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Argumentation and Rhetoric

Argumentation and Rhetoric


José Plug


Corina Andone, Frans van Eemeren, Bart Garssen, Eveline Feteris, José Plug, Bert Meuffels, Francisca Snoeck Henkemans, Assimakis Tseronis, Jean Wagemans

Phd-students: Merel Boers, Ingeborg van der Geest, Roosmaryn Pilgram, Eugen Popa, Lotte van Poppel, Jacky Visser, Renske Wierda.


Description of the research programme of the research group

The general aim of this research programme is to achieve a methodical integration of critical and empirical insights in argumentation and rhetoric that constitutes a sound theoretical starting point for the analysis and evaluation of argumentative discourse. The research undertaken within this programme builds on two important developments that have taken place the last fifteen years. The first development consists in the integration of rhetorical insights into the pragma-dialectical theory of argumentation, which has been labelled as ‘strategic manoeuvring’. The second and most recent development is a further contextualization of the study of argumentation by focussing on specific conventionalized argumentative practices and by investigating the role of argumentation in specific applications.

The research programme combines qualitative and quantitative research on a series of interrelated themes: 1) Argumentative contexts and applications; 2) Presentational aspects of argumentation and 3) Evaluative perspectives on argumentation.

For an elaborate description, please open the pdf file.


Argumentation and Rhetoric Research Programme 2013

Envisaged results

Books, articles, (at least) 8 dissertations, monthly research colloquium, various conferences


Work plan and time schedule

Apart from the 8 phd theses which have different deadlines depending on the start of the contract, all the other research projects are long term projects, which will each yield several publications each year, and in the majority of the cases will also lead to a book publication.


Societal relevance

In particular the projects concerning Theme 1, Argumentative contexts and applications, have a clear societal impact. The results of projects on argumentation in the legal context, for instance the project ‘Begrijpelijke Taal’, will be relevant for Dutch administrative judges (and other decision makers in (semi-) judicial institutions). The Council for the Judiciary, who supports the project, promotes the quality of judicial decisions. In cooperation with the Council results of the project will be presented in the  Dutch Courts of Justice and in legal educational institutions. The projects on argumentation in the medical context have already led to applications in the health care domain (experimental studies on the persuasiveness of information leaflets on mammography screening have led to directly applicable results). Argumentation is currently within the health care domain considered to be a type of communication that best meets the present-day requirements for doctor-patient interaction (i.e. shared decision making) and that can be helpful to identify pitfalls in current practices of health communication. The research group collaborates with Peter Schulz, the director of the Insitute of Communication and Health (University of Lugano), and with Sara Rubinelli, leader of the Healthcare Group at the Department of Health Sciences, Swiss Paraplegic Research, Switzerland.

Argumentation Newsletter

Symposium Juridische Argumentatie

This project belongs to the following research constellations: