Summer University Course

Gábor Forrai


This is a 100-level introductory course with no prerequisites.

Course description

The course introduces students to the concepts and tools used for the analysis and evaluation of arguments. It is concerned primarily with arguments presented in everyday oral discussions rather than ones occurring in scholarly texts, and it pays special attention to the arguments used in business contexts. In addition to analyzing arguments as isolated units, it will also consider what use they can be put to in different kinds of dialogues.


  • Deductive arguments, assessing their validity
  • Inductive and presumptive arguments, evaluating their strength
  • Common presumptive argumentative schemes
  • Arguing for and against decisions
  • Argument structure: implicit premises, complex arguments
  • Critical debate and negotiation
  • Verbal disputes and definitions
  • Mistakes of irrelevance

Learning outcomes

  • understand the crucial concepts of logic
  • recognize vulnerable points of arguments
  • test arguments through critical questioning
  • identify unfair argumentative moves
  • develop an attitude for successful resolution of conflicts
  • learn how to deal with tricky questions


Students planning to obtain ECTS credits for the course will write a 90-minute in-class examination. Grading will be based on the written examination (80%) and contribution to class work (20%).

Reading materials

Douglas Walton: Fundamentals of Critical Argumentation

Gábor Forrai is professor at the Department of Argumentation Theory and Marketing. Trained as a philosopher, he obtained his PhD at the University of Notre Dame and was a visiting scholar in Oxford, Edinburgh, Frankfurt and Marburg. He has been teaching courses on argumentation for 15 years and is editor of a widely used online textbook on informal logic.