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REASON Winter School 2019 Keynotes

We are very happy to announce the four keynotes at the REASON Winter School 2019: 

  • Judith Harackiewicz (University of Wisconsin-Madison): Connecting research and practice in social psychology – From the laboratory to motivation interventions in education (details)
  • Stephan Hartmann (MCMP/LMU Munich): Reasoning and Argumentation in Science: A Perspective from (Mathematical) Philosophy (details)
  • Sibel Erduran (University of Oxford): Your thesis as an argument: How are you justifying your claims? (details)
  • Douglas Walton (University of Windsor): A Survey of Leading Argumentation Methods for Argument Evaluation and Argument Invention (details)

Judith Harackiewicz_4Connecting research and practice in social psychology – From the laboratory to motivation interventions in education

Judith Harackiewicz (University of Wisconsin-Madison) 

It is essential that students perceive value in their academic work. I will discuss longitudinal studies that document the importance of perceived value for interest and performance in high school and college courses, as well as experimental laboratory studies that show the potential for promoting utility value and interest in students. This basic research provides the basis for three recent lines of intervention research, in which we took these laboratory findings to practice.
In one, we tested the potential of utility value interventions to promote interest and performance for high school students in science classes and for college students in an introductory psychology class. In a second line of research, we examined the role of parents in communicating utility value to their teens, and tested an intervention intended to encourage parental communication with teens about utility value. In a third, we tested the potential of utility-value interventions to close achievement gaps in a gateway college science class. Theoretically, this research contributes to our understanding of value transmission and interest development, and practically, this research suggests that teachers and parents can make important contributions to students’ academic performance by focusing on utility value.

Short Bio: Dr. Harackiewicz is a leading researcher in the study of motivation, working at the interface of social and educational psychology. She is a former editor of major journals in social and personality psychology, and her work has been published in top tier journals. She has received funding from NSF and NIH to conduct theory-based intervention research in educational contexts. Her expertise includes extensive experience with intervention research, working in family contexts, high school science classes, and college courses in psychology, chemistry and biology in both community college and university contexts. She employs randomized control trial methods to test the impact of utility value in motivating students to participate in science in general (in high school), and to perform better in biology and psychology classes, and in their college classes more generally. Her brief utility-value intervention with parents – intended to help them see the importance of math and science for their teen and encourage them to talk to their teen about science -- resulted in their teens taking on average, an additional semester of math or science in the last two years of high school. This research was awarded the SPSP 2013 Cialdini award “for the publication that best explicates social psychological phenomena through the use of field research methods and thereby demonstrates the relevance of the discipline to communities outside of academic social psychology.”

hartmann_stephan_m1Reasoning and Argumentation in Science: A Perspective from (Mathematical) Philosophy

Stephan Hartmann (MCMP/LMU Munich)

Reasoning and argumentation play an important role in the practice of science. In this talk, I will identify a number of new types of reasoning and argumentation (such as the No Alternatives Argument) that are used in science and show how they can be assessed in a normative framework. This will help us to better understand which types or reasoning and argumentation are successful, and which need to be improved or discarded. As scientific reasoning and argumentation crucially involve uncertainties, a Bayesian (or probabilistic) approach suggests itself. This approach is currently very popular in the field of mathematical philosophy. I will present the Bayesian framework and focus on its normative foundations and applications to the psychology of reasoning.

Short Bio: Stephan Hartmann is Professor of Philosophy of Science in the Faculty of Philosophy, Philosophy of Science and the Study of Religion at LMU Munich, Alexander von Humboldt Professor, and Co-Director of the Munich Center for Mathematical Philosophy (MCMP). His primary research and teaching areas are philosophy of science, philosophy of physics, formal epistemology, and social epistemology. He published numerous articles and the book Bayesian Epistemology (with Luc Bovens) that appeared in 2003 with Oxford University Press. His current research interests include the philosophy and psychology of reasoning and argumentation, the philosophy of physics (esp. the philosophy of open quantum systems and (imprecise) probabilities in quantum mechanics) and formal social epistemology (esp. models of deliberation and norm emergence). His book Bayesian Philosophy of Science (with Jan Sprenger) will appear in 2019 with Oxford University Press. For more information, visit his webpage

UL Prof Sibel Erduran 65 copy 2Your thesis as an argument: How are you justifying your claims?

Sibel Erduran (University of Oxford)

A doctoral thesis is based on a long journey of learning about the research process. Like Charles Darwin who famously referred to his book The Origin of Species as “one long argument”, your dissertation will be based on an argument. From the formulation of the research problem to the development of research questions, analytical tools and evaluation of results, effective use of arguments is critical in thesis development. How do you justify the study of the problem? What claims are you making about what is lacking in the literature so that you are justified in studying the particular aspect? What data do you select to use and why? What reasons do you have for preferring one analytical approach instead of another? Such questions demand that you engage in evidence-based reasoning or argumentation, and that you present your work in a way that convinces the readers of your thesis that you are relying on evidence and reason. In this talk, I will review some ideas about argument drawing on research findings that illustrate effective engagement. I will draw on some strategies that might facilitate the use of argument in your own work.

Short Bio: Sibel Erduran is a Professor of Science Education at University of Oxford and a Fellow of St Cross College. Prior to her move to Oxford, she served as the Director of EPI-STEM, National Centre for STEM Education based at University of Limerick, Ireland. She has held Visiting Professorships at National Taiwan Normal University, Taiwan, Kristianstad University, Sweden, and Bogazici University, Turkey. She is an Editor for International Journal of Science Education, Section Editor for Science Education and serves on the Executive Board of European Science Education Research Association. Her work experience also includes positions at University of Pittsburgh, USA, King’s College London and University of Bristol. Her higher education was completed in the USA at Vanderbilt (PhD, Science Education & Philosophy), Cornell (MSc, Food Chemistry) and Northwestern (BA, Biochemistry) Universities. She has worked as a chemistry teacher in a high school in northern Cyprus. Her research interests focus on the infusion of epistemic practices of science in science education including professional development of science teachers. Her work on argumentation has received international recognition through awards from NARST and EASE, and attracted funding from a range of agencies including the European Union, Nuffield Foundation, Gatsby Foundation and Science Foundation Ireland. She is currently managing a project funded by the Wellcome Trust on assessment of practical science and she has an upcoming edited book on argumentation in chemistry education to be published by Royal Society of Chemistry.

DougJurixA Survey of Leading Argumentation Methods for Argument Evaluation and Argument Invention

Douglas Walton (University of Windsor)

Argumentation is a set of context-sensitive practical methods used to help a user identify, analyze and evaluate arguments, especially common ones of the kind often found in everyday discourse. In the past it was the prevalent assumption that the deductive model of valid inference was the cornerstone of rational thinking. There has now been a paradigm shift to highly knowledge-dependent models of reasoning under conditions of uncertainty where a conclusion is drawn on a basis of tentative acceptance on a balance of considerations. Argumentation can be described as (1) a means of arriving a reasoned decision to accept or reject a claim that is open to doubt or disputation by weighing the pro arguments against the con arguments, (2) a means to build evidence-based knowledge that is provisional and fallible, (3) a means for inventing new arguments to support or attack a designated claim, and (4) an interdisciplinary subject that so far most notably includes subjects such as informal logic, speech communication, artificial intelligence, multi-agent systems, legal argumentation, computational linguistics, education, formal logic and argumentation in medical communication.

This presentation surveys argumentation tools that can be applied to common kinds of tasks encountered in solving argumentation problems. The following tools are included: argumentation schemes, including the scheme for inference to the best explanation, argument diagrams, a profile of dialogue tool for repairing informal fallacies, and use of formal and computational argumentation models for automated argument invention and for explanation. A brief survey on how these tools can be applied to some specific fields is included. It is shown how scientific argumentation can be modeled as evidence-based using the Carneades Argumentation System.

Short Bio: Douglas Walton (Ph.D. University of Toronto, 1972) is Distinguished Research Fellow of CRRAR (Centre for Research in Reasoning, Argumentation and Rhetoric) at the University of Windsor. He has been Visiting Professor at Northwestern University, University of Arizona, and University of Lugano (Switzerland). He is co-editor of the Critical Argumentation textbook series for Cambridge University Press. In 2011 he was Fernand Braudel Research Fellow of the European University Institute in Florence, where he collaborated on research in legal argumentation with Prof. Giovanni Sartor of the EUI and the Faculty of Law at the University of Bologna. In 2010 he was appointed to the Editorial Board of the journal Artificial Intelligence and Law. In 2009 he was given the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences Dean’s Special Recognition Award of the University of Windsor, in recognition of excellence in research, scholarship and creative activity. In the area of argumentation studies he has published 51 books, as well as 350+ refereed papers. His published books and papers have had over 20,000 citations according to Google Scholar. His two most recent books are: Goal-Based Reasoning for Argumentation, Cambridge University Press (2015), and Argument Evaluation and Evidence, Springer (2016).