Arguing Religion: Disagreement, Recognition, and the Reach of Argumentative Debate

Datum: Dienstag, 06 Juni 2017 - Donnerstag, 08 Juni 2017
Ort: Via S. Croce 77, 38122 Trento (Italy), Aula grande
Veranstalter: Fondazione Bruno Kessler, Center for Religious Studies, Humboldt University Berlin, University of Freiburg
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The aim of this conference is to explore the goals and prospects of argumentative debate in responding to religious disagreement (RD), and to shed light on the intersections between current philosophical debates in the epistemology of RD and contemporary theories of recognition and toleration.

Intuitively, RD may be expected to occur in three different settings: between believers of the same faith (intra-faith disagreement); between believers of distinct faiths (cross-faith disagreement); between believers and non-believers (atheists, agnostics or persons who simply do not care about religion). Often, convergence of judgment is identified as the intrinsic goal of argumentative debate. Can this convergence conception of the goals of public argumentation be usefully applied to the case of arguing religion? If not so, are there promising alternatives? What roles do recognition and toleration play in responding to RD?

The conference will approach these and the following questions from the perspectives of epistemology, argumentation theory, and theories of recognition:

  • What is a religious disagreement, and what kinds of religious disagreement are there?
  • To what extent can and should religious disagreements be thought of as epistemic disagreements?
  • What are the theoretical alternatives to a cognitivist construal of religious disagreement?
  • Can (some) religious disagreements be fruitfully thought of as faultless, i.e., as cases in which, for some proposition p, A believes that p (or something that entails p), B believes that not-p (or something that entails not-p), and neither A nor B is at fault (holds a false belief)?
  • What is the epistemic significance of “peer disagreement” in the case of religious argumentation?
  • How is the goal of arguing religion best to be understood? Is it to rationally convince the other, or rather to persuade or to convert her? Or something else altogether?

Speakers and discussants: Daniele Bertini (Rome), Akeel Bilgrami (New York), Paolo Costa (Trento), Katherine Dormandy (Innsbruck), Fiona Ellis (London), Richard Feldman (Rochester), Rachel Jonker (Notre Dame), Geert Keil (Berlin), Winfried Löffler (Innsbruck), Joonas Pennanen (Tampere), Sami Pihlström (Helsinki), John Pittard (New Haven), Ralf Poscher (Freiburg), Boris Rähme (Trento), Christoph Schamberger (Berlin), Marco Ventura (Trento)

Scientific Committee: Dr. Boris Rähme (Fondazione Bruno Kessler), Dr. Paolo Costa (Fondazione Bruno Kessler), Prof. Dr. Geert Keil (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin), Prof. Dr. Ralf Poscher (Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg).


Important Dates

Early registration March 20th, 2017- May 18th, 2017

Late registration May 19th, 2017 - May 31st, 2017

On-site registration June 6th, 2017 - June 8th, 2017