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David Lanius

David Lanius

Wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter
Raum: CS
Tel.: +49 721 608-48832
david laniusUyw0∂kit edu


At the moment I'm analyzing and reconstructing arguments used by and against right-wing populist movements in Europe. I am especially interested in the use of fake news and “alternative facts” within populist arguments as well as the effectiveness of rational argumentation in general.

The rise of populism threatens democracy in Western societies. But most people who vote for populist parties do so not because they agree with their programs and ideologies. They vote for them because they are disappointed with politics. Populism might simply be a symptom of the social divide in our societies and the lack of an inclusive debate. I strongly believe that argumentation and debate are the best means to solve conflicts, to coordinate (doxastic) differences, and to bridge the gap between people with different interests and convictions.

My aim is to strengthen both deliberative and participatory democracy by uncovering the conditions for constructive conflict. How can the quality of public debates be improved? I work at DebateLab to answer this question.

Areas of expertise

Philosophy of language, philosophy of law, logic, argumentation theory, decision and game theory, as well as philosophical, psychological, legal, and logical aspects of indeterminacy

Areas of interest (non-exclusive)

Linguistics, psychology, political philosophy, moral philosophy, and epistemology


  • Lanius, David (2017): Strategic Indeterminacy in the Law, Dissertation, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
  • Lanius, David (2013): “Has Vagueness Really No Function in Law?“ in M. Hoeltje, T. Spitzley, and W. Spohn (eds.): Proceedings of GAP.2012. [link]
  • Lanius, David (2011): Vagueness and Unforeseeability. A Game Theoretical Approach, Thesis, Institute of Logic, Language, and Computation, Universiteit van Amsterdam
  • Lanius, David (2010): Warum Vagheit nicht Unwissen ist. Eine kritische Analyse der epistemischen Theorie, Magisterarbeit, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München. [link]

Short CV

2017 – today

PostDoc at DebateLab at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) with Gregor Betz and Michael Schefzcyk

2012 – 2017

PhD at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin in the research project “Dealing Reasonably with Blurred Boundaries” under the supervision of Geert Keil and Ralf Poscher (summa cum laude)


Research semester at University of Southern California (USC) in Los Angeles with Andrei Marmor

2010 – 2011

Logic Year at Institute of Logic, Language and Computation (ILLC) at Universiteit van Amsterdam (UvA)

2007 – 2010

Magister Philosophiae (MPhil) at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität (LMU) Munich

2008 – 2009

Research year at Universidad Complutense de Madrid (UCM)

2005 – 2007

Basic studies of Magister Artium (MA) in philosophy and economics at Universität Regensburg