Call for Registration: ‘Arrogance and Polarisation in Debate’ conference

6-7 November 2017, Cardiff University


Political opinions in many Western-style democracies show signs of increasing polarisation. This has coincided with a change of tone in debates. Seemingly arrogant behaviours like shouting, mocking, dismissing or rudely interrupting other people during discussions seem more frequent and widespread. This two-day international conference brings together philosophers, linguists and social psychologists to discuss arrogance, dogmatism and aggression in debate and to propose interventions to reduce their influence.


Confirmed Speakers:

  • Andrew Aberdein  (Philosophy, Florida Institute of Technology): “Arrogance and Deep Disagreement”
  • Leaf van Bowen (Psychology and Neuroscience, Colorado): “Psychological Barriers to Bipartisan Support for Climate Policy in the United States”
  • Robin S. Dillon (Philosophy, Lehigh University): “Arrogance, Self-Respect, and Power: A Feminist Analysis.”
  • Catarina Dutilh-Novaes (Philosophy, Groningen): “Metaphors for argumentation”
  • Emma Gordon (Philosophy, Edinburgh) and J. Adam Carter (Philosophy, Glasgow): “Is Searching the Internet Making us Intellectually Arrogant?”
  • Igor Grossmann (Psychology, Waterloo): “The Socrates Effect: Teacher’s Mindset, Wisdom, and Reasoning in a Polarized World”
  • Ulrike Hahn (Psychology, Birkbeck): “Can we get rational argument back into public debate?”
  • Chris Heffer (Linguistics, Cardiff): “Dogmatism and Bullshit: A Discourse Analytic Perspective”
  • Ian James Kidd (Philosophy, Nottingham): “Appraising Metaphors for Argumentation”
  • Greg Maio (Psychology, Bath): “Values and openness to change”
  • Constantine Sedikides  (Psychology, Southampton):  “Does a Communal Life-Orientation Really Quiet the Ego? The Case of East-Asian Culture, Christian Religion, and Mind-Body Practices”
  • Steven J Spencer (Psychology, Ohio State University): TBA
  • Alessandra Tanesini (Philosophy, Cardiff): “Vicious Attitudes”
  • Lani Watson (Philosophy, Edinburgh): “Vices of Questioning in Public Discourse”
  • Jonathan Webber (Philosophy, Cardiff) “Is Function a Fundamental Feature of Attitudes?”

The conference will be held in Cardiff on 6-7 November 2017. Details of the programme and venue can be found here: Programme: “Arrogance and Polarisation in Debate” Conference (6-7 November, Cardiff University).

Attendance is free and by registration only. To register please email us at  by 30 October 2017. Those wishing to apply for PG bursaries should register by 15 October 2017.

If you have any accessibility, dietary, religious, or other requests or requirements, please mention them in the registration email. Those wishing to make such a request should indicate this at their earliest possible convenience, and preferably no later than 15 October 2017. Organizers will do their best to meet these requests, but this will be more feasible for those made before this date. Any information entered in this section will be treated confidentially.

Limited funds are available to help cover accommodation and subsistence expenses for some post-graduate attendees. If you are a post-graduate research student and wish to apply for a bursary, please let us know in the registration email.

This conference has been organised in accordance with the BPA/SWIP-UK Good Practice Scheme.

This conference is part of the project “Changing Attitudes in Public Discourse”. See We thank the project Humility & Conviction in Public Life (University of Connecticut) for its sponsorship. Post-graduate bursaries are underwritten by the School of English, Communication and Philosophy, Cardiff University.