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CRRAR has announced their schedule of seminars for Winter 2015. Click the link below for a pdf copy of the schedule, which includes dates and location information.

CRRAR-Schedule of seminars

As readers of this site are no doubt aware, CRRAR runs a schedule of seminars, colloquia, and argumentation- and informal logic-related events throughout the year. As can be seen from the schedule for Winter, these feature leading argumentation scholars from programs from around the world as well as speakers from CRRAR itself. The discussions are always lively! Hope to see you there!

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4th Summer Institute On Argumentation:-

Multi‐Modal Arguments: Making sense of images (and other non‐verbal content) in Argument

May 27-31, 2013 

  • Can works of art, films, virtual realities and other kinds of non-verbal content operate as arguments?
  • Why have some objected to this suggestion? What can we learn from their objections?
  • How can the various theoretical perspectives that make up argumentation theory, such as informal logic, rhetoric, dialectics, dialogue theory, and discourse analysis, account for multi-modal arguments?
  • How can we construct a comprehensive theory of argument that makes room for, explains, and allows us to assess, arguments of this sort?

In conjunction with the tenth OSSA (Ontario Society for the Study of Argument) conference, CRRAR will offer a summer institute on multimodal arguments.

One trend in the development of argumentation theory is an  increasingly broad conception of argument which recognizes (among other things) the use of “multi-modal”  elements – images, music, and other non-verbal components – as key components of many arguments. In this course we consider the questions that this raises. (more…)

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As many will be aware, two weeks ago the Centre for Research in Reasoning, Argumentation and Rhetoric (CRRAR) hosted a symposium on Mercier and Sperber’s argument-based theory of reasoning at the University of Windsor.  Hugo Mercier himself gave the keynote. The panelists were Ian Hacking, Burkhard Schafer, Mark Aakhus, and Lori Buchanan. The co-chairs were Doug Walton and myself. The event took place over two days. The first day was a public presentation and discussion of the theory. The center of the second day’s events was an open (but moderated) roundtable discussion on the theory in which the speakers, CRRAR fellows, and guests all participated.  Both days saw intense, but very stimulating and rewarding conversations.

Spurred by several requests from abroad, we decided to have the events of the first day recorded so that they could be shared with the entire argumentation studies community. I am pleased to be able to announce that that video is now available.  You can watch it by clicking here. Unfortunately, however, there were technical problems with the camera that resulted in our not having usable video. That said, the audio quality is good and the slides for the keynote presentation are synced so that they can be followed with the talk. The panelists’ responses to the keynote presentations are still included too. They were excellent and are well worth the listening.

Thanks again to all who participated, attended, and in other ways great and small helped to make it a great weekend!

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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

Panelists:

  • 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

Chairs:

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

Sponsored by:
THE CENTRE FOR RESEARCH IN REASONING, ARGUMENTATION, AND RHETORIC (CRRAR)

For more information contact: crrar@uwindsor.ca

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Today CRRAR announced the publication of two new books that should be of interest to those working in the fields of argumentation studies and informal logic. The first is a collection of papers by co-founder of the informal logic movement J. Anthony Blair.  The volume collects works spanning 30 years of research of one of the most respected scholars in the field.

Groundwork in the Theory of Argumentation, Selected Papers of J. Anthony Blair, with an Introduction by Christopher W. Tindale. Dordrecht: Springer, 2012.  Pp. xxii, 1-355.  (List price: cloth $189.00, €149,75)
[ Contents: Introduction; 23 papers by Blair; list of Blair’s publications; References; Name and Subject Indexes]

The second work announced today collects papers from the CRRAR symposium on conductive argument held in 2010.  I had the good fortune to be present at that event and I can attest firsthand that there is much of interest contained within these pages.  There were papers from a diverse  range of perspectives and approaches within argumentation theory and they covered many aspects of the topic of conductive argument.  I’m very happy to announce that this collection of papers is now available to all.

Conductive Argument, An Overlooked Type of Defeasible Reasoning Ed. by J. Anthony Blair and Ralph H. Johnson. London: College Publications, 2012. Pp. viii, 1-299. (List price: paper $20.75)
[Contents: Intro. by Blair; Papers by Derek Allen, Mark Battersby & Sharon Bailin, Maurice Finocchiaro, Thomas Fischer, James Freeman, Trudy Govier, Hans Hansen, Rongdong Jin, Ralph Johnson, Fred Kauffeld, Christian Kock, Robert Pinto, Douglas Walton, Harald Wohlrapp, Frank Zenker; References; Name and Subject Indexes]

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Psychology, Emotion, and the Human Sciences

A Symposium at the University of Windsor, Windsor, Ontario Canada

20th to 21st of April, 2012.

Deadline for Submissions: 1 November 2011

In Alchemies of the Mind: Rationality and the Emotions [Cambridge, 1999], Jon Elster argues that “with an important subset of the emotions [for example, regret, relief, envy, malice, pity, indignation, …] we can learn more from moralists, novelists, and playwrights than from the cumulative findings of scientific psychology.”  Elster then explores the work of both ancient and early modern moral philosophers  in order to substantiate his argument.

This symposium will explore Elster’s assertions: what can contemporary ‘scientific psychology,’ barely 150 years old, teach us about the emotions that early modern literary and philosophical inquiry cannot?  Does psychology [of various sorts] deserve its status as the discipline of feeling?  What can contemporary philosophical work teach us about feeling and emotion? Are there viable ways of bringing historical and contemporary emotional inquiry into contact?  What insight can various forms of inquiry bring to the increasingly prominent issue of affective education [the education of emotions, dispositions, and values]?  What is the status of emotional inquiry across disciplines? (more…)

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OSSA 2011 is now officially in the bag.  It was a good week. With such a high volume of papers presented it’s possible to follow many trajectories, but these were my highlights:

The Ambassador Bridge

  • Attending a pre-conference workshop on normative pragmatics with Jean Goodwin and Beth Innocenti. Jean and Beth did a fantastic job explaining their views and those of Fred Kauffeld, with whom I was also fortunate enough to chat with at length. Even having known something of these views before, I left considerably enriched for the experience, and convinced that normative pragmatics is a research program that deserves a lot more investigation and development.
  • Discourse analyst Karen Tracy’s keynote address on reasonable hostility in public hearings was also rich with ideas that I intend to think a lot more about in the coming weeks–especially her conception of how issues move through phases of being unarguable (unreflectively taken as settled), arguable (manifestly unsettled or controversial) and then unarguable again (settled sufficiently for the public discussion to move on).  This is not to say that the other keynotes were not also worthwhile–they were. Paul Thagard’s effort to bring a neuropsychological viewpoint to the discussion over the nature of critical thinking was timely, and David Hitchcock’s presentation of his work on inference claims was as interesting and challenging as those who know his work would expect it to be. (You can read the abstracts of the keynotes here.)
  • Having the chance both to attend Maurice Finocchiaro’s session on deep disagreement and to chat with him about it afterwards was illuminating.  As readers of this blog will know, deep disagreement is one of my areas of interest within argumentation theory. Finocchiaro’s work, which will be part of a forthcoming book on meta-argumentation, moves the discussion of deep disagreement forward in what I think are all the right ways.  I’m very glad he’s taken the problem on in the way that he has.
  • Of course I have to thank the wonderful audience that attended my presentation on the history of conductive argument and reflective equilibrium as well. We had an excellent discussion from which I learned much that I will bear in mind as I carry forward my work on this and other projects.

Finally, no discussion of an OSSA conference would be complete without mention of the enormous camaraderie and good will that animates these events.  Coming away from this iteration of OSSA I am reminded of my initial impression that the argumentation community models what I think are scholarly ideals of diversity of approach, internationality and interdisciplinarity.  Of course, we have our divisions and competitive moments just like any other body of scholars.  This is only natural among diverse people who care deeply about what they study and who struggle to get it right.  What is impressive about argumentation theory is that these divisions enliven the discussions rather than hamper them.  In many ways, these gatherings are as much gatherings of friends as they are academic gatherings. Thus, though I won’t try the reader’s patience with a long list of names, I will close this entry by saying how glad I am to have had the chance to catch up with so many old friends, and to have made so many new ones. All in all, it was a week well spent. I look forward to the next one.

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