Speaker Series Mar.5

Sally A. Jackson
Friday, March 5, 2021 - 15:00

Centre for Research in Reasoning, Argumentation & Rhetoric along with the PhD in Argumentation Studies at the University of Windsor invite you to a talk by

Sally A. Jackson

Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Argumentation in Health Controversies

The term controversy is commonly used to refer to sustained differences of views in which various actors see difference of opinion as an obstacle or a threat to their own goals. Controversies always involve disagreement, but to be recognizable as a controversy, the disagreement must be sustained and (more importantly) consequential for at least a subset of actors. Controversies are of particular value for development of argumentation theory. Not only do they generate many, many individual arguments, but they also progress and regress over time, creating frequent opportunities for inventive new moves. They are not, however, easy to study!

My particular focus in this talk will be health controversies. A health controversy is a sustained set of disagreements about practical choices to be made regarding human health, such as the infamous controversy over MMR vaccination and the much more recent controversy over strategies for managing the COVID-19 pandemic. Building on Aakhus and Lewiński's concept of argumentative polylogue, and on my own prior work on naturally occurring arguments, I will describe empirical methods suitable for studying argumentation within health controversies and show a sample of the interesting findings that these methods can produce.

Friday, March 5, 2021


Weekly presentations conducted via Zoom. All those interested in attending should contact crrar@uwindsor.ca.