Deadline extended - Call for Papers: Topoi Special Issue Adversariality in Argument

*Call for Papers*
Topoi Special Issue Adversariality in Argument

Guest Editors:
John Casey (Northeastern Illinois University)


Katharina Stevens (University of Lethbridge)

*Deadline for Submissions Extended to 1 June 2020*


 While worries about adversariality in argument date back to Plato, more recent concerns about adversariality can be found in Janice Moulton’s (1983) identification of adversarial argument as a dominant paradigm in philosophy. Since the 80’s, there has been a growing body of work on argumentation, deliberation, and disagreement that confronts the dangers, limitations, and advantages of adversarial argumentation spanning various areas of research, such as argumentation theory, feminist theory, critical thinking research, deliberative democracy, and the cognitive science of reasoning. Contributions have produced a multitude of conceptions of adversariality, and strong arguments both for and against the importance of different forms of adversariality in argument. The concern with the role of adversariality has led to the development of cooperative theories of argumentation in critical thinking research. It has motivated ideas about how adversariality could be reduced or used for its positive effects as well as arguments about the moral obligations arguers have towards their interlocutors in argumentation theory. It stands in the center of feminist criticisms of contemporary argumentative practices. It has sparked debates about the design of deliberative publics in research on deliberative democracy. And it plays an important role in the argumentative theory of reasoning in cognitive science.

The renewed interest in adversariality is important and timely. In an increasingly polarized world and faced with a public debate that is often hostile and unproductive, it is necessary to develop a robust theory of adversariality and its place in argument. Yet, authors in the debate often seem to be lacking a common understanding of what adversariality means, or in what sense it is or is not important/essential/productive. This special issue aims to bring different perspectives on adversariality in argument together and thereby both invigorate and focus an already lively debate. We therefore invite contributions that engage with adversariality in argument from any area of philosophy in the hope for a diverse and informative issue.

Possible topics include, but are not limited to: Kinds of Adversariality; Is Adversariality Essential to Argument?; The Psychology of Argumentative Adversariality; Adversariality and the Cognitive Science of Reasoning; Adversariality in Political Deliberation; Adversariality in Deliberation Design, Argument-As-War Metaphor; Can Cooperative Argument Replace the Dominant Adversarial Model?; Argumentative Adversariality and Feminist Theory; Adversariality and Justice in Argument; Adversariality and Belief; History of the Problem of Adversariality; Adversariality Across Theories of Argumentation (Informal Logic, Pragma-Dialectics, Rhetoric, etc.); Adversariality and Disagreement; Adversariality and Polarization; Adversariality and Epistemology; Adversariality and Pedagogy; Critical Thinking and Adversarial Argumentation; The Ethics of Adversariality.

Invited contributors: Scott Aikin (Vanderbilt University), Catherine Hundleby (University of Windsor) and Moira Howes (Trent University), Andrew Aberdein (Florida Institute of Technology), Sharon Bailin and Mark Battersby (Simon Fraser University)

Instructions for Submission: All papers will be double-blind peer-reviewed. Submission is organized through TOPOI’s online editorial manager:

Log in, click on “submit new manuscript” and select “Adversariality in argument” from the menu “article type”.

Please upload: 1) a manuscript prepared for double-blind peer-review and 2) a title page containing the title of the paper, name, affiliation and contact details of the author, word-count, abstract and key-words.

Papers should not exceed 8000 words (excluding notes).

If you have questions, please do not hesitate to contact: Katharina Stevens ( or John Casey (


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