Pin It

Thursday, February 8, 2007

Why we argue

Posted By on 02.08.07 at 12:52 PM

This post by Manuel Vargas at The Garden of Forking Paths is about how philosophers argue, but you don't need to be a philosopher to get the idea. The question is, How do you win an argument?  There are at least four ways, but the first and most obvious may not be the best model of reality:

1) You convince your opponent by making a knockdown argument from indisputable premises. 

2) You move your opponent from strong opposition to weaker opposition.

3) You convince a neutral bystander.

4) You move a neutral bystander in your direction.

It strikes me that many recent books (hello, Richard Dawkins and Daniel Dennett) suffer from not being quite sure which of these goals they're trying to achieve. (Of course I haven't mentioned goal 0, which is to hear yourself talking very loud.)

(Hat tip to Leiter Reports.)

Tags: ,

Find out how you can help


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Harold Henderson

  • The Recyclable House

    The Recyclable House

    If Ken Ortiz has his way, no one in Chicago will ever simply "demolish" a building again.
    • Jul 24, 2008
  • Sympathy for the Devil?

    Sympathy for the Devil?

    Progressive scribe Rick Perlstein made his reputation finding the good in conservatives. Then they really started screwing up the country.
    • Jan 24, 2008
  • Dynamic Flash for Democrats

    Dynamic Flash for Democrats

    Wanna raise funds to run for office? Nag Schwarzenegger about health care? Or just make fun of Bush? Call Articulated Man.
    • Jan 10, 2008
  • More »

Agenda Teaser

Galleries & Museums
Gemini Spacecraft Morpho Gallery
June 03
Summer Guide
Saved by the Max 1941 W. North
June 01

Tabbed Event Search

The Bleader Archive

Popular Stories

Scientists Created A Dino-Chicken