AMoRe - An Argumentative Model of Rephrase, SNF project under the Lead Agency Scheme, 2022-2025

Type of project: SNSF (Swiss National Science Foundation) project funded under the Lead Agency scheme, in collaboration with the Laboratory of the New Ethos, Warsaw University of Technology, project n°100019E_202273, 680'666 CHF.

My role in the project: PI (principal investigator) on the Swiss side.

Abstract. This project aims to understand the multidimensional dynamics of rephrase as an argumentative device meant to influence an audience and to fulfil a variety of communicative tasks. This research goal is driven by the overarching question: How do speakers do things with rephrases?, or more specifically: How do speakers argue with rephrases? We address this problem by uncovering and exploring the dynamic patterns of rephrase on three dimensions associated with three disciplines. Contemporary philosophy of argumentation will help us identify schemes of rephrase that are analogous to argumentation schemes, along with reframing structures which are analogous to the straw man strategy. Drawing on extant accounts of reformulation and paraphrase, the pragmatic dimension of the project will establish the specificity and capture the richness of rephrase uses, encompassing locutionary manoeuvres to incorporate rephrase in dialogue, illocutionary intentions associated to rephrase, and their perlocutionary effects such as successful persuasion. Finally, insights from rhetoric provide us with a theoretical framework for capturing patterns of rephrase-sensitive rhetorical figures (such as antimetabole or anaphora) and rhetorical relations (such as elaboration or summarisation). In so doing, we will simultaneously inquire into how rephrase is linked to the three modes of persuasion: logos, ethos, and pathos.

IMAFUN - Implicit Meaning in Argumentation: Functions, Uses, Norms, SNF COST project, 2021-2023

Type of project: SNSF (Swiss National Science Foundation) COST project n°IZCOZ0_198170, 184'620 CHF.

My role in the project: PI (principal investigator).

Abstract. This project seeks to (i) map types and functions of implicit meaning in argumentative discourse, and (ii) characterise types of rhetorical effects from a pragmatic vantage point. Through experimental designs, the project will furthermore investigate (iii) how different types of implicit meaning are conducive to different types of rhetorical effects and (iv) provide insights on how implicit meaning – and its problematic uses – can affect norms of public argument.

COST Action CA-17132, European network for Argumentation and Public PoLicY analysis (APPLY) - 2018-2022

Type of project: COST Action, funded by Horizon 2020, n° OC-2017-1-22387, 500'000 €.

My role in the project: I was one of the secondary proposers of the project (main proposer, Prof. Marcin Lewińki, Universidade Nova de Lisboa) and I serve as vice-chair of the project.

Abstract. Providing and criticising reasons is indispensable to achieve sound public policy that commands the support of both citizens and stakeholders. This need is now widely acknowledged in the recent literature and key EU documents, which highlight the perils of populist discourse and policies. The European network for Argumentation and Public PoLicY analysis (APPLY) improves the way European citizens understand, evaluate and contribute to public decision-making on such matters of common concern as climate change or energy policies. Addressing this need from a multidisciplinary perspective on argumentation, the APPLY Action identifies gaps between the citizens’, policymakers’ and scholarly experts’ argumentation, and explores ways of treating them.

This occurs through coordinated research activities in three main areas: a) empirical: an argumentative analysis of EU policy documents and procedures, the media and citizens’ discourse results in an annotated pan-European database on institutional and citizens’ argumentation; b) normative: a critical study of concepts and methods to measure the quality of arguments in public policies results in a unified theoretical and methodological framework to analyse and evaluate public policy argument; c) prescriptive: the development of tools by which policymakers, citizens and various stakeholders engage in well-informed argumentative discussions. APPLY coordinates such networking activities as workshops, conferences, training schools and short-term scientific missions among European and international scholars and stakeholders. This provides insights into the understanding, evaluation and production of public policy arguments. APPLY thus benefits European policymakers and citizens, but also consolidates a currently dispersed argumentation scholarship across Europe and beyond.