CANCELLED: Formal Models of Deliberation and Polarization

April 2, 2020 - April 3, 2020
VU Amsterdam

De Boelelaan 1105

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VU University Amsterdam
VU University Amsterdam

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In recent years, the public sphere has become increasingly polarized. The political climate in the US and European countries like the UK grows ever more polarized and extremist, with parties from opposite sides of the spectrum being increasingly incapable of constructive debate and compromise. More scientifically-oriented cases of polarization include public opinions on climate change and vaccination. Social media is thought to play an important role in accelerating the polarization of our society, by creating epistemic bubbles where people are only confronted with information that is in line with their beliefs.

These examples shed some doubt on whether deliberation brings about epistemic benefits such as consensus or correctness. This leads to the idea that deliberation should be qualified or abandoned. There is a growing literature that addresses these issues using formal models of deliberation (Betz, 2013; Hegselmann & Krause, 2002; Olsson, 2013; Zollman, 2007). During the workshop, we would like to investigate and discuss models of argumentation and deliberation that can help identify the conditions under which deliberation does yield epistemic benefits, and those under which it fails to do so.

The workshop will take place at VU Amsterdam, The Netherlands. The exact location and details about the program will be announced soon.


·        Gregor Betz (Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany)

·        Hein Duijf (VU Amsterdam, The Netherlands)

·        Catarina Dutilh Novaes (VU Amsterdam, The Netherlands)

·        Davide Grossi (University of Groningen, The Netherlands)

·        Erik Olsson (Lund University, Sweden)

·        Carlo Proietti (University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands)

·        Dunja Šešelja (Technical University Eindhoven, The Netherlands)

·        Emily Sullivan (Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands)

·        Alice Toniolo (University of St. Andrews, United Kingdom)


Prof. Catarina Dutilh Novaes

Dr. Hein Duijf, postdoctoral researcher

If you have any questions, please contact us at: sea [dot] vu [dot] erc [at] gmail [dot] com, with the subject line “Workshop question”.

This workshop is part of the ERC-project “the Social Epistemology of Argumentation” led by Prof. Catarina Dutilh Novaes at the VU Amsterdam.

It may be of interest to highlight that there will be another workshop on a similar topic at the University of Amsterdam on 30 March – 1 April, organised by Carlo Proietti and Prof. Sonja Smets.

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