Accountability Breeds Response-Ability: Contextual Debiasing and Accountability in Argumentation

  • Vasco CorreiaEmail author
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 10257)


While there is growing consensus over the need to counteract biases in contexts of argumentation and decision-making, researchers disagree over which debiasing techniques are likely to be most effective. I attempt to show that contextual debiasing is more effective than cognitive debiasing in preventing biases, although I challenge the claim that critical thinking is utterly ineffective. In addition, a distinction is introduced between two types of contextual debiasing: situational correction, and dispositional correction. Drawing on empirical work on accountability, I argue that the later type of correction is more likely to prove effective against biases in everyday contexts. Holding arguers accountable is a contextual constraint that has the virtue of also enhancing cognitive skills and virtues.


Accountability Biases Critical thinking Debiasing Rationality 



I would like to thank the editor and three anonymous reviewers for their constructive comments. Work on this article was conducted under the grant SFRH/BPD/101744/2014 by the ‘‘Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology’’ (FCT).


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.ArgLab, Nova Institute of Philosophy (IFILNOVA), FCSHUniversidade Nova de LisboaLisbonPortugal

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