The University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7NZ, T +44 (0)1227 764000
'Argument day' at Canterbury campus
Is God a delusion? Is lying always wrong; violence ever justifiable? Could you ever know if the universe had doubled in size overnight? And should arguments always be reasonable?
These are just some of the arguments likely to take place at an informal event on the University's Canterbury campus during Open Day on Saturday 4 October.
The event, which has been organised by Laurence Goldstein, Professor of Philosophy at the University's School of European Culture and Languages, is titled 'For the Sake of Argument' and is free and open to all. Arguments will begin at 10.30, 12.00 and 2.30pm. Details of the location of each argument will be available on 4 October from the Open Day Welcome Desk in the University Sports Centre entrance, the Admissions stand in the Sports Hall, the Philosophy Department's stand in the Sports Hall and the Information Desk in the Gulbenkian Theatre entrance.
No expertise is required of participants and people are free to join or leave an argument (or just listen) whenever they wish. There is no limit to the number of people who can participate in the arguments at any one time and anyone, from novices to Philosophy students to members of staff, is welcome to join in.
Professor Goldstein said: 'Arguing is an intrinsically enjoyable activity, and sometimes a view may be put forward that is so subtle and persuasive that it can be savoured like a work of art or a piece of music. Arguing is also the best way to develop argumentative skill. This involves the ability to devise good reasons, to express oneself clearly and rigorously, to understand an opponent's position and either refute it or abandon or modify one's own position in response.'
Professor Goldstein added that argumentative skill is useful for politicians, journalists and business people - in fact for anyone who wants to rationally persuade others.
'Some of the subjects we argue about are hugely important, and remain controversial even when opponents agree on all the evidence,' he said. 'We want to know the answers and the best way of getting close is through argument.'
Story published at 10:50am 3 October 2008