Centre for Research in Reasoning

Philosophers to debate the value of arguing

If you want to pick a fight, you’ll get no argument from Hans Hansen. The philosophy professor is preparing for the Ontario Society for the Study of Argument conference, “Virtues of Argumentation,” to be held at the University of Windsor this week.

The conference, hosted by the Centre for Research on Reasoning, Argumentation and Rhetoric, runs May 23 to 25. It will feature keynote addresses by:

Visual argumentation subject of lecture and workshop

While words may elicit mental images, pictures act directly on our sensibilities by actually placing events visually in front of us, as if they were in fact unfolding before our eyes, says Jens Kjeldsen.

This ability to create presence is one of the qualities he will explore in a free public lecture Thursday entitled “Four Rhetorical Potentials of Images.”

A professor of rhetoric at Norway’s University of Bergen and Sweden’s Södertörn University, Kjeldsen is also president of the Rhetoric Society of Europe.

Argumentation is a cooperative endeavour: lecturer

Although people view argumentation as a contest between parties trying to achieve a victory, that view is incorrect, says Steven Patterson.

A visiting research fellow at the Centre for Research in Reasoning, Argumentation, and Rhetoric, he will explore the cooperative nature of argumentation, even in adversarial contexts, in a free public lecture, “Cooperative Intentions in Argumentation,” on Friday, April 5, at 2 p.m. in room 207, Essex Hall.

Virtues of defeasible argumentation subject of lecture

Philosophy professor emeritus Ralph Johnson will deliver a free public lecture entitled “Is Defeasibility a Virtue of Argumentation?” today at 2 p.m. in room 207, Essex Hall.

Dr. Johnson will begin with a brief history of the notion of defeasibility, consider some examples, and turn to discussion of the problems he sees associated with this notion and point to possible remedies.

Johnson is a senior fellow of the Centre for Research in Reasoning, Argumentation and Rhetoric, which is sponsoring this event.

Lecture to explore the origin of impulse and argumentation

Impulse is the catalyst of an argument and initiates the decisions that follow, says philosophy professor Christopher Tindale.

“Impulses do not arise from nowhere; they are related to past states,” he says. “I am interested in how the impulse for anything begins, and how our resulting arguments are directly affected by how we make choices.”

He will explore the origin of impulse as a stimulus for argumentation in a free public lecture entitled “Inventing Arguments” on Friday, October 26, at 2 p.m. in room 207, Essex Hall.

Argumentative theory of reasoning subject of Friday symposium

The argumentative theory of reasoning challenges the traditional view that the function of reasoning is to help us get better beliefs and improve our decision-making, says philosophy professor Christopher Tindale.

“Instead, the theory presents reasoning as a purely social phenomenon that has developed in order to help us convince others and monitor the ways other people try to convince us,” he says. “One interesting consequence is that apparent flawed reasoning is itself a useful adaptation that aids in persuasion.”