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Expanded Course Description
335 studies the analysis and use of patterns of reasoning derived from the disciplines of rhetoric, informal logic, cognitive science, and the theory of argumentation. Prereq: WR 122 or equivalent.
Inventing Arguments is a standing course now being proposed for Groups Satisfying Status.
This course satisfies an Arts and Letters Group requirement. It is designed to provide students with an understanding of the rhetorical principles that underlie the invention of arguments, i.e. the process that leads to the selection of premises and appeals that become the basis for reasoned argument. It is a study of the rational processes that underlie the contingent and situated formation of logical and quasi-logical appeals. A theoretical understanding of these principles is gained by selective readings in classical rhetoric (i.e. topical invention as described by Aristotle and stasis invention as systemized in later rhetorical theory), in informal logic (as developed by pragmatist philosophers and modern scholars), in cognitive science, and in the field of argumentation studies. A practical understanding of these principles is gained through exercises in the construction of arguments according to techniques developed by these disciplines.
Topical invention is the development of rhetorical syllogisms (enthymemes) based on general and specific topi, or premises assumed to function as grounds for all types of arguments.
Stasis invention is a forensic technique for isolating kinds of questions at issue and the lines of reasoning necessary to address them.
Informal logic is a study of the types of appeals made in relation to probable claims, and the pragmatic and ethical conditions that give rise to them.
Cognitive invention studies the interactions of denotation and metaphor to map the universe of claims.
Argumentation studies involve all of the strategic “moves” and rhetorical appeals made available according to the relation of the arguer to a particular audience.