What is RAIL?
RAIL is a blog for scholars engaged in the study of reasoning, argumentation theory, informal logic, rhetoric, and critical thinking. All perspectives on argumentation theory are welcome, including but by no means limited to those based in Toulmin’s theory, philosophical informal logic, pragma-dialectics, epistemic theory, fallacy-studies, computation, those based in various orientations in the study of rhetoric, or brilliant new ways of looking at orientation that no one has ever heard of before. All disciplines that study argumentation are welcome too: philosophers, logicians, rhetoricians, communication scholars, computer scientists, psychologists, legal theorists, interdisciplinary scholars, and anyone else in any other discipline who might be working on a project in argumentation theory. RAIL is intended to be as inclusive and interdisciplinary as is the field of argumentation theory itself. You can follow RAIL on Twitter: @RAILBlog.
About Yours Truly
I am Steven Patterson. I teach critical thinking, argumentation, moral, and political philosophy at Marygrove College in Detroit, Michigan, here in the States. In the past I have the good fortune to be a Visiting Research Fellow with CRRAR at the University of Windsor. I am also a member of AILACT. You can find me on Twitter: @seventanterpost and at Academia.edu.
My perspective in argumentation theory falls pretty much within informal logic as done in philosophy, but RAIL is borne of my interest in and genuine enjoyment of argumentation theory in all its diversity. As of right now, and near as I can tell, RAIL is in a very small club of blogs that are not attached to any institution or academic department, nor are dedicated to any particular subset of issues or to a theoretical orientation in argumentation theory. This reflects the enjoyment I get from crossing those kinds of lines, and my conviction, which I believe I share with a great many others in this field, that we can all derive some benefit by doing so.
The header image, in case you are interested is “Det Indre af Kjøbenhavns Hovedbanegaard taget i Brug den 14. Oktober 1864” by Theodor Siersted.
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