Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Inside Arguments, Coimbra, Portugal

On Saturday, March 26, Jesse and I presented our paper "Lorenzen dialogues as logical semantics" at the International Colloquium Inside Arguments; our slides are available here. In this paper, we argue against an argumentation-theoretic understanding of dialogue games. While it may be the case that Lorenzen's original motivation for dialogical semantics came from a desire to connect intuitionistic theoremhood with real principles of dialogue, interaction, and debate, it is unclear to what extent this philosophical foundations can be carried through to the extensions of the approach to classical logic, modal logic, etc. We give three arguments against any strong connection between actual argumentative practice and dialogical semantics:
  • The lack of disagreement on the proper set of structural rules for intuitionistic logic (cf. the wildly different approaches of, e.g., Felscher and Rahman).
  • The problem, illustrated by N, of the interplays that arise in sets of independently plausible structural rules.
  • Difficulties in identifying acceptable criteria which allow us to rule out particle rules for connectives like tonk, but which do not force us to rule out, e.g., the particle rules for negation.
Unfortunately we had to leave almost immediately after our talk in order to get the train back to Lisbon, so there was not much time for discussion, but judging from the reactions of the audience during the presentation, the reaction was favorable.

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