Symposium to consider legacy of philosopher of logic

Douglas WaltonA workshop Feb. 17 and 18 will consider the contributions made by the late Douglas Walton in the fields of argumentation and informal logic.

Dr. Walton, who died in January 2020, was a Distinguished Research Fellow of the Centre for Research in Reasoning, Argumentation, and Rhetoric (CRRAR) and Assumption Chair of Argumentation Studies. A co-editor of the Critical Argumentation textbook series for Cambridge University Press, he published 50 books and more than 350 refereed papers in the area of argumentation studies.

The workshop focuses on Walton’s contributions to the Windsor journal Informal Logic and provides the first step in the development of a reader highlighting the legacy of his research.

CRRAR fellow Catherine Hundleby, lead on the project, explains that “Walton’s long and massive research career emerged in step with the development of informal logic as a distinct field of research — that is, the philosophy of argument — and the birth of Informal Logic as a journal.”

Walton’s early work and the work he continued to publish in Informal Logic focused on fallacies of argument. Because fallacies and Informal Logic remained a steady part of Walton’s research through his last work, they serve as a good entry point to his body of research, says Dr. Hundleby. This work extended into legal reasoning and artificial intelligence.

Among the presenters are four PhD students in the UWindsor interdisciplinary program in Argumentation Studies: Loris Isabettini, Philip Morais, Asma Tajuddin, and Jianfeng Wang.

The keynote speakers are David Godden from Michigan State, Fabrizio Macagno from the New University of Lisbon, and Alice Toniolo from St. Andrews. Toniolo will present virtually, as will speakers from Padua in Italy and from Sun Yat-sen and Nankai in China.

The Department of Philosophy and CRRAR will host the event in sessions on the afternoon of Feb. 17 and all day on Feb. 18, In Katzman Lounge, Vanier Hall. Find a draft schedule here.

Attendance is free, covered by a grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, but those who wish to attend must register by Friday, Feb. 10. Register here to attend.