How We Argue Now: The Moral Foundations of Politics & Law

How We Argue Now: The Moral Foundations of Politics & Law
Friday, October 11, 2019 9:00 am to 5:15 pm

In the current global conjuncture of populism and polarization, political leaders increasingly disregard substantive dialogue and evidence, instead turning to divisive methods to mobilize their base. This symposium will examine how these broader political manifestations arise from the mechanisms of moral decision-making and the powerful role of the emotions and unconscious biases in moral and political judgments. We will also explore proven ways to mediate political discord, inculcate a sense of humility and civility in public discourse, and foster a generation of law students, lawyers, and political leaders equipped to resolve disputes effectively.

8:15 am - 8:45 am
Registration and complimentary continental breakfast
8:45 am - 9:00 am
Welcome and Opening Remarks
9:00 am - 10:30 am
Panel 1: Political Polarization and Fact-Free Arguments

David Gergen, Professor of Public Service and Leadership (Harvard University)
Carol Anderson, Professor of African American Studies (Emory University)
Leah Rigueur, Professor of Public Policy (Harvard University Kennedy School of Government)
Daniel Shapiro, Professor of Negotiation (Harvard University)
Moderator: Richard A. Wilson, Professor of Law and Anthropology (University of Connecticut)

10:30 am - 10:45 am
Coffee Break
10:45 am - 12:15 pm
Panel 2: Moral Decision-Making: Cognition and Emotions

Lasana Harris: Professor of Experimental Psychology (University College London)
Walter Sinnott-Armstrong: Professor of Practical Ethics (Duke University)
Jonathan Weiler: Professor of Global Studies (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
Heather Battaly: Professor of Philosophy (University of Connecticut)
Moderator: Anne C. Dailey, Professor of Law (University of Connecticut)

12:15 pm - 1:30 pm
Lunch & Keynote Lecture

Keynote Speaker: Danielle Allen, Director of the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics and James Bryant Conant University Professor at Harvard University.

1:30 pm - 3:00 pm
Panel 3: Restoring Civil Discourse, Cultivating Humility

Steven Sloman: Professor of Cognitive Science & Psychology (Brown University)
Shanna Pearson-Merkowitz: Professor of Political Science (University of Rhode Island)
Robert Talisse: Professor of Philosophy (Vanderbilt University)
Lynn Itagaki: Professor of English and Women’s and Gender Studies (University of Missouri)
Moderator: Kiel Brennan-Marquez, Professor of Law (University of Connecticut)

3:00 pm - 3:15 pm
Coffee Break
3:15 pm - 4:45 pm
Panel 4: Law Schools and the Legal Profession

James Stark: Professor of Law (University of Connecticut)
Jennifer Robbennolt: Professor of Law and Psychology (University of Illinois)
Kellye Testy: President & CEO of the Law Schools Admission Council; Professor of Law and Former Dean (University of Washington College of Law)
Alina Ball: Professor of Law (University of California Hastings College of Law)
Moderator: Leslie C. Levin, Professor of Law (University of Connecticut)

4:45 pm - 5:00 pm
Closing Remarks
5:00 pm
Ice Cream Reception with UConn Dairy Bar Ice Cream
If you require reasonable accommodations for a disability, please contact the Law School at 860-570-5130 or via email at at least two weeks in advance.