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Posts Tagged ‘Jean Goodwin’

OSSA 12

The Twelfth Conference of the Ontario Society for the Study of Argumentation

EVIDENCE, PERSUASION & DIVERSITY

University of Windsor – June 3 – 6, 2020

Keynote Speakers:

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Fourth Iowa State University Summer Symposium on Science Communication

Normative Aspects of Science Communication

30-31 May, 2014; Ames, IA

Submission deadline:  January 15, 2014

This workshop at Iowa State University continues the discussion of science communication ethics opened in previous events. While the principles of effective communication of science has attracted widespread interest in recent years, attention to normative aspects of the interactions among scientists, professional communicators, and publics has lagged. We invite work from relevant disciplines including communication, rhetoric, philosophy, science and technology studies, and the sciences themselves, on topics such as: (more…)

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Though I’ve been keeping up with the CFP’s, RAIL readers may have noted that I’ve not been posting much else. Apologies for that! Deadlines, deadlines. 🙂 At times like these I try to assuage my guilt for not writing more of my share of the content here by pointing RAIL readers to interesting posts on other blogs. I may be bogged down with research and writing, but the argumentation blogosphere outside of RAIL is alive and well too. As proof, I humbly suggest to you the following very worthy reads:

First up, check out A Toulminian approach to thought experiments, by our good friend-blog Argumentics. In this post you’ll find the writer’s usual insightful and knowledgeable article analysis, this time on the use of thought experiments in philosophy and in science. Those who are familiar with Maurice Finocchiaro’s work on Galileo might want to read the entire serious of posts at Argumentics on this issue. It’s good stuff. So is the series of posts on Searle’s Chinese Room argument. In fact, just add this blog to your bookmarks. It’s consistently great.

Also consistently great is Jean Goodwin’s blog Between Scientists and Citizens. Though not as prolific as Argumentics (with whom I challenge anyone to keep up), Between Scientists and Citizens consistently serves up gems like this one: Burden of Proof #1: Managing our own thinking, In this post Jean identifies an all-too-familiar argumentative use of the concept of burden-of-proof that, while general in scope, will resonate with readers who have been enjoying Cate’s recent posts too.

Lastly I suggest The dismal state of political discourse, over at Tim Van Gelder’s blog. The reason I suggest it isn’t so much because there’s novel conceptual analysis to be had, but because it’s a wonderful example of van Gelder’s hallmark: practical application of ideas from argumentation theory to concrete problems. This time the problem being taken on is the need for better communication between ordinary citizens and political institutions in Australia.  It’s an interesting project that deserves to be better known. Have a look!

Also, don’t forget to check out the Twitter feed in the top right corner of the page next to the posts or just follow us: @RAILBlog

Happy Reading!

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Between Scientists & Citizens: Assessing Expertise In Policy Controversies

June 1-2, 2012
Iowa State University, Ames, IA

Keynote speakers:

  • Sally Jackson, Speech Communication, University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana
  • Massimo Pigliucci, Philosophy, Lehman College, CUNY

We are increasingly dependent on advice from experts in making decisions in our personal, professional, and civic lives. But as our dependence on experts has grown, new media have broken down the institutional barriers between the technical, personal and civic realms, and we are inundated with purported science from all sides. Many share a sense that science has lost its “rightful place” in our deliberations. Grappling with this cluster of problems will require collaboration across disciplines: among rhetorical and communication theorists studying the practices and norms of public discourse, philosophers interested in the informal logic of everyday reasoning and in the theory of deliberative democracy, and science studies scholars examining the intersections between the social worlds of scientists and citizens. For this conference, we invite work on expertise in policy controversies from across the disciplines focused on argumentation, reasoning, communication and deliberation.

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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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