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Title: Against “Both Sides” Argumentation: Resisting Dehumanization in Intellectual Community
Authors: Vea, Tanner
Curnow, Joe
Uttamchandani, Suraj
Scipio, Déana
Keywords: Learning Sciences
Issue Date: 2023
Publisher: International Society of the Learning Sciences
Citation: Vea, T., Curnow, J., Uttamchandani, S., & Scipio, D. (2023). Against “both sides” argumentation: Resisting dehumanization in intellectual community. In Blikstein, P., Van Aalst, J., Kizito, R., & Brennan, K. (Eds.), Proceedings of the 17th International Conference of the Learning Sciences - ICLS 2023 (pp. 934-937). International Society of the Learning Sciences.
Abstract: In this paper, we respond to an argument that has circulated in the learning sciences in recent years, that it is necessarily advantageous for learners and learning scientists to engage with “both sides” of a debate. While engaging in argument and civic dialogue can be advantageous for learning, its limits must be carefully examined. Drawing on studies of fascism, ideology, and learning toward equity, we suggest that platforming both sides of debate can be a harmful strategy that creates conditions for advancing bad faith arguments, dehumanizing already minoritized communities, burdening people with the work of refutation, and compromising with immoral positions. Without care, engaging “both sides” ultimately threatens the ideals of an open, democratic learning community.
Description: Short Paper
Appears in Collections:ISLS Annual Meeting 2023

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