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Posts Tagged ‘Informal Logic’

CALL FOR PAPERS: AILACT @ the APA Eastern Division, December 28-30, 2011, Washington, DC
Deadline: July 31

We are now accepting proposals on any relevant topic for the Association for Informal Logic and Critical Thinking (AILACT) session to be held in conjunction with this year’s Eastern Division meetings of the APA.  Papers, papers-with-commentators, author-meets-critics, and panel discussions are all welcome. Send proposals or abstracts to dhcohen@colby.edu by July 31.

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I’m pleased to announce here on RAIL that the journal Cogency has allowed open access to it’s first four issues. I’m not sure if they plan to continue this policy, as, for instance, Informal Logic does, but for now it’s a great opportunity to check out what is already a diverse and interesting array of articles by many of the leading scholars in our field. (How they let an article of mine slip into the mix is anyone’s guess!)

Do check it out!

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The Ambassador Bridge, via Wikimedia Commons. Original by Mike Russell, CC 3.0 S-A

As many in the argumentation studies community know next week is OSSA 9, one of the bigger events on our calendars.  The conference theme this go around is “Argumentation, Cognition and Community”.  Having had a look at the schedule I think this promises to be an interesting conference. Many leading scholars in argumentation, informal logic, rhetoric, and normative pragmatics will be there presenting and responding to papers.  There is also a good range of strong papers by up and coming scholars as well.  This is one to look forward to, if you’ll be coming.

All the pertinent information for OSSA, including .pdf downloads of the schedule and abstracts among other things, can be accessed here.

Unfortunately, as we all know, not everyone who would like to attend can attend.  These are tough times and many of us find ourselves at institutions who can’t always support travel to events like these as often or to the degree that they would wish. For those who won’t be coming but want to follow along, I thought I might propose a conference back-channel on Twitter with the hashtag #OSSA2011.  Those of us who have Twitter accounts and will be there could post about discussions, sessions, workshops, and everything else OSSA between sessions or whenever else we have the chance.  That way those who cannot come can follow along. An added benefit is that those of us who are there will be able get to know each other a little better and to coordinate a little easier when it comes to dinner plans, taxi rides, etc.. (To get a better idea of how it works, you might check out this post from the innovative and consistently helpful ProfHacker blog on the Chronicle of Higher Ed website.)

If you’re interested, let me know!  You can comment here or post to Twitter including “#OSSA2011” somewhere in your tweet.

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Informal Logic, vol. 31, no. 1

As part of the mission of RAIL is to keep readers informed of new publications, journals, and articles of interest, I’ve arranged with the editors to post announcements here when new issues of Informal Logic become available.  If you’d like to have your informal logic/argumentation-themed journal, or special issue similarly featured here by all means please drop me a line and let me know!

Click here or on the image above to reach the current issue of Informal Logic.  If you see something you find interesting or want to discuss in this issue, why not start the conversation by commenting on it below?

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C.L. Hamblin and Argumentation Theory
A special issue of Informal Logic

Guest editors: Douglas N. Walton and Ralph H. Johnson

Possible topics include, but are not restricted to:
•    Hamblin’s views on logic
•    Hamblin’s views on fallacies
•    Hamblin’s view on argument
•    Hamblin’s views on formal dialectic

Papers should be prepared for blind refereeing and include 100-word-limit Abstract and 10-word-limit Keyword list, and should meet the format requirements of the journal:
http://ojs.uwindsor.ca/ojs/leddy/index.php/informal_logic/about Click on “Submissions>Author Guidelines” to read the format requirements.

Submission deadline: 30 June 2011.

Papers will be blind refereed. Questions may be directed to either of the Guest Editors. The paper should be submitted to either one of the Guest Editors. Please advise one of the guest editors if you intend to submit a paper.

Douglas N. Walton: walton@uwindsor.ca Ralph H. Johnson: johnsoa@uwindsor.ca

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Essay Prize in Informal Logic/Critical Thinking/Argumentation Theory

The Association for Informal Logic and Critical Thinking (AILACT) invites submissions for the 2010 AILACT Essay Prize.  This will be the sixth year in which the prize has been offered.
●          Value: $300 U.S.
●          The prize-winning paper will be considered for publication in Informal Logic upon the conditions listed below.
●          Papers related to the teaching or theory of informal logic or critical thinking, and papers on argumentation theory, will be considered for the prize.
●          There are no restrictions on authorship.  Authors need not be members of AILACT.
●          Previously unpublished papers, and papers published or accepted for publication between January 1, 2007 and October 31, 2010, are eligible.  Maximum length: 6,000 words.

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Thinking about the last post got me wondering if anyone besides myself regularly covers forms of irrationality that are studied in the social sciences in their Critical Thinking or Informal Logic classes.  It seems to me to be important for students to know about things like the endowment effect, the bandwagon effect, confirmation bias, framing problems, and groupthink (among others).  These irrational tendencies in persons and others like them certainly present obstacles to critical thinking that (we hope) can be mitigated to at least some degree by the concepts and techniques we teach.  And yet there’s not exactly a huge volume of literature bringing together critical thinking and the empirical study of phenomena like these.

What place, if any, does teaching about the empirical study of irrationality have in your overall pedagogy? Do you think it should have a place in the study of critical thinking, or should we be content to let the scientists work on it? Is it even reasonable to think that training in critical thinking help prevent these kinds of irrationality? If you do include presentations about the forms of irrationality studied by psychology, economics, &c., how do you do it?

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Jonathan Baron’s interesting article on the phenomenon of “belief-overkill” in the vol. 29  no.4 (2009) issue of Informal Logic (a special issue on psychology and argumentation) got me thinking a bit about the relationship between rationality and tolerance for tension between one’s beliefs.  Baron’s hypothesis was that subjects would adjust their views of policy proposals by a candidate for public office according to their views about separate, internally unconnected policy proposals of the same candidate. This is the phenomenon he calls “belief-overkill” in the article.  Baron’s expectations, as the article reports, were supported by his results.  In his study, the subjects did show tendencies towards belief-overkill.  According to Baron, belief-overkill seems to be linked to an individual’s tolerance for conflict among their beliefs.  Those with a low tolerance for such conflicts were more likely to exhibit a tendency towards belief-overkill. Those with higher tolerances were, accordingly, less likely to exhibit such a tendency.  If, like me, you had friends who seemed to have no discernible economic views at all prior to the Iraq war who suddenly and without discernible reason began quoting Friedrich Hayek on a regular basis the minute they put magnetic yellow ribbons on their cars, this article explains a lot.

(more…)

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