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Posts Tagged ‘relevance theory’

7th eColloq on Argumentation
Thursday April 11, 4-6 pm GMT+1  (Amsterdam, Berlin, Rome, Stockholm)
 
PROGRAM
4.00-4.10 Connect, Welcome
 
4.10-4:35 Bart Verheij (Groningen, The Netherlands):
Defeasible rule-based arguments with a logico-probabilistic foundation
 
Abstract: A theory of defeasible arguments is proposed that combines logical and probabilistic properties. This logico-probabilistic argumentation theory builds on two foundational theories of nonmonotonic reasoning and uncertainty: the study of nonmonotonic consequence relations (and the associated minimal model semantics) and probability theory. A key result is that, in the theory, qualitatively defined argument validity can be derived from a quantitative interpretation. The theory provides a synthetic perspective of arguments `jumping to conclusions’, rules with exceptions, and probabilities. The approach is compared to Pollock’s computational model of argumentation OSCAR, designed on the basis of his well-developed positions concerning the relations between argumentation, logic and probability. In contrast with Pollock’s OSCAR, the present approach is compatible with the standard probability calculus.
 
4:35-4:50 Discussion
 
4:50-5:00 Break
 
5:00-5:25 Emmanuel J. Genot (Lund University, Sweden):
The Myth of a Confirmation Bias (Arguments for a better argumentative theory of reasoning)
 
Abstract: Wason, confronted with an apparent instance of the Fallacy of Affirming the Consequent in his empirical Selection Task, hypothesized a “Confirmation Bias” (CB) to be responsible for subjects’ selections [4]. When Bayesian rational analysis of the selection task (RAST, [3]) substituted a richer probabilistic semantics to Wason’s truth-functional semantics, subjects’ selection emerged as being vindicated, and evidence for CB (in fact, any bias) vanished. Relevance Theorists later produced data that Bayesian models could not accommodate [1], yet without exhibiting evidence for biases of any sort. However, Relevance Theory has more recently been superseded by the Argumentative Theory of Reasoning (ATR, [2]), in which CB has returned with a vengeance, backed by an evolutionary narrative that pits “argumentative” and “logical” competences against one another. I will argue that this narrative is a remnant of the same truncated view of logic (and semantics) that informed Wason’s theorizing, but that argumentation-theoretic considerations are necessary to account for the data. To support this view, I will present a generalization of RAST that accounts for both standard and non-standard cases of ST (resp. from [3, 4] and [1]) once argumentative goals are “factored in,” but with an underlying semantics that undermines the very idea of “logical competence”—without which the CB is but a myth.
 
Girotto, Kemmelmeier, Sperber & van der Henst. “Inept reasoners or pragmatic virtuosos? Relevance and the deontic selection task”, Cognition, 2001, 81, B69-B7
Mercier & Sperber, Why do humans reason? Arguments for an argumentative theory. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 2011, 34, 57-74.
Oaksford & Chater. A Rational Analysis of the Selection Task as Optimal Data Selection. Psychological Review, 1994, 101, 608-631
Wason, Reasoning About a Rule. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 1968, 20, 273-281
 
5:25-5:40 Discussion
 
Discussants (preliminary list)
Nir Oren (University of Aberdeen, UK)
David Hitchcock (McMasters, Canada)
Thomas Gordon (Berlin, Germany)
Jean Goodwin (Iowa State, USA)
Iowan Drehe (University of Cluj-Napoca, Romania)
Sune Holm Petersen (Copenhagen University, Denmark)
Steven Patterson (Marygrove College, Detroit, USA)
Sarah Uckelman (Ruprecht-Karls Universität Heidelberg, Germany)
Marcin Lewinski (New University of Lisbon, Portugal)
Thomas Fischer (University of Houston, Texas, USA)
 
PARTICPATION
To participate as a discussant (just “sitting in” is in fact fine!), please review the links under “TechThings” at the above website (to test your hardware) and contact the organizer at frank.zenker@fil.lu.se.
 
ORGANIZER
Frank Zenker
Department of Philosophy & Cognitive Science
Kungshuset, Lundagård, 222 22 Lund, Sweden

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