ECA Fribourg 2017

2nd European Conference on Argumentation: Argumentation and Inference
20-23 June 2017, Fribourg, Switzerland

Special Theme: Argumentation and inference

In addition to welcoming submissions linked to argumentation studies in general, each ECA edition has a special theme. While the 1st edition of ECA was devoted to exploring the relationship between argumentation and the decisions that follow from it, the 2017 Fribourg edition will focus on the cognitive processes involved in argumentation, with a clear focus on what happens ‘upstream’ in the argumentative chain, both in production and reception. The 2nd edition of ECA will thus focus on inference as one of the key features of the argumentative process.

The field of argumentation has been expanding over the last decade with a clear opening towards cognitive psychology (and cognitive science more generally) and the processes it accounts for. With the development of cognitive science as an encompassing framework within which both psychological and social aspects of human behaviour can be accounted for, we believe that the time is ripe to ground a discussion in the community of argumentation studies around the notion of inference, along its formal, social and cognitive dimensions. The overarching questions the conference theme will be concerned with are therefore the following: How does the study of argumentation connect with the notion of inference and how, as a discipline, does it connect with the disciplines involved in the study of the cognitive features of inference? Granting, of course, that we take argumentation to be the verbal and social manifestation of inferential processes, we are seeking contributions focusing on the ins and outs of (i) how reasoning, but more generally inference, influences and constrains argument production and (ii) which (and how) inferential processes are involved in argument reception, thus covering cognitive tasks such as understanding and accepting.

To foster this discussion, the conference accordingly seeks to attract scholars in argumentation coming from a range of different traditions, including (but not limited to) philosophy, psychology, linguistics, informal logic, speech communication, pragma-dialectics, epistemic approaches, rhetoric, dialectics, logic, and computational approaches.


    Birkbeck, University of London, UK
    University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA
    University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands
    University College London, UK & University of Oslo, Norway

 More on our  Keynote Speakers


The lines of inquiry promoted for ECA 2017 in Fribourg are the following, but this indicative list is neither exhaustive nor limitative:

  • inferential processes geared towards the production of arguments
  • typology of inferences involved in argumentation
  • topoi and argument schemes
  • qualifiers
  • links between types of inference and types of arguments
  • comprehension and acceptance, understanding and believing
  • fallacies and cognitive biases in relation to argumentation
  • formal models of inference
  • computational models of inference
  • automatic recognition of argumentative inferences in texts
  • the relationship between norms and inference
  • social cognition and argumentation
  • cognitive states as motivations to argue
  • pedagogy and inference in teaching critical thinking
  • rhetorical strategies, inference and persuasion
  • political argumentation
  • stylistic effects, figures of speech and the inferential processes they trigger
  • inference in argumentative decision-making, quality of deliberation
  • development of inferential and argumentative capacities in children
  • reflective and intuitive inference in argumentative contexts
  • relationships between culture (and social context) and inference in argumentative contexts

Submissions from students and young scholars are encouraged. To this end, ECA has established the Frans van Eemeren Prize for Outstanding Student Paper sponsored by Springer. The winning paper will be awarded a 500 € (around 575 US$) cash prize and additional 300 € (around 345 US$) in books from Springer’s catalogue. 


Prior to the ECA conference, a summer school for PhD students in argumentation will take place at the Università della Svizzera Italiana in Lugano, from 16 to 19 June. More information is available on the dedicated page.


The Programme Committee invites the following types of original submissions: (i) long paper, (ii) regular paper and (iii) thematic panel/symposium (including book panels), (iv) poster

  View the Final Call for Papers

  View More on Abstract Submission


  View  The Conference Committees

  View  Practicalities