Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Winning by Understanding

In a forthcoming book, Scott F. Aikin and Robert B. Talisse propose a new and better idea about what "winning an argument" should mean:

In order to argue well, one must be in a good position to know or have compelling reasons to believe one’s conclusion true.  But one also must know something about those with whom one disagrees.  One needs to know something about their reasons, and why they might (reasonably, perhaps) reject what may seem so clearly true.  Winning at argument, then, isn’t what many people think it is.  To win at argument is not to silence one’s opposition or prove them silly or foolish.  Such ends are served better by rhetoric than by reason.  Winning at argument rather requires something on the order of coming to see, and perhaps even in some ways appreciate, the rationale of one’s opponents.
Read the whole post.

Scott F. Aikin and Robert B. Talisse, "Winning At Argument," 3 Quarks Daily, posted 4 March 2013 ( : accessed 4 March 2013).

Harold Henderson, "Winning by Understanding," Midwestern Microhistory: A Genealogy Blog, posted 15 March 2013 ( : accessed [access date]). [Please feel free to link to the specific post if you prefer.]

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