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Arrogance and the Space of Reasons

Arrogance and the Space of Reasons

Posted on 29 January 2018 by

  A democracy is more than a form of government; it is primarily a mode of associated living, of conjoining communicated experience. ---John Dewey   One of the truly baffling […]

Can Exposure to “Fake News” Damage Our Intellectual Character?

Can Exposure to “Fake News” Damage Our Intellectual Character?

Posted on 15 January 2018 by

There is no denying the current widespread interest in the phenomenon of “fake news”. Reflection on the quality of recent political debates has fuelled concerns about the use of inaccurate […]

How to Find Wisdom in a Divided Society

How to Find Wisdom in a Divided Society

Posted on 1 January 2018 by ,

It is not a debate that political division in the U.S., UK and many other European countries is at an all-time high. In the U.S., disagreement on the topics of […]

How Closed-Mindedness Obstructs Effective Inquiry

How Closed-Mindedness Obstructs Effective Inquiry

Posted on 18 December 2017 by

In his recent book Debriefing the President: The Interrogation of Saddam Hussein, John Nixon describes his encounters with the two main protagonists of the 2003 Iraq war. Nixon, a senior […]

What is Google Doing to Us?

What is Google Doing to Us?

Posted on 4 December 2017 by ,

By J. Adam Carter and Emma C. Gordon Suppose you wanted to know who the first pope was after St. Peter (answer: Pope Linus, born 10 AD), or what the […]

What is Closed-Mindedness?

What is Closed-Mindedness?

Posted on 20 November 2017 by

On March 7 2017, Jason Chaffetz who was then a member of the US House of Representatives (R-Utah) told a CNN anchor: “Americans have choices….rather than getting that new iPhone…they should […]

How Empathy Inhibits Trust

How Empathy Inhibits Trust

Posted on 6 November 2017 by

In my previous blog post, “How empathy promotes trust,” I argued that empathy can furnish an important source of trust in other people’s testimony (testifying simply being the act of […]

How Empathy Promotes Trust

How Empathy Promotes Trust

Posted on 23 October 2017 by

In the aftermath of the Dallas shootings on July 7, 2016, Hillary Clinton said: “We need to try as best we can to walk in one another’s shoes, to imagine what […]

Bad Questions Lead to Bad Democracy

Bad Questions Lead to Bad Democracy

Posted on 9 October 2017 by

In a previous post, I discussed the essential role that questions play in the political landscape of contemporary democracy. The ability to ask questions, and to ask good ones at […]

Good Democracy Needs Good Questions

Good Democracy Needs Good Questions

Posted on 25 September 2017 by

“If you were president, what would you do about Syria and the humanitarian crisis in Aleppo?” This question was asked to both candidates at the second U.S. presidential debate, during […]

The Ethics of Linguistic Plurality

The Ethics of Linguistic Plurality

Posted on 11 September 2017 by ,

A guest post from co-authors Matteo Bonotti (Cardiff University) and Yael Peled (McGill University) How we think about language tends to significantly influence, if not shape, how we think about […]

The Vices of Truthlessness

The Vices of Truthlessness

Posted on 28 August 2017 by

From ‘post-truth’, to ‘fake news’, to ‘alternative facts’, truthlessness is everywhere at the moment. These phenomena present us with a huge array of questions. How do we separate fact from […]

Arguing Virtuously

Arguing Virtuously

Posted on 14 August 2017 by

I recently found out that I had been collecting books by accident. Rearranging some shelves, I discovered I had several books with similar titles, all acquired at different times, and […]

Hubris as Prime Ministerial Vice

Hubris as Prime Ministerial Vice

Posted on 31 July 2017 by

When Theresa May’s snap election backfired decimating her majority, many commentators were quick to use a language of vices to describe her errors. ‘May’s astounding arrogance has now paved the […]

Arrogant Pride and Alternative Facts

Arrogant Pride and Alternative Facts

Posted on 17 July 2017 by

"Pride...is a very common failing" (Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice). What Austen calls "pride" is these days better described as arrogant pride to distinguish it from the rightful pride of […]

Rallying the troops versus quieting the indignation

Rallying the troops versus quieting the indignation

Posted on 3 July 2017 by

A new National Rifle Association (NRA) video advertisement in the United States sparked controversy this week. Critics indicated that the emotive ad barely falls short of calling for violent action […]

What we’ve got here is failure to communicate

What we’ve got here is failure to communicate

Posted on 19 June 2017 by

Debate is a social process of interactive communication. We can distinguish at least four roles associated with parties to a debate. First, there are the debaters themselves — at least […]

Collaboration versus point scoring

Collaboration versus point scoring

Posted on 5 June 2017 by

Last Monday we held the first workshop associated with the project Changing Attitudes in Public Debate. The workshop was by invitation and designed to bring together some philosophers, social psychologists […]

Reducing arrogance in debate

Reducing arrogance in debate

Posted on 19 May 2017 by

In many Western democracies, public opinion seems to have become bitterly divided over increasingly divisive topics like immigration, Brexit, and the qualities of Donald J. Trump. People whose convictions are […]

We are now open for debate

We are now open for debate

Posted on 18 May 2017 by

Welcome to 'Open for Debate', a blog associated with the project Changing Attitudes in Public Discourse. We hope to use this space to debate all aspects and forms of debate. Ultimately, […]