Archive for the ‘Seminar/Workshop/Program Announcements’ Category

(Inter)faces of Dialogue: Constructing Identity through Language Use

5 – 8 June 2014 at Transilvania University of Braşov (Romania)

IADA Workshop

The way people talk, dress or behave are types of social codes, important ways of displaying who we are; in other words, they indicate our social identity. Each individual wants to build (him)herself a certain identity. There are multiple identities – some of them are wanted, while some others are unwanted – and a speaker faces a dilemma to choose the best identity for a certain situation and this “browsing” of identities may be achieved through dialogue. In approaching the topic of this workshop, we start from the premise that humans are dialogic beings, users and learners of language in various contexts. While acting and reacting in ever-changing environments (interpersonal or institutional), people try “to achieve more or less effectively certain purposes in dialogic interaction” (Weigand 2008: 3).

The academic interest for social relationships and the way they are organized in dialogues can be traced back to the beginning of the 20th century, once Malinowski first suggested in 1923 that humans share “phatic communion”. Scholars in interpersonal communication, social psychology and sociology have ever since highlighted that the concept of ‘identity’ is important for studying the organization of social life. (more…)

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Below are a few details about an intensive graduate course on reasoning to be held over one week at Lund University in Sweden.  Credits earned will be transferable, and there is a possibility that help with accommodations may be made available.

, 7,5 ECTS
Lecturer: Frank Zenker
Course dates: One week (Mo-Fr 10-12 and 14-16) in autumn 2012. Enter your date preferences now:
If you would like to take this course please get in touch with the instructor now. E-mail & webpage

Course description
The study of reasoning—deductive, inductive, abductive, belief revision, defeasible, cross cultural, conversational, argumentative—is a major focus of investigation in both psychology and philosophy. Next to more traditional issues arising from the rationality debate, this includes a focus on fallacious reasoning and its reduction through education, the development of pragmatics, and the study of human reasoning process through neuro-imaging techniques.

Aim: The aim of this course is to enable learners to orient themselves in this research area (which may reasonably be called interdisciplinary) to the extent that they can actively participate in current empirical research and discourse on this matter.
We will work through select parts of a recently compiled selection of “classics” from a reader by Adler and Rips (2008). The three major themes are: 1. Foundations of Reasoning (Philosophical Viewpoints; Fallacies and Rationality), 2. Modes of Reasoning (Deductive Reasoning; Induction; Dual and Integrative Approaches; Abduction and Belief change; Causal and Counterfactual Reasoning; Argumentation); 3. Interactions of Reasoning in Human Thought (Reasoning and Pragmatics; domain-specific, Goal Based, and Evolutionary Approaches; Reasoning and Cultures; Biology, Emotions, and Reasoning).

Workload/Grading: Successful completion requires reading 20 to 30 pages per meeting, and the preparation and delivery of a max. 30 minute group presentation on one of the above subthemes (the presentation requires additional reading of ca. 60-90 pages). Learners are expected to focus on at least one of the above subthemes (see the table of content under the link below).
Grading occurs on the basis of presentation, an intermediate quiz, peer feedback, and a final paper (of 10-15 pages) due within 2 months after the end of the course.

Prerequisites: A background in mathematics or logic may be found helpful for some (but not all) subthemes. Learners with a background in the empirical sciences are especially welcome. A background in philosophy is not necessary to successfully conclude the course. Those interested in pursuing empirical work are assumed to have a background in empirical research methodology (which is not provided in this course). The course is open to students at Master’s level and up. The language of instruction is English.

Adler, J.E., and Rips, L.J. (2008). Reasoning. Studies of Human Inference and its Foundations. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press (will be made available).

For more information contact Frank Zenker, Department of Philosophy & Cognitive Science, Kungshuset, Lundagård, 222 22 Lund, Sweden, Tel. 0046.70.148 31 35, http://www.fil.lu.se/persons/person.asp?filpers=792.

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The program for the University of Windsor symposium on Psychology, Emotion and the Human Sciences is now available at http://www.thehumansciences.com/programme/.  Registration should be available in a few days.

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University of Guelph graduate students (it’s my understanding) have been organizing in a serious fashion to take philosophy out of the ivory tower.  A two-day series of events, with six concurrent sessions addresses issues from Einstein to zombies, heuristics, and feminism. 

Philopolis Guelph, inspired by Philopolis Montreal aims to “[do] a better job [than academic philosophers have been doing] of engaging in dialogue with the public: this requires finding a common language, as well as being explicit about the relevance of the ideas at issue. Both academic philosophers and the broader public stand to benefit one another greatly through this kind of exchange—free of jargon, of minced words, and of exclusionary assumptions. “

Philopolis’ resistance to academic jargon and presumption promises to make philosophy accountable as well as show non-philosophers how valuable philosophy can be.  The development of a common language is a creative endeavour that requires public engagement, and making assumptions explicit is an important principle of critical thinking to put into practice.

Philosophers sometimes think we own “critical thinking,” which is an extremely dangerous assumption in itself.  Sociologists, neurologists and physicists engage in critical thinking too, and are more aware of the limitations to their methods.

I know at Guelph they’ve been talking about this sort of event for years, and I spoke at one such around 2004.  Unfortunately, that lacked the upswell and publicity that supports this event.  Such savvy is to the credit of the graduate students, I expect.

As a faculty brat, I have a long-abiding affection for graduate students from the old days when there were more personal relationships between faculty and graduate students.  While that intimacy could and often did involve a number of problems regarding sexual morality and nepotism, some of us benefited in the most benign ways.  As the numbers of graduate students swell — at least in Canada where governments are putting money into that sector of education (mostly to the exclusion of others), many freshly-minted doctors will be disappointed by their job prospects.  The benefit however (and this is the reason the government puts the money there) is for society in general.  Graduate students have insight, passion, networking skills, and drive that can drive social and intellectual progress.  That power is well-demonstrated by Philopolis Guelph.

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The schedule is now available for FEMMSS 4, the fourth biennial conference of the Association for Feminist Epistemologies, Methodologies, Metaphysics and Science Studies, to be held at Penn State (Nittany Lion Inn) May 10-12, 2012. The program includes a 2 1/2 hour plenary session on feminism and argumentation, plus a concurrent session on narrative and testimony, both on the last day. (These themes occur periodically throughout the conference.) See session details below.

Registration is active on-line and the fee is fairly comprehensive, including a late continental breakfast and lunch on-site each of the three days, plus a dinner reception at Nancy Tuana’s house on Friday night. Please see http://femmss.org.  It is also possible to register for just one day. We recommend paying by cheque or electronic transfer, but if you prefer then for an extra fee Paypal will be available shortly.

On-line you will also find travel and accommodation information.

Saturday May 12
10:30-1 Plenary in Ballroom C
Feminism and Argumentation

Catherine Hundleby (Windsor). Feminist Epistemology and Argumentation Theory.

Moira Howes (Trent). Poisoning the Well, Community Intellectual Virtue, and Feminism.

James C. Lang (Toronto). The “Will to Ignorance” as a Block to Engagement with Feminist Theory.

Khameiel Al Tamimi (York). A Feminist Critique of the Universal Audience.

Maureen Linker (Michigan-Dearborn). Whose Argument? Whose Credibility?: Challenging Bias in the Context of Debate.

Linda Carozza (York). (Emotional) Arguments and Feminist-friendly Resolution Mechanisms.

2-3:50 Concurrent Sessions
What She Said: Communication, Narrative and Testimony (Ballroom C)

Sara Hottinger (Keene State College). Visualizing Rationality: An Examination of Portraits in History of Mathematics Textbooks.

Shari Stone-Mediatore (Ohio Wesleyan). Ignorance and Oblivion: A Decolonial Perspective on the Epistemologies of Ignorance.

Jennifer Wagner-Lawlor (Pennsylvania State) and Deborah Tollefsen (Memphis). “Falling Off the Roof”: Menstruation, Body Illiteracy, and Epistemic Injustice.

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The fifth North American Summer School of Logic, Language, and Information, NASSLLI 2012, will be hosted at the University of Texas at Austin, on June 18–22, 2012.


NASSLLI is a one-week summer school aimed at formally-minded graduate students in Philosophy, Computer Science, Linguistics, Psychology, and related fields, especially students whose interests cross over traditional boundaries between these domains. The summer school is loosely modeled on the long-running ESSLLI series in Europe; it consists of a number of courses and workshops which, by default, meet for 90 minutes on each of five days.


In the main week of the school, students select up to five courses from among twenty that are offered. Of these courses, five are from specially invited lecturers, and the remainder are researchers selected because they are leaders in their fields and also because they have proven ability to communicate with interdisciplinary audiences. These instructors were selected after a public call for course proposals and a peer review process by the program committee, which is drawn from a wide range of specialities including linguistics, philosophy, and computer science. Over 45 course proposals were submitted for NASSLLI 2012. These were high quality proposals by established scholars, mostly tenured or tenure-track at research universities, and many strong proposals had to be rejected. The acceptance rate for course proposals was 30%. (more…)

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International Colloquium “Argumentation in Political Deliberation”
ArgLab – IFL
Faculdade de Ciências Sociais e Humanas da Universidade Nova de Lisboa

2 September 2011

Political deliberation, understood as a public debate aimed at forming political opinions and deciding what course of action to take, has traditionally been seen as a prime venue for public reasoning and argument. Aristotle considered political deliberation – next to forensic dispute and public oratory – as one of the three main genres of rhetoric. Today, different modes of political deliberation – from formal institutional procedures in parliaments, to public hearings, to citizens’ conferences, to televised debates, to informal online discussions among “ordinary citizens” – are at the centre of interest in argumentation theory, deliberative theory of democracy, and communication and media studies alike.

The goal of this colloquium is to bring together scholars from these interrelated disciplines to examine the role, shape and quality of argumentation in political deliberation. A theoretical and empirical focus of the presentations and discussions will be on the practices of argumentation. The questions addressed include: How can we best theorize, analyze and evaluate argumentation in the context of political deliberation? What is the impact of the contextual conditions in different deliberative activities on the shape and quality of public argument? What are the typical forms of deliberative argument and counterargument? To what extent is the “virtual public sphere” transforming the way we engage in public argument? Does it allow for inclusive participation and genuine argumentative debate between advocates of various political views? By addressing these questions, the colloquium hopes to provide a focused account of the multifaceted argumentative practices in political deliberation.

The colloquium is part of a project Argumentation, Communication and Context sponsored by the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT: PTDC/FIL–FIL/10117/2009) and carried out at ArgLab, Universidade Nova de Lisboa.

For more information, visit the colloquium web page.

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CPH LU Workshops in Social Epistemology

SEPT 27, 2011: University of Copenhagen, Denmark

DEC 9, 2011: University of Lund, Sweden



- Pluralistic Ignorance

- Information Cascades

- Belief Polarization

- Echo Chambers

To present formal or informal work on one or more of the above themes, please send a max. 500 word abstract on or before JUNE 27 to frank.zenker@fil.lu.se, indicating which of the above two dates you prefer.

Confirmed Speakers

- Alessio Lomuscio

- Cristina Bicchieri

- Hans van Ditmarsch

- Mark Colyvan

- Wiebe van der Hoek


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2 positions are now open for a 4-year PhD programme at the ArgLab, Institute of Philosophy of Language, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Portugal, in the domain of political and legal argumentation. The programme is meant to include international cooperation, first of all within the ArguPolis framework developed by the University of Lugano and their partners.

Funding is secured through a grant received by the Institute from the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT) and should not be affected by the current financial volatility in Portugal.

Deadline for applications: May 31st, 2011.
Start of the programme: September 1st, 2011.

Details can be found here:
and here:

(Many thanks to Marcin Lewinsky and the ARGTHRY mailing list for this announcement)

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2011 Workshop in Computational Models of Natural Argument

The 2011 CMNA workshops will be held concurrently with the 25th AAAI Conference in San Francisco, CA,  August 7-11.


The series of CMNA workshops, since its inception in 2001, has been acting to nurture and provide succor to the ever growing community working in “Argument and Computation”. AI has witnessed a prodigious growth in uses of argumentation throughout many of its subdisciplines: agent system negotiation protocols that demonstrate higher levels of sophistication and robustness; argumentation-based models of evidential relations; groupwork tools that use argument to structure interaction and debate; computer-based learning tools that exploit monological and dialogical argument structures in designing pedagogic environments; decision support systems that build upon argumentation theoretic models of deliberation to better integrate with human reasoning

The CMNA workshop series has seen a notable growth in submissions, and forms a complement to more recent series or events, like the ArgMAS series, begun in 2004, and the nascent COMMA series, which held its first meeting in 2006. CMNA keeps a broader, interdisciplinary emphasis on natural (real) arguments and the computational tools and techniques for modeling, manipulating and exploiting them. (more…)

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