Paula Olmos, 19 February 2018, 16h

February 19, 2018

ArgLab Research Colloquium

Av. de Berna 26, I&D Building,


Narratives in Scientific Justificatory Practice

Paula Olmos, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Spain


The idea of exploring and analyzing narrative modes of arguing has been mainly associated to an interest in practical argumentation in the realm of human action; a tradition that can be traced back to Aristotle’s comments on the use of paradeigmata in deliberative discourse and is fairly consistent with most grounded ideas in narrative studies. However, the use of narrative reasons may also be seen in the kind of epistemic, theoretical contexts of academic and scientific debate.

In this paper I explore and criticize some common connections typically established among classification criteria used to talk about different argumentative practices in order to support that –even if they prove to be rather orientating and informative– they should not be understood in a too exclusive (least of all conceptually constitutive) way. I claim, in particular, that the distinctions recognized between a) the public vs. the technical sphere of argument or discourse, b) the use of practical vs. theoretical arguments and c) the presence of narrative vs. discrete reasons, are all mutually independent and that, therefore, all combinations thereof (that amount to eight) are feasible, more common than expected and might be fruitfully explored.

In fact, we can notice a more or less recent philosophical interest in questions like: 1) the presence of practical argument (and rationality) in the technical sphere (particularly in the sciences); 2) the exploration of the limits and contribution of technical and theoretical argument and discourse to public sphere issues, or 3) the presence of narrative reasons (as justificatory means) in the technical (specially scientific) sphere of argument.

Regarding this last issue, philosophers of science have been in the last decades working on some closely related topics, as the use of narrative patterns of explanation in certain disciplines, on the one hand, or on the narrative conception of experimental practice and evidence, on the other. But their insights have not fully benefitted from the exploration of argument as a reason-giving form of communication advocated by argumentation studies.

Back to previous page


All Events

Dina Mendonça 8 July, 2020

Lisbon Mind & Reasoning RIP Seminar | Why the Situated…

July 08, 2020

Dave Ward, 12 June 2020, 11h

ArgLab Research Colloquium | Friendly Sensorimotor Generalists

June 12, 2020

Gloria Andrada (w/Robert Clowes), 3 June, 2020, 15.00h to 16.00h

Lisbon Mind & Reasoning RIP Seminar | Transparency in Extended…

June 02, 2020

Alice Crary, 8 May 2020, 11h

ArgLab Research Colloquium | Dehumanization and the Question of Animals

May 08, 2020

Alan Cienki, 17 April 2020, 11h

ArgLab Research Colloquium | Pragmatic functions of gesture on different…

April 17, 2020

Catarina Dutilh Novaes, 13 March 2020, 11h

ArgLab Research Colloquium | The role of trust in argumentation

March 13, 2020

Two-day Masterclass on Wittgenstein’s Epistemology of Religion

ERB Masterclass 2020

February 26, 2020

Fabrizia Garavaglia, 19 February, 2020, 12.00h to 13.00h

Lisbon Mind & Reasoning RIP Seminar | A situated approach…

February 19, 2020

Florian Franken Figueiredo, 14 Feb 2020, 11h

ArgLab Research Colloquium | Philosophy for Children and the Socratic…

February 14, 2020

Abraham Sapién, 22 January, 2020, 12.00h to 13.00

Lisbon Mind & Reasoning RIP Seminar | The Structure of…

January 22, 2020

DISARGUE Workshop 19-20 Dec 2019


December 19, 2019

Hili Razinsky, 11 December, 2019, 12.00h to 13.00h

Lisbon Mind & Reasoning RIP Seminar | Interpersonal communication and…

December 11, 2019

Herman Cappelen, 6 December 2019, 11h

ArgLab Research Colloquium | Conceptual Engineering: Under our Control?

December 06, 2019

Dima Mohammed, 15 Nov 2019, 11h

ArgLab Research Colloquium | "Discursive depoliticisation: From argumentation to explanation"

November 15, 2019

Rob Vinten, 6 Nov, 2019, 12.00h to 13.00h

Lisbon Mind & Reasoning RIP Seminar | Wittgenstein, Buddhism, and…

November 06, 2019

Vito Evola, 11 October 2019, 11h

ArgLab Research Colloquium | "More than words: Worldmaking and stancetaking…

October 11, 2019


Faculdade de Direito Universidade Nova de Lisboa