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Posts Tagged ‘disagreement’

Many of us working in argumentation theory have an interest in disagreement. Indeed, discussion of so-called “deep disagreement” (per Fogelin) is practically a cottage industry in our field. Recently, professional philosophy has circled around to the topic of disagreement too and spawned it’s own cottage industry on the subject: discussion of the epistemology of disagreement.

Though at present neither field is really engaging the other in a serious way, it would be great to see these bodies of research be brought together. (It can be done! As I have mentioned before here on RAIL, Harvey Siegel’s made a good start on the job.)

In the interest of pushing the argumentation research circle on disagreement further towards the philosophical research circle on disagreement, in the hopes of achieving a Venn diagram of research with a healthy intersection between the two, I offer the following in addition to the above link to Harvey’s paper:

First up, via Philosophy TV an interesting philosophical discussion about the epistemology of disagreement between David Christensen (a philosopher I think argumentation theorists should be reading anyway) and David Sorenson:

David Christensen & Roy Sorensen from Philosophy TV on Vimeo.

Secondly, there’s this more recent item of interest from the NewAPPS blog. The piece gives the results of a recent survey of philosophers’ attitudes towards religion. It specifically addresses the question of how philosophers recognize epistemic peers across religious boundaries.

It seems to me that in this (and in other areas) mainstream philosophy and argumentation theory could benefit from making each others’ mutual acquaintance. What do you think?

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Dan Cohen did a very nice TED talk on argumentation. If you haven’t seen it already, do check it out below!

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Call for papers

19th International Philosophy Colloquium Evian:
Disagreement – Désaccord – Uneinigkeit

Evian (Lake Geneva), France
July 7-13, 2013

We invite proposals (maximum length: one page) for presentations, along with a short CV (maximum length: two pages), by March 31, 2013. Please send these documents via e-mail to:
evian@philosophie.fu-berlin.de

Is there disagreement? That is, do we really disagree? From the standpoint of everyday life, the answer seems to be clear. Disagreements among us are legion: about scientific, political, and social questions, about questions of right conduct and religion, about questions concerning subjective preferences and aesthetic taste. From the standpoint of rationality, however, it is not so clear how these disagreements should be assessed. Shouldn’t the forceless force of the better argument carry the day in almost all cases of disagreement? Isn’t it possible in principle to determine which view is the better one among rival views? Aren’t disagreements better seen, therefore, as intermediate stages on the way toward a more comprehensive agreement – at least among all those who conduct themselves rationally? If not, can a disagreement itself be rational, even when two interlocutors share the same epistemic presuppositions and the same relevant information? Is “reasonable disagreement” an enduring feature of our practices and reaches deeper than we generally assume? What is the theoretical and practical relevance of persistent disagreement? Does the latter lead to the acceptance of relativism, skepticism, or pluralism? (more…)

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