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7th ArgDiaP

The Seventh ArgDiaP Conference:
„Cognition and Argument: An Insight into Real-Life Practice”

18 June 2011

Warsaw, Wóycickiego 1/3, room 321 (Auditorium Maximum), CSWU

The seventh ArgDiaP addresses the topic of argument in the context of cognition. Argument constitutes one of the most important parts of this process. Cognition becomes argumentative when the reasoner faces a disagreement. The opposition requires considering arguments pro- and con- the conflicting opinion. But what should we do when the disagreement between parties is so deep that it seems unresolvable? Another fascinating issue in argumentation theory is the language of argument. It became clear that natural discourse operates with highly ambiguous, vague, enthymematic language, but can an argument be expressed in visual language?
During the last few years, the methodology of research on cognition and language has moved from armchair philosophy to practical experimentation. The ArgDiaP afternoon session will be dedicated to this methodological shift. Unfortunately, in argumentation theory this method is still quite rare. Argumentation theory cannot be only an armchair philosophy if it aims to be close to natural discourse, if it wants to teach how to analyse real-life arguments. We will investigate the opportunities to develop such a methodological shift in research on argumentation. More details you can find in the abstracts of talks (below).
 
The 7th ArgDiaP Conference is organized by the Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński University in Warsaw and the PhD Students Assiciation at CSWU. The meeting will be hosted by Dr. Katarzyna Budzyńska (contact: k.budzynska (at) uksw.edu.pl).

Programme:

10.45 – 11.00 Coffee and Introductions.

Chair: Chris Reed
11.00 –  12.00 Leo Groarke (UoW) Images and Argument: Theories of Visual Argument
12.00 – 12.15 coffee
12.15 – 13.00 Steven Patterson (MC) The Usefulness of Deep Disagreement
13.00 – 14.30 lunch

Chair: Magdalena Kacprzak  
14.30 – 15.15 Justyna Grudzińska (WU) & Julien Musolino (RU) Cumulative readings: an experimental approach
15.15 – 16.00 Lucas Champollion (UoT) Unifying aspect, measurement, distributivity and cumulativity
16.00 – 16.15 coffee
16.15 – 16.45 Jakub Szymanik (UoG) Logic and Cognition



Abstracts

Leo Groarke, Images and Argument: Theories of Visual Argument.
Fifteen years ago, I defended an account of "visual argument": the notion that arguments (in the traditional premise and conclusion sense) can be conveyed in images instead of words.  My own views -- and those of other commentators (among them, Blair, Birdsell, and Roque) -- have provoked much discussion and debate.  In my keynote, I will examine some of the central issues that have been identified in this discussion.  They include questions about:

  • the meaning of images in argument;
  • the (propositional?) nature of arguments and images;
  • the claim that images cannot negate;
  • the relationship between images and words in "multi-modal" (and verbal and visual) argument;
  • the significance of image genres -- from graphs and illustrations to cartoons, films, and tattoos, etc.;
  • the emotive force of images; and
  • the implications that visual arguments have for the theory of argument.

I argue that a fully developed account of visual argument has a great deal to contribute to traditional accounts of argument.

Steven Patterson, The Usefulness of Deep Disagreement.
In this paper I begin by examining Fogelin's account of deep disagreement and show that this account is so deeply flawed as to cast doubt on the possibility that such deep disagreements actually happen. Nevertheless, I contend that the notion of deep disagreement itself is a useful theoretical foil for thinking about argumentation. The second part of this paper makes this case by showing how thinking about deep disagreements from the perspective of rhetoric, Walton-style argumentation theory, computation, and normative pragmatics can all yield insights that are useful no matter what one's orientation within the study of argument. Thus, I conclude that deep disagreement--even if it were to turn out that there are no real-world occurrences of it to which we can point--is theoretically useful for theorists of argumentation.  In this wise, deep disagreement poses a theoretical challenge for argumentation theory not unlike that posed by radical skepticism for traditional epistemology. 

Justyna Grudzińska & Julien Musolino, Cumulative readings: an experimental approach.
In the presentation, I will give an overview of the controversies surrounding the semantics for sentences involving two numerical quantifiers (Three boys are holding two balloons) and talk about the experimental work by Dr. Musolino and his team related to those controversies. The main focus of the presentation will be on cumulative readings and the question raised in the literature whether cumulative readings should be distinguished from other readings in the grammar. Roberts (1987), Link (1998) and Schwertel (2005) argue that we do not need to complicate the grammar with cumulative readings, because we can regard them as instances of group-group readings (the group/group view). The grammar only generates the group-group reading and the context sometimes (but not always) creates the cumulative effect. Landman (2000), on the other hand, claims that cumulative readings are real and should not be reduced to group-group readings. In my presentation, I will talk about our experimental work designed to help resolve this controversy.

Lucas Champollion, Unifying aspect, measurement, distributivity and cumulativity
Why can I tell you that I 'ran for five minutes' but not that I 'ran to the store for five minutes'? Why can you say that there are 'five pounds of books' in this package if it contains several books, but not five pounds of book' if it contains only one? What keeps you from sing 'sixty degrees of water' to tell me the temperature of the water in your pool when you can use 'sixty inches of water' to tell me its eight? And why can I not say 'all the safari participants saw thirty zebras' if I want to report that each safari participant saw some zebras and that thirty zebras were seen overall?
This talk answers the questions above within the framework of mereological formal semantics. While formal semanticists tend to view these questions as exemplifying diverse research categories within their field, namely aspect, distributivity, cumulativity and measurement, I will instead develop a unified perspective on these domains, and use this perspective to formulate a single answer to all of the questions above. In doing so I will also link to Justyna Grudzinska's talk on cumulativity. Finally, time permitting I will offer some thoughts on the style of argumentation used in theoretical linguistic research such as the present one, and relate it to argumentation theory more generally.
Optional background reading (I won't presuppose this in the talk itself):
M. Krifka. The origins of telicity. In S. Rothstein, editor, Events and grammar, pages 197–235. Kluwer, Dordrecht, Netherlands, 1998.
R. Schwarzschild. The role of dimensions in the syntax of noun phrases . Syntax, 9(1):67–110, 2006.

Jakub Szymanik, Logic and Cognition
I will survey my recent work on the intersection of logic and cognitive science. I will mostly talk about two research project I have been involved in: computational semantics for generalized quantifiers in natural language and logical models for higher order social cognition. I will also discuss how logical studies can improve our understanding of cognition by proposing new methodological perspectives in psychology. The major focus will be computational complexity and its interplay with "difficulty" as experienced by subjects in cognitive science.

 

Organizing and Programme Committee

 

Admission is free, however, for organizational purposes please register your intention to attend by sending an email to Dr. Katarzyna Budzyńska: k.budzynska (at) uksw.edu.pl