Friday, February 6, 2009

How to Argue...with Me.

I truly enjoy arguing. Some of the best conversations I've had are with people who are skilled at presenting their case while avoiding logical fallacy. Even though we often disagree on the conclusions, I still have great fun. It's like mental gymnastics, if you will. Below, are some snippets from a favorite critical thinker of mine, Steven Novella, MD. Dr. Novella is the President of the New England Skeptical Society and host of the Skeptics Guide to the Universe podcast. I like how Dr. Novella defines arguing and how he explains, with examples, common logical fallacies. Please read the whole article.

Arguing is one of those activities most people do but few people do well. Many do not understand what a logical argument even is or how to do it correctly. Yet arguing is an essential skill of critical thinking. How we argue reflects how we think, how we evaluate our own conclusions, and how we challenge the beliefs of others...

...Even the very purpose of arguing is often misunderstood. I have arguments almost every day. This does not mean I verbally fight with others on a daily basis, but rather I have discussions that involve either attempting to convince another of a specific conclusion, or resolving differing conclusions on a factual matter...

...The more you practice examining arguments for their premises and logical fallacies, the better you will get. I think you will find it is the best method for resolving differences in factual conclusions. It is also helpful in that it can take away the personal emotional content of an argument; if the focus is on facts and logic, the arguments tend to be less personal.


Finally, the most important arguments to examine in this way are your own.

Here is a link to the full article: The NESS - How to Argue by Steven Novella, MD

No comments:

Post a Comment

Be critical. Be nice.

Click Here for All Your Favorite Bookmarks and Shares!!

Bookmark and Share