Archive for the ‘Symposium’ Category

Beyond Critical Thinking: A Symposium

Friday, 13 November 2015
York University

Over the past 50 years a great deal of work has been done in the young field of Argumentation Theory. Much of this work is highly relevant to traditional Critical Thinking and Critical Reasoning pedagogy. Nonetheless, it has been largely ignored by the many instructors of those courses who are not themselves working in Argumentation Theory. In this symposium each speaker will relate their work to uses in the classroom and discuss the impact it can have on students and their approach to argument. Following each speaker, all the invited speakers and several other qualified scholars will form a panel and answer questions and raise points of discussion.

There will be two speakers in the morning and two in the afternoon. The morning and afternoon sessions will followed by a panel consisting of all speakers and other qualified persons. The panel will be discussion-based and participant led.

Invited Speakers:

  • Catherine Hundleby, University of Windsor
  • Michael A. Gilbert, York University
  • Chris Tindale, University of Windsor
  • Harvey Siegel, University of Miami

The Symposium takes place on Friday, 13 November, 2015 at:

York University
4700 Keele St.
Department of Philosophy
Toronto, Canada M3J 1P3

Lunch will be provided to registrants.

To register, please click here: http://sgy.apps01.yorku.ca/machform/view.php?id=13165

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Fourth Iowa State University Summer Symposium on Science Communication

Normative Aspects of Science Communication

30-31 May, 2014; Ames, IA

Submission deadline:  January 15, 2014

This workshop at Iowa State University continues the discussion of science communication ethics opened in previous events. While the principles of effective communication of science has attracted widespread interest in recent years, attention to normative aspects of the interactions among scientists, professional communicators, and publics has lagged. We invite work from relevant disciplines including communication, rhetoric, philosophy, science and technology studies, and the sciences themselves, on topics such as: (more…)

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7th eColloq on Argumentation
Thursday April 11, 4-6 pm GMT+1  (Amsterdam, Berlin, Rome, Stockholm)
4.00-4.10 Connect, Welcome
4.10-4:35 Bart Verheij (Groningen, The Netherlands):
Defeasible rule-based arguments with a logico-probabilistic foundation
Abstract: A theory of defeasible arguments is proposed that combines logical and probabilistic properties. This logico-probabilistic argumentation theory builds on two foundational theories of nonmonotonic reasoning and uncertainty: the study of nonmonotonic consequence relations (and the associated minimal model semantics) and probability theory. A key result is that, in the theory, qualitatively defined argument validity can be derived from a quantitative interpretation. The theory provides a synthetic perspective of arguments `jumping to conclusions’, rules with exceptions, and probabilities. The approach is compared to Pollock’s computational model of argumentation OSCAR, designed on the basis of his well-developed positions concerning the relations between argumentation, logic and probability. In contrast with Pollock’s OSCAR, the present approach is compatible with the standard probability calculus.
4:35-4:50 Discussion
4:50-5:00 Break
5:00-5:25 Emmanuel J. Genot (Lund University, Sweden):
The Myth of a Confirmation Bias (Arguments for a better argumentative theory of reasoning)
Abstract: Wason, confronted with an apparent instance of the Fallacy of Affirming the Consequent in his empirical Selection Task, hypothesized a “Confirmation Bias” (CB) to be responsible for subjects’ selections [4]. When Bayesian rational analysis of the selection task (RAST, [3]) substituted a richer probabilistic semantics to Wason’s truth-functional semantics, subjects’ selection emerged as being vindicated, and evidence for CB (in fact, any bias) vanished. Relevance Theorists later produced data that Bayesian models could not accommodate [1], yet without exhibiting evidence for biases of any sort. However, Relevance Theory has more recently been superseded by the Argumentative Theory of Reasoning (ATR, [2]), in which CB has returned with a vengeance, backed by an evolutionary narrative that pits “argumentative” and “logical” competences against one another. I will argue that this narrative is a remnant of the same truncated view of logic (and semantics) that informed Wason’s theorizing, but that argumentation-theoretic considerations are necessary to account for the data. To support this view, I will present a generalization of RAST that accounts for both standard and non-standard cases of ST (resp. from [3, 4] and [1]) once argumentative goals are “factored in,” but with an underlying semantics that undermines the very idea of “logical competence”—without which the CB is but a myth.
Girotto, Kemmelmeier, Sperber & van der Henst. “Inept reasoners or pragmatic virtuosos? Relevance and the deontic selection task”, Cognition, 2001, 81, B69-B7
Mercier & Sperber, Why do humans reason? Arguments for an argumentative theory. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 2011, 34, 57-74.
Oaksford & Chater. A Rational Analysis of the Selection Task as Optimal Data Selection. Psychological Review, 1994, 101, 608-631
Wason, Reasoning About a Rule. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 1968, 20, 273-281
5:25-5:40 Discussion
Discussants (preliminary list)
Nir Oren (University of Aberdeen, UK)
David Hitchcock (McMasters, Canada)
Thomas Gordon (Berlin, Germany)
Jean Goodwin (Iowa State, USA)
Iowan Drehe (University of Cluj-Napoca, Romania)
Sune Holm Petersen (Copenhagen University, Denmark)
Steven Patterson (Marygrove College, Detroit, USA)
Sarah Uckelman (Ruprecht-Karls Universität Heidelberg, Germany)
Marcin Lewinski (New University of Lisbon, Portugal)
Thomas Fischer (University of Houston, Texas, USA)
To participate as a discussant (just “sitting in” is in fact fine!), please review the links under “TechThings” at the above website (to test your hardware) and contact the organizer at frank.zenker@fil.lu.se.
Frank Zenker
Department of Philosophy & Cognitive Science
Kungshuset, Lundagård, 222 22 Lund, Sweden

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The Evolution of Argumentation: The Sperber-Mercier Theory

5-6 October 2012

University of Windsor, Windsor, ON, Canada

Keynote Speaker: HUGO MERCIER, University of Neuchâtel


  • Dr. Mark Aakhus, Communications, Rutgers University
  • Dr. Lori Buchanan, Psychology, University of Windsor
  • Dr. Ian Hacking, Philosophy, University Professor Emeritus, University of Toronto; Permanent Chair in the History and Philosophy of Scientific Concepts, Collège de France.
  • Dr. Burkhard Schafer, Computational Legal Theory, School of Law, University of Edinburgh


  • Dr. Douglas Walton, CRRAR & Assumption Chair in Argumentation Studies, University of Windsor
  • Dr. Steve Patterson, Philosophy, Marygrove College, Detroit.

Sponsored by:

For more information contact: crrar@uwindsor.ca

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