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  • 0826498949.jpg There is an excellent discussion over on the Talking Philosophy blog about arguing which asks -- "Whose side are you on in this dialogue? And can you justify your allegiance?":
    JO: There's no point in arguing with you, I'll never win. TOM: No, because I'm right! JO: Not because of that, because you're better at arguing than me. TOM: Eh? You're not stupid. If I'm wrong, you should be able to show that I'm wrong. If you can't, then saying I'm better at arguing than you is just another of saying I'm right and you're wrong! JO: Not at all. Just because you can construct better arguments than me, that doesn't mean you're right. People can construct very good arguments for false positions. TOM: Sure they do, but if we're committed to rational debate, then you surely have to accept whatever the best argument leads you to. You wouldn't say "There's no point arguing with you, your evidence is better than mine". If I have better evidence, you should agree with me; likewise if I have better arguments. JO: It's not quite the same...
    I'm with Jo, I think! But I think I need to think about it some more! Or maybe I should just read and digest my copy of How To Win Every Argument and then I wouldn't need to worry about any of this! I do think that folk who debate regularly get better at it -- there are most certainly rhetorical skills that you can learn. And the issue of time is important here too -- some folk are just
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