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Most of the readers of this blog are likely also to be teachers of  argumentation theory in some or other way.  If this is true of you, I’m wondering: what are your favorite argumentation theory textbooks?  With which ones have you had the best experiences in the classroom? Relatedly, what makes an argumentation theory text a good one for classroom use?

In the interest of full disclosure, I tend to vary my choices quite a bit, so I can’t say that I have a definite overall favorite.   That said, there are bits of some books that I really like, and that have influenced the way that present certain topics.  My short list includes the first three chapters of the latest edition of Logical Self Defense on identifying and interpreting arguments.  On evaluative criteria for arguments I really like Trudy Govier’s treatment of what she calls the “ARG” conditions in chapter 3 of A Practical Study of Argument.   Chapters 1 and 5 of Douglas Walton’s Fundamentals of Critical Argumentation I’ve found to work really well for issues concerning dialogues and the relationship between dialogue and argument.  The treatment of speech acts and conversational implicature given in chapter 1 of Understanding Arguments, by Fogelin & Sinnott-Armstrong is also one that I’ve found very helpful for students.

That’s my short list, anyway.  As is easy to see from those choices my approach largely comes from within the informal logic tradition. I’d be especially interested to learn what readers who teach in the rhetorical tradition or from a pragma-dialectical orientation use.

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