• Weak reasoning argumentative theory. A dialogical approach for the discovery of philosophy in high schools
  • Liverani, Enrico <1979>


  • M-FIL/05 Filosofia e teoria dei linguaggi


  • In the literature on philosophical practices, despite the crucial role that argumentation plays in these activities, no specific argumentative theories have ever been proposed to assist the figure of the facilitator in conducting philosophical dialogue and to enhance student’s critical thinking skills. The dissertation starts from a cognitive perspective that challenges the classic Cartesian notion of rationality by focusing on limits and biases of human reasoning. An argumentative model (WRAT – Weak Reasoning Argumentative Theory) is then outlined in order to respond to the needs of philosophical dialogue. After justifying the claim that this learning activity, among other inductive methodologies, is the most suitable for critical thinking education, I inquired into the specific goal of ‘arguing’ within this context by means of the tools provided by Speech Act Theory: the speaker’s intention is to construct new knowledge by questioning her own and other’s beliefs. The model proposed has been theorized on this assumption, starting from which the goals, and, in turn, the related norms, have been pinpointed. In order to include all the epistemic attitudes required to accomplish the complex task of arguing in philosophical dialogue, I needed to integrate two opposed cognitive accounts, Dual Process Theory and Evolutionary Approach, that, although they provide incompatible descriptions of reasoning, can be integrated to provide a normative account of argumentation. The model, apart from offering a theoretical contribution to argumentation studies, is designed to be applied to the Italian educational system, in particular to classes in technical and professional high schools belonging to the newly created network Inventio. This initiative is one of the outcomes of the research project by the same name, which also includes an original Syllabus, research seminars, a monitoring action and publications focused on introducing philosophy, in the form of workshop activities, into technical and professional schools.


  • 2023-07-07


  • Doctoral Thesis
  • PeerReviewed


  • application/pdf



Liverani, Enrico (2023) Weak reasoning argumentative theory. A dialogical approach for the discovery of philosophy in high schools, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Philosophy, science, cognition, and semiotics (pscs) , 35 Ciclo. DOI 10.48676/unibo/amsdottorato/11015.