Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi organises the first of its kind conference in the region “Argumentation & Society: For a constructive dialogue; a communication without violence”

13 February, 2019

With the distinguished participation of H.H. Sheikha Dr. Shamma bint Mohammed bin Khalid Al Nahyan, Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi organised the first of its kind conference in the region titled “Argumentation & Society: For a constructive dialogue; a communication without violence”. This event is in cooperation with Sea of Culture, founded and chaired by H.H Sheikha Rawda bint Mohammed bin Khalid Al Nahyan.

During the two-day conference, professors from different countries and professional backgrounds participated in this conference and discussed the theme of argumentation in the fields of philosophy, communication, history, and didactics as well as languages and literature.

The event aims at highlighting the theme of “Argumentation”, which has long been absent in the Arab World. However, it has begun to gain the interest of scientific and cultural communities within Arab societies in order to acquire linguistic and intellectual tools, which help facing the challenges caused by accelerated information flow; including the disclosure of misleading news and opinions that could be a threat for young generations.

H.H. Sheikha Dr. Shamma bint Mohammed bin Khalid Al Nahyan, President of the Mohamed bin Khaled Al Nahyan Center, Al Ain, said: “Argumentation is present in our daily life, but absent as a conscious concept for many people. Hence, we need to develop awareness on argumentation’s abilities in communities, especially among new generations that face various intellectual interactions. Navigating across social media platforms, we realise the size of daily discussions on different pages between supporters and opponents of an idea; all providing arguments and proofs to a young audience. Through their strong understanding of argumentation’s mechanisms, extremists thinkers have been able to change youth’s moral and intellectual norms, which are easily influenced”.

H.H. added: “Therefore, spreading philosophy and knowledge in societies using argumentation’s tools and mechanisms, has become an urgent need in recent years to avoid a major incursion of intellectual extremism of all kinds. I find the conference “Argumentation & Society: For a constructive dialogue; a communication without violence”, a crucial step towards creating an intellectual awareness on society issues”.

From her side, Dr. Sana Abbas, Lecturer in Arabic language and culture at Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi, said: “This event reflects the university’s efforts to embody the spirit of tolerance in all its forms among students and the local community. It is also a great opportunity to highlight the university’s position as a hub for dialogue between science and civilisations”.

Dr. Abbas added: “The conference seeks to accomplish a multidisciplinary research on the “argumentation” topic, which is common across all sciences. Hence, building knowledge, based on critical thinking, is an ideal way to understand and master the way we express our thoughts in an age where the need for effective communication with mutual respect is growing”.

The UAE played an important role in shedding the light on the role argumentation plays within the scientific and cultural scenes in the region, through prestigious cultural institutions such as Sea of Culture Foundation. During last year’s Book Fair event in Abu Dhabi, the foundation welcomed the winner of “The Arts and Monetary Studies” prize as part of Sheikh Zayed Book Award, for his book discussing the rhetoric in argumentation.