. J. Frápolli. Madrid: Tecnos, 2007, pp. 15-54.

PERELMAN, Ch. & OLBRECHTS-TYTECA, L. (1989): Tratado de la argumentación. La nueva retórica. Madrid: Gredos.

TOULMIN, S.E. (2007): Los usos de la argumentación. Barcelona: Península.

VAN EEMEREN, F. H. (2012): Maniobras estratégicas en el discurso argumentativo. Madrid & México: CSIC & Plaza y Valdés.


ALCOLEA, J. (2007): “La dimensión crítica de la argumentación”. En Lógica, Filosofía de la Lógica y Filosofía del Lenguaje. Edited by A. Nepomuceno et alii. Sevilla: Mergablum, pp. 25-42.

BERMEJO, L. (2011): Giving reasons: A linguistic-pragmatic-approach to argumentation theory. Dordrecht: Springer.

CATTANI, A. (2003): Los usos de la retórica. Madrid: Alianza.

GABBAY, D.M., JOHNSON, R.H., OHLBACH, H.J. & WOODS, J. (Eds.) (2002): Handbook of the logic of argument and inference. The turn towards the practical. Amsterdam: Elsevier.

GOVIER, T. (1999): The philosophy of the argument. Newport News, VA: Vale Press.

HODGES, W. (2009): Logic. London: Penguin.

JOHNSON, R.H. (2000): Manifest rationality: a pragmatic theory of argument. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.

PINTO, R.C. (2001): Argument, inference and dialectic. Dordrecht: Kluwer.

QUINE, W.V.O. (1981): Los métodos de la lógica. Barcelona: Ariel, 1981.

RIBEIRO, H. J. (Ed.): Inside arguments: logic and the study of argumentation. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars, 2012.

TINDALE, C.W. (1999): Acts of arguing: A rhetorical model of argument. Albany: SUNY Press.

TOULMIN, S.E. (2003): Regreso a la razón. Barcelona: Península.

VAN BENTHEM, J., VAN EEMEREN, F.H., GROOTENDORST, R. & VELTMAN, F. (Eds.) (1996): Logic and argumentation. Amsterdam: North-Holland.

VAN EEMEREN, F.H. & GROOTENDORST, R. (2011): Una teoría sistemática de la argumentación. La perspectiva pragmadialéctica. Buenos Aires: Biblos.

VEGA, L. & OLMOS, P. (Eds.) (2011): Compendio de lógica, argumentación y retórica. Madrid: Trotta, 2ª edition, 2012.

WALTON, D.N. (2006): Fundamentals of critical argumentation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

WEIGAND, E. (Ed.) (2008): Dialogue and rhetoric. Amsterdam: J. Benjamins.



BS6. To have a strong enough knowledge base to be able to innovate in the development and/or implementation of ideas, especially for research purposes.

BS7. Students will know to apply the acquired knowledge and ability to solve problems in new or unfamiliar environments within broader (or multidisciplinary) contexts related to their field of study.

BS8. Students will be able to integrate knowledge and handle complexity and formulate judgments based on information that was incomplete or limited, include reflecting on social and ethical responsibilities linked to the application of their knowledge and judgments.

BS9. Students will know to communicate their conclusions -and the knowledge and rationale underpinning these, to specialist and non-specialized public in a clear and unambiguous.

BS10. Students possess learning skills that enable them to continue studying in a way that will be largely self-directed or autonomous. 


GS1. The ability to produce readable, detailed and technically correct documents and research work that meets the current international standards for the disciplines. 


SS3. Understanding disputes, considering and connecting alternatives, and judging which part is better justified or it is more reasonable.

SS4. Identifying arguments as presented in text dialogue and discussion evaluating their correctness, plausibility, persuasiveness or acceptance. 

Teaching methodology

Theoretical classes

Each topic will begin with a summary of the aims and skills to achieve and with the proper motivation to the problems to be treated. In each session: a) the topic is presented, guidelines for its development are provided and the fundamental contents thereof are explained; b) the supplementary material is provided for the correct preparation of the topic by students, and guidelines on the nature and content of the main sources are provided. 

Tutoring sessions

The purpose is to monitor students’ understanding of the subject matter presented and to clarify doubts and answer questions about the contents of each of the topics dealt with in the course. This encourages teacher-student communication, which helps students in the learning process and in the production of papers. 

Course work monitoring

It will be personalized, and will consist of performing critical reading guides and / or summaries of required readings, assignments or practical exercises and a final paper. 

Topic for the final paper

It will be on any of the issues raised in the face-to-face sessions, or any others agreed between student and teacher, following the readings. Possible examples are: 

  1. Levels of relationship between logic and rhetoric.
  2. The role of logical rules and the strategic manoeuvrings in argumentation.
  3. Manipulation in argumentation.
  4. Nonverbal elements in argumentation.
  5. The role of intention in la argumentation.
  6. The role of relevance in argumentation.


  • Attendance and participation in lectures and tutorial sessions: 20%
  • Coursework monitoring: 40%
  • Final paper (maxim 4000 words): 40%

Study and individual work 

  • Total face-to-face: 10 hours 
              Theoretical on site: 10 hours 
  • Total individual work: 115 hours 
              Tutorial sessions: 10 hours
              Course work monitoring: 73 hours
              Final exam or paper Final paper supervised by the teacher: 32
  • Overview:
              Total: 125 hours
              Total face-to-face: 10 hours
              Total individual work: 115 hours

Prerequisites and recommendations for the study of the subject 

  • It is highly recommended a basic knowledge in logic, to attend classes, and to keep in touch with the professor.

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