030060 Argumentation (Seselja, Straßer)

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Seminar takes place February 5-9, 10-16
Philosophy and science are based on argumentation. Instead of just voicing opinions or stating beliefs, scholars give reasons and provide evidence for their conclusions. Argumentation is key when trying to find a consensus, or at least when identifying the roots of a disagreement. As such, it is central in many areas, from everyday life to political discourse. Needless to say, good argumentative skills are a necessary requirements for successful studies (in essay and thesis writing, for instance). In this course we will survey different facets of argumentation theory. We start off with foundations (argument schemes such as the Toulmin scheme, fallacy theory, types of arguments, etc.) and proceed towards contemporary investigations (e.g.: computational argumentation; Bayesian and probabilistic argumentation; pragma-dialectics; reasoning and biases; etc.). Finally, we will look into practical applications of argumentation, for example, in the context of structured debating as well as in the context of online debates. The reading list will be provided via Moodle at the beginning of the semester.