Questions, discourse and dialogue: 20 years after Making it Explicit.

Organising Committee
  1. Rodger Kibble
  2. Paul Piwek
  3. Geri Popova
Contact Email: Date: Thursday 3rd April Website: Description:
The ability to engage in a dialogue has been trumpeted as a good indicator of general intelligent behaviour since Turing (1950). Philosophers such as Hamblin (1970), Brandom (1994) and Davidson (2001) can be said to have proposed various types of linguistic rationalism, the notion that linguistic abilities are a pre- or co-requisite for rationality. The capacity to engage in a dialogue could very well be AI-complete, i.e., employ all the skills and abilities that constitute human-level intelligence. The year 2014 marks several significant anniversaries: one of them is the 20th year since the publication of Brandom's Making it Explicit, a large, complex and difficult work in the philosophy of language which Jurgen Habermas likened to Rawls' Theory of Justice in terms of its scope and importance within its field.This symposium will be loosely organised around various themes arising from Brandom's work, or questions provoked by it, though participants will not necessarily be expected to directly engage with his original texts. Suitable subjects will include, but are not limited to:
  • Inference in dialogue
  • Commitments, norms, discourse obligations and dialogue games
  • Intentionality: can discourse and dialogue be modelled without reference to mentalistic notions of intention and belief?
  • Comparison of formalisms for discourse analysis: e.g. RST, SDRT
  • Argumentation: analysis and representation of argument structure
  • Coherence in discourse
  • Questions and answers
Contributions will be welcome from all disciplines which include discourse and dialogue in their subject matter, including computational linguistics, corpus analysis, psycholinguistics, sociolinguistics, philosophy of language, argumentation theory, legal reasoning, literary theory and so on.