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Rhetoric & Argumentation

Please note: This is an LUC minor, not a Leiden University minor programme.

Scientific and scholarly discourse, political debate, court hearings, literature, commercials: they all rely on Argumentation and Rhetoric. Why are some politicians’ speeches more convincing than others’? What makes lawyers effective in court? In academic work it is equally important to be able to distinguish between sound and fallacious reasoning, to be acquainted with principles of rhetoric and to apply such knowledge to good practical effect, in order to present standpoints in a coherent and convincing manner. Rhetoric and argumentation is essential in learning to formulate standpoints and effectively present it to audiences, rebuttal of contrary stances included. This minor introduces students not just to classical origins but also to state of the art approaches of rhetoric and argumentation. Next to a theoretical basis, students practice a lot with historical and modern examples and also apply their skills in their own papers, presentations, and debates. This minor starts with two introductory courses in which the basic principles of argumentation and rhetoric are explained, trained, and practiced. Students then continue with two more specialised courses for each field, in order to advance to a set of 300-level course centered around case studies and debating.