Philosophy of Language and Argumentation (PHILA)

The primary goal of this group is to investigate the problems of rationality, as manifest in human uses of language and argumentation. PHILA approaches language in its semantic and pragmatic complexity, studying issues such as the nature of disagreements (value, metalinguistic, substantive/verbal disagreements), criteria for rational argumentation, strategic aspects of speech acts (especially argumentative speech acts), evaluative language, practical reasoning and decision making, forms of meaning and understanding, and social and political importance of speech acts.


While these are classical topics of philosophical importance, the group treats them as present challenges with social significance. Our aim is to better understand problems such as rational public decisions, misunderstandings, abuses of public language, polylogical (multi-party) discussions. Accordingly, the projects developed by our members have both a strong theoretical import and applied relevance, reinforced through local, national, and international collaborations. In this way, PHILA contributes to current debates in the philosophy of language, argumentation theory, speech act theory, conceptual ethics / meta-ethics, and practical philosophy.