The best part of receiving the distinguished research award from the International Society for the Study of Argumentation is knowing it will ultimately benefit his students, says philosophy professor Christopher Tindale.
Dr. Tindale received the award July 7 at the society’s conference in Leiden, Netherlands.
“Recognition like this helps show our students that they chose the right school, the right program, the right supervisor,” he says. “Maybe it lends a little more weight to a recommendation letter I write.”
The conference is held every four years; Tindale’s award was actually for 2020. “It was a bit anti-climactic,” he acknowledges.
Still, he notes, it’s gratifying to see his area of specialty — rhetorical rather than logical or dialectical argumentation — win acclaim.
“I look at the notion of the audience, how discourse is developed, how you close the distance between different groups,” he says. “Many colleagues tend to focus on persuasion, whereas I focus more on furthering understanding.”
The awards committee cited his publications as not only original and innovative, but the result of solid scholarship.
“Based on these contributions, Tindale is currently worldwide considered as one of the most prominent scholars in the field,” it wrote. “The way in which Tindale combines a strong historical interest with a systematic theoretical approach has resulted in new insights that have inspired others in the field to follow in his footsteps and to seek his collaboration.”
It further praised his leadership as director of the Centre for Research in Reasoning, Argumentation and Rhetoric and editor of the journal Informal Logic. Both of those institutions, as well as the conferences of the Ontario Society for the Study of Argumentation, are based at the University of Windsor.
“You’ll see scholars here from across the world,” Tindale says. “The place to connect is Windsor.”
He points out that his is the fourth award in its 33 years to honour a scholar associated with the University of Windsor — more than any other university. Previous winners include Doug Walton, Ralph Johnson, and Tony Blair.
Professors emeritus Blair and Hans Hansen joined Tindale on the Windsor delegation in Leiden, along with doctoral students Daniel Mejia Saldarruaga, Hareim Hassan, Jianfeng Wang, and Ronnie Haidar, and master’s student Nick Kinnish.
“Our students really stood out as young scholars who know what they’re talking about,” Tindale says.