Disagreement, (in)tolerance and political discourse

Centre for Ethics as Study in Human Value, University of Pardubice is pleased to announce the workshop


Disagreement, (in)tolerance and political discourse

12th – 14th September 2019

Pardubice, Czech Republic


The recent global rise of populism goes hand in hand with an increasing polarisation of society. The radicalisation of disagreeing parties is sharpened not only by ever-more diverging political opinions, but also by underlying negative emotions. These developments are having a direct impact on the public sphere. Discussions that could have ended in fruitful exchange of arguments only two decades ago end now with irreconcilable conflict, mutual repulsion or contemptuous avoidance. Instead of embracing tolerance, understanding, openness and curiosity in view of difference, presumably open and pluralist liberal societies are instead filled with distrust, suspicion and enmity. Contrary to democratic respect for the other’s opinion and openness to reason and argument, we see escalating negative emotions and a lack of honest discussion. Are we witnessing the decline of deliberative democracy? Has the populist demagoguery, conspiracy theorising and scapegoating crippled public discourse?

The presentations and discussions during the workshop will consider possible attitudes to political disagreement and difference and the ways in which they are influenced by negative political emotions. The workshop hosts contributions from researchers working in the fields related to the theme, including political philosophy, but also political science (the study of populism and democracy), moral psychology (the study of emotions, attitudes and relationships), rhetoric (the study of demagoguery), epistemology (the study of disagreement and belief polarisation), social science and social psychology.


Keynote Speakers:

Anna Durnová (Institute for Advanced Studies, Vienna)
Emotions, Democracy and the Post-Factual Threat to Expertise

Anna Elisabetta Galeotti (University of Eastern Piedmont)
Agent Relative Reasons for Toleration

Andrea Sangiovanni (King’s College London; European University Institute)
Is Europe Unjust?


Contributing Speakers:

Sylvie Bláhová (Masaryk University, Brno; Northwestern Italian Philosophy Consortium)
Pluralism and Diversity: for the sake of Equal Respect

Michael Campbell (University of Pardubice)
Public Reason in an Age of Inequality

Lester Chen (Erasmus School of Law, Rotterdam)
Is It Possible to Be a Tolerant Racist?

Petra Chudárková and Filip Tvrdý (Palacký University, Olomouc)
Cognitive and Moral Laziness

Erik Hallstensson (Uppsala University)
Epistemic Relations and Political Disagreement

Nora Hämäläinen (University of Pardubice)
A Case of Moral Change: LGBTQ-Rights Lessons vs. Religious Dogmatism

Pavol Hardoš (Comenius University, Bratislava)
Political Correctness as a Discursive Instrument of Conservative Rhetoric

Zora Hesová (Charles University in Prague)
Are “Culture Wars” about Values in Politics or about Politics of Values?

Tim Heysse (KU Leuven)
Theory, Disagreement, Power

Kanako Ide (Soka University, Tokyo)
Acrobatic Friendship among Philanthropists under the Condition of Polarity

Kristina Khutsishvili (Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa)
Political Emotions and Identities

Sebastián Rudas (University of São Paulo)
Conservative Religious Coalitions in Parliament and the Duties of Public Reason

Hugo Strandberg (University of Pardubice)
On Moral and Political Disagreement

Regine Torbjørnsen (Humboldt University of Berlin)
Extreme Opinions in the Digital Public Sphere and the Potential for Habermasian Critique

Joseph Wiinikka-Lydon (University of Pardubice)
Grief, Politics, and Moral Imagination

Özgür Yalçın (Istanbul Arel University)
Political Conflict in Rawls’s Just Democracy and Mouffe’s Radical Democracy


Workshop venue:

The historical building of the University of Pardubice, nám. Čs. legií 565, Pardubice, Room 03004.



Matej Cíbik, Kamila Pacovská.

Attendance is free of charge. Registration is not necessary, but if you know in advance that you are coming, please let us know (e-mail kamila.pacovska@upce.cz).

For further information please e-mail Kamila Pacovská.