Thursday, September 29, 2022

PUBlic Professor Series | Dr. Katharina Stevens

Event Location: Live online broadcast

COVID-19 has impacted the way we do everything, including the delivery of our events. The safety of our speakers and guests in attendance is of the utmost importance to us, and for that reason, this talk will be delivered ONLINE via a LIVE BROADCAST. Please register for this event at Registration is required as we need to provide you with secure access information to the live broadcast prior to the start of the event. Please watch your email. **All who register and attend this event will be entered to win a $100 gift card to the Italian Table.**

There are two different things that we can mean when we say that we are arguing with someone. We can mean that we are fighting, or we can mean that we are exchanging reasons in an attempt to justify an opinion or a belief that we have. It would be interesting to talk about how to have a fight without being cruel, but I want to talk to you about the other kind of arguing: arguing as exchanging reasons.

Even when we think about arguing as an exchange of reasons, we often think of it as having some things in common with fighting. Usually, we argue when we disagree, we argue against each other. We want to show our partner that we are right and they are wrong – and we want to show them this by demonstrating that we have the better reasons on our side. Is there anything wrong with doing this? At first glance, it seems perfectly ok. After all, if we actually do have the better reasons, then we should win. And if we don’t, well, then the argument will show that, right? The better argument will prevail, and the truth will out, at least if no-one tries to cheat or starts fighting.

Unfortunately, things are not that simple. Even without resorting to fighting or dirty tricks, we can derail an argument. Worse: Even while trying to be reasonable, we can argue in a way that humiliates our partner or causes them harm. Of course, that is not what we want. And the best way of avoiding it is knowing why it happens. This talk is supposed to help with that.

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Katharina Stevens is an Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the University of Lethbridge. Her research is in Moral Argumentation Theory and in Legal Reasoning. Currently, she is working on a monograph about role-ethics of argumentation. She is the co-editor of Canada’s argumentation theory journal Informal Logic and one of the co-organizers of a monthly speaker-series on the ethics of argumentation.

In the spirit of the PUBlic Professor Series, we encourage you to prepare appetizers and pour yourself a beverage of choice. Better yet, if you are missing the catering as much as we are, you can order online with the Italian Table and pick up some of your favourite dishes! Prime Catering, the Italian Table and the Sandman Signature Lethbridge Lodge have supported our Series for many years, and as such, we are committed to supporting them during the difficult times brought on by COVID-19. As such, we have purchased several gift cards from the Italian Table. These will be randomly awarded at the end of each talk. You can even use the gift cards to buy appetizers for our next talk in October!! You must be in attendance to win. So register today and mark this date in your calendar!

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