2021/22 PUBlic Professor series opens by examining how to argue without being cruel 

Monday, September 20, 2021

Usually, we argue when we disagree, we argue against each other. We want to show our partner we are right, and they are wrong — and we want to show them this by demonstrating we have the better reasons on our side. Is there anything wrong with doing this?

Katharina Stevens

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 win out, at least if nobody 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 yet, 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.

On Thursday, September 23, University of Lethbridge philosophy professor, Dr. Katharina Stevens, will present Arguing Without Being Cruel: What Morality Has to Say About How We Should Give Reasons. This is the first regular talk of the 2021/22 season for the Faculty of Arts & Science’s PUBlic Professor Series.

While we had hoped to return to an in-person delivery of these talks, 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 LIVE ONLINE. Attendees are asked to register for this event at pps-stevens.eventbrite.ca. Registration is required. All registrants will receive secure access information prior to the talk.

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 Logicand one of the co-organizers of a monthly speaker series on the ethics of argumentation.

Learn more, visit: ulethbridge.ca/artsci/pps-stevens

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Dr. Katharina Stevens, Department of Philosophy

Catharine Reader, Office of the Dean, Faculty of Arts & Science