Personal Online Journal

Friday, August 09, 2013

Why Do We Argue?

Good arguers are good at losing.

What do good arguers win when they win an argument?

Three models for arguing:
1. Argument as War
  - dominant model of all three, "arguments that have a lot of punch", "killer arguments"
  - has deforming effects
      - war elevates tactics over substance
      - magnifies differences making it US vs. THEM
      - The only foreseeable outcomes are: Glorious Victory and Ignominious Defeat
      - discourages deliberation, negotiation, compromise and collaboration
      - Learning = Losing

2. Argument as Proof

3. Arguments as Performances
  - with juries

Existing roles in arguments
- proponent: makes an argument
- opponent : opposes to the argument
- audience

Become a new kind of arguer
Be both the arguer and the audience.  Where at the end you look at the experience like an audience member might and say, "yeah that was a good argument.  We have gained because of this interchange"

It takes practice to become a good kind of arguer. One that can benefit from losing.

1 comment:

Papa D said...

This is exactly why I prefer to talk about discussing, rather than arguing. If I believe passionately in something, and if I believe the other person's view is dangerous, I will engage in a classic argument, but I usually would rather walk away than continue something that I feel has no chance of being productive, instructive and enlightening.