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Philosophy | Debate Dynamics: How Controversy Improves Our Beliefs

Debate Dynamics: How Controversy Improves Our Beliefs

Series: Synthese Library, Vol. 357

Betz, Gregor

2013, X, 258 p.

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  • Uses a highly innovative and original research method: multi-agent simulation of controversial debate
  • Addresses both the practical and theoretical implications of truth- and consensus-conduciveness of controversial argumentation
  • Is accessible to a wide audience, including scholars with no background in philosophy
  • Relates to striving fields in philosophy, i.e. judgement aggregation, social epistemology, simulation of opinion dynamics
Is critical argumentation an effective way to overcome disagreement? And does the exchange of arguments bring opponents in a controversy closer to the truth? This study provides a new perspective on these pivotal questions. By means of multi-agent simulations, it investigates the truth- and consensus-conduciveness of controversial debates.

The book brings together research in formal epistemology and argumentation theory. Besides its consequences for discursive practice, the work may have important implications for philosophy of science and the way we construe scientific rationality, as well.

Content Level » Research

Keywords » Argumentation Debate - Consensus Debate - Controversy Debate - Simulation Debate - Truth Debate

Related subjects » Artificial Intelligence - Epistemology & Philosophy of Science - Logic & Philosophy of Language - Philosophy

Table of contents 

1. General Introduction.- 2. Theory of Dialectical Structures.- Part I: Why Do We Agree? On the Consensus-conduciveness of Controversial Argumentation.- 3. Introduction to Part I.- 4. Random Debates.- 5. Background Knowledge.- 6. Four Argumentation Strategies.- 7. Argumentation Strategies in Many-proponent Debates.- 8. Core Updating.- 9. Core Argumentation.- Part II: How Do We Know? On the Truth-conduciveness of Controversial Argumentation.- 10. Introduction to Part II.- 11. Random Debates.- 12. Background Knowledge.- 13. Four Argumentation Strategies.- 14. Argumentation Strategies in Many-proponent Debates.- 15. Core Updating.- 16. Core Argumentation.- Symbols.- References.- Index.

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