Formal Models of Deliberation and Polarization

April 6, 2021 - April 7, 2021

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Ludwig Maximilians Universität, München
VU University Amsterdam

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In recent years, the public sphere seems to have 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 apparently being increasingly incapable of constructive debate and compromise. Other 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. The workshop will focus on 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 is open to all. To register and obtain zoom details, please send an email to h.w.a.duijf [at] with subject ‘Workshop Registration’.


·        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)

·        Ulrike Hahn (Birbeck University of London, United Kingdom)

·        Leah Henderson (University of Groningen, The Netherlands)

·        Dominik Klein (Utrecht University, The Netherlands)

·        Erik Olsson (Lund University, Sweden)

·        Carlo Proietti (UInstitute for Computational Linguistics, National Research Council of Italy (CNR-ILC), Italy)

·        Dunja Šešelja (Eindhoven University of Technology, The Netherlands)

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

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


Prof. Catarina Dutilh Novaes

Dr. Hein Duijf, postdoctoral researcher

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

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