Of possible interest to argumentation theorists…

Applied philosophy examines the questions that are most central and relevant to the ways that we live our lives. Many of these questions are epistemic in nature, since questions about what can be known, understood, and reasonably believed, and questions about how we ought to understand the world around us relate directly to our lives. Applied epistemology marks a natural intersection between epistemology and ethics, both because our epistemic activities and beliefs are important determinants of our actions, and because our epistemic agency itself is a central part of our personhood.

Possible topics include:

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Amsterdam, the Netherlands

July 2, 2018

The recent movement of people from one place to another due to precarious circumstances furnishes a decisive, contemporary subject for inquiry. Arguers assemble and move themselves and things about within cities and across countries via material and immaterial networks. Identities are mixed. Status split. Pro and con arguments work amid situations where the roles of hospitality, exchange, and collaboration mix and meet restrictions, group disconnections, and resistance. What are the stances, schemes, and genre of rescuers, smugglers, camp-life, border life, and residential enclaves? What are the dialogical capacities, apparatus, and ties of migrants, refugees, diasporatic groups, displaced persons, specious document holders, extended visa holders, temporary workers, and students? After what scholars call the mobility turn, the history of movement provides new language to understand the ambit of everyday, informal reasoning, as the new “normal”: exile, exodus, migration, expatriation, place-less-ness, multiple identities, and anonymity often without the option of returning “home.”

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“Decoys” by V.H. Hatter, CC SA-2.0 via Wikimedia Commons. No endorsement implied.

The Phenomenon

The “fake news” phenomenon plays on highly predictable and prevalent weaknesses in human cognition: confirmation bias, ownership/endowment effects, and belief overkill using messages with high affective valence, usually negative. Emotions of fear, outrage, and suspicion typically are featured, but sometimes positive themes are used too, like appeals to feelings of patriotism or nostalgia for an idealized past. The images selected typically reflect whatever the emotional focus is, or whoever (or whatever, in the case of abstract institutions) is the target of that focus. There is no attempt at truthful communication. Sources are often described rather than named (think pizzagate’s “New York City police detective”, or phrases like “sources close to the Trump family”). Essentially, fake news stories follow the same sort of style as tabloid writing: sensationalistic, unverifiable, and over-the-top claims are made about publicly recognizable figures for money. That’s nothing new. Tabloid journalism has been around since papers started being printed. What’s “new” about fake news is that: Continue Reading »

Tonight marked a very special occasion for the entire argumentation theory community: the inaugural lecture opening the Argumentation Studies Ph.D. program at the University of Windsor.

To be clear the program’s first class of students began classes at the start of this term, so tonight’s event was more ceremonial than operational, but it was a great event. It was an honor to be there. The lecture was given by guest of honor Frans van Eemeren, and covered the history, recent trends in and future prospects of the pragma-dialectic school of argumentation theory. It was a lovely talk and Professor van Eemeren closed it with words of encouragement for the first class of Argumentation Studies Ph.D. students:

“The future is yours.”


This is the Life We Have Chosen

Via The Non Sequitur, the blog of Scott Akin and John Casey:

School has started again. For some of us academics, this means shifting from reading professional literature to papers written by absolute beginners. Over the years this can wear on you, especially since you’ll encounter the same moves over and over and over. The sheer repetitiveness of it will cause you to ask whether you’re having any effect at all on their work. If you’re smart, you’ll vent about it to your trusted colleagues in the friendly confines of the faculty lounge. They will commiserate with you, and hopefully remind you of your obligations as a teacher. After a scotch or two and some quality time in a chesterfield chair, you’ll return to class refreshed, or maybe a bit buzzed, but nonetheless ready to do whatever it is you do.

Should you lack good mentors or quality whisky, you may be tempted to go online with a post about how stupid the kids are. Before you do this, you need to remind yourself of three critical things…


Read the rest of this excellent post here.

Philosophy of Argumentation – An Issue of Studies in Logic, Grammar and Rhetoric

We invite the submission of papers to an issue of the journal Studies in Logic, Grammar and Rhetoric (https://www.degruyter.com/view/j/slgr) entitled ‘The Philosophy of Argumentation’. This issue is designed to build on the impact of recent events in argumentation and linguistics in Poland and aims to bring together researchers with a variety of perspectives and backgrounds in a discussion of the philosophical aspects of argumentation theory, and to further enhance the growing reputation of Poland as a centre for study in the field.

The journal issue will be co-edited by Martin Hinton (University of Łódź) and Marcin Koszowy (University of Białystok and Polish Academy of Science).


A philosophical approach to argument and persuasion may touch on many areas and this list is not designed to be exhaustive, but contributions might discuss:

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via https://www.diskursanalyse.net/

Journal for Discourse Studies / Zeitschrift für Diskursforschung (ZfD)

we would like to remind you that the Journal for Discourse Studies is interested in your submissions! You may submit your manuscripts at any time in German or English by sending them to zfd@phil.uni-augsburg.de. Many different formats are possible, including but not limited to long or short articles, essays, or discussions.

Guidelines for submissions and more information about the journal can be found at www.uni-augsburg.de/zfd.