Communication and Culture | Argumentation and Advocacy
C228 | 2981 | Isaac West

MW 1:00P-2:15P, TE F256

(Fulfills COAS A&H Distribution Requirement)

Instructor:	Isaac West
Office:		255 Mottier Hall
Office Hours:	MW 10:00A-12:00
Phone:		855-7238

C228 Argumentation and Advocacy is an introductory level course on
the theory, practice, and criticism of public advocacy – the use of
propositions, evidence, reasons, and the general rhetorical
strategies of symbolic action to promote and advance one’s public or
civic interests.   The course operates with the assumption that
liberal-democratic polity relies on the ability of its citizens to
be active and critical producers and consumers of public arguments
as part of a reasoned process of collective decision-making.  This
is not to suggest that public or political decision making in a
liberal-democratic society is always rational or reasonable – or
even that reason and rationality are the only or most productive
ways to effect social and political change – but it is to suggest
that we would all be better off if we were to master the fundamental
skills of rhetoric and argumentation as a primary means to represent
and protect our own best interests as members of the polity.  The
course also operates with the assumption that one can best learn the
skills of public advocacy through a rigorous combination of theory
and practice.  Accordingly, the course will be divided between
lectures designed to identify and elaborate the theoretical precepts
of public advocacy – the norms and assumptions that tend to guide
successful public argumentation – and exercises (both formal and
informal) designed to allow students to practice the fundamental
skills of public argumentation.

Assignments include three 5-7 pp. essays defending propositions of
fact, value, and policy + midterm and final examinations.
Attendance is mandatory.

For further information see the course webpage at