Debate Dynamics: How Controversy Improves Our Beliefs by Gregor Betz

By Gregor Betz

Is serious argumentation a good way to beat war of words? And does the trade of arguments carry competitors in an argument in the direction of the reality? This learn offers a brand new point of view on those pivotal questions. via multi-agent simulations, it investigates the reality and consensus-conduciveness of arguable debates. The ebook brings jointly examine in formal epistemology and argumentation concept. other than its effects for discursive perform, the paintings could have vital implications for philosophy of technological know-how and how we construe medical rationality as well.

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Plotting the entire space of coherent positions for sufficiently large debates, however, is illusory. The number of vertices grows exponentially when increasing the pool of sentences; soon, individual edges can hardly be identified. A convenient remedy is to plot but a lower dimensional section of the entire space of coherent positions, or, in other words, to plot the space of coherent partial positions declared on a strict subset of S. Nonidentical complete positions may collapse onto one and the same partial position when being projected on a lower dimensional subspace (different complete positions may extend one and the same partial position).

He represents several relations which may hold between these propositions. Pivotally, his model maps explanatory relations between tuples of hypotheses on the one side and observational statements on the other side. Thagard specifies seven general principles which allow one to translate the explanatory links between propositions into a symmetrical relation that indicates how strongly two individual propositions cohere. A connectionist computer program is then used to determine which hypothesis coheres best with the given observational evidence.

Hegselmann and Krause (2002) simulate the ensuing opinion dynamics and show, for example, that the size of the confidence interval (ε ) crucially affects whether the agents settle on a consensus position or not. Extending the basic model, Hegselmann and Krause (2006) stipulate that some real number is the correct opinion and assume that a few agents possess the ability to track the truth: The beliefs of truth trackers are both affected by the peers within the corresponding confidence interval and attracted by the truth.

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