The goal of the conference is to investigate the intricate relationships between argument and value. Given an understanding of argument as articulated reason and a broad conception of values, stretching from individual preferences to deep moral principles and convictions, are these two friends or foes? There is a long tradition of arguing from values, arguing about values and arguing for values: from Perelman’s articulation of the theory of argumentation as “the logic of value judgments” to on-going work in practical philosophy, meta-ethics, applied ethics and value theory in general. The chief problem today is, however, what role argumentation can play in a situation of value pluralism, value conflicts, even deep disagreements. This problem permeates both practical and theoretical reason, given the feeble fact-value distinction. While we have been recommended to respond by resorting to sound argumentation directed to rational “universal audience” (Perelman, Tindale), the reality of the public discourse today seems dominated by appeals to propaganda in order to convert the divided public to one “authoritarian value-system” (Stanley). Is there any way to challenge the simple but ever-stronger uses of arguments supporting that value-system? In any case, we need to re-examine the values in and of argumentation.
These questions, we believe, run deeper than simple semantic ambiguities of the concepts of argument and value. They concern key issues regarding the force of the better argument in the public sphere, the power of values to govern our theoretical and practical reason, and the possible compatibilities and incompatibilities between the two concepts. Accordingly, the focus of the conference is theoretical but not without some practical importance. While the investigation of values and arguments continues among different branches of philosophy – as well as humanities and social sciences in general – the “post-truth society” of today challenges many of the recognised truths. Our aim is to deepen this important current debate.
Confirmed key-note speakers:
Jason Stanley (Yale University, USA)
Christopher Tindale (University of Windsor, Canada)
We invite contributions focussed on (but not limited to) the following topics:
We welcome all kinds of approaches examining argumentation and values: argumentation theory, political philosophy, meta-ethics, applied ethics, value theory, philosophy of language, philosophy of action.
Submit an abstract (min. 300, max. 500 words), ready for double-blind reviewing (name, institutional affiliation and contact information in a separate document) by sending it to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Abstract submission deadline: 31 March 2017
Notification of acceptance/rejection: 20 April 2017
Registration: 15 May 2017
Conference in Lisbon: 28-29 June 2017
Fees (incl. conference material, coffee breaks and lunches):
Faculty: 50 EUR
Student: 25 EUR
Other Practicalities here
The conference is a part of the “Values in Argumentative Discourse” project sponsored by the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT: PTDC/MHC-FIL/0521/2014), and managed by Erich Rast (PI) at the ArgLab, Nova Institute of Philosophy (IFILNOVA), Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Portugal.
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