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Knocking Down a Steel Man: How to Argue Better
"The beginning of thought is in disagreement - not only with others but also with ourselves." - Eric Hoffer You know when someone makes an argument, and you know you can get away with making it seem like they made a much worse one, so you attack that argument for points? That’s strawmanning. Lots of us…
arguing  discourse 
february 2018 by NorwegianRockCat
THUNK - 135. Aumann's Agreement Theorem & Arguing to Learn - YouTube
Aumann’s Agreement Theorem suggests that rational folk shouldn’t be able to continuously why do we?

-Links for the Curious-

Agreeing to Disagree (Aumann, 1976) -
(You might be intimidated to read the original paper, but it’s only 5 pages long!)

Are Disagreements Honest? (Cowen & Hanson, 2004) -
The Influence of Social Interaction on Intuitions of Objectivity and Subjectivity (Fisher et al, 2016) -
Rationally Speaking, Episode 143 - Scott Aaronson on Aumann’s Agreement Theorem (AAT) & its Implications -
“Political Polarization in the American Public,” by the Pew Research Center -

“Are Toxic Political Conversations Changing How We Feel about Objective Truth?” (Fisher et al, 2018) -

Lesswrong’s entry on the AAT -
starstarstarstarstar  arguing  bayes  bayesian 
january 2018 by radeor
Charles' Rules of Argument | Geek Feminism Wiki | FANDOM powered by Wikia
Entering into arguments is not necessarily good: they're tiring and you often don't convince anyone.

Arguments make people defensive. Do not expect your interlocutor to change their mind during the argument. They will only change it later if at all.

In groups, your argument is actually normally aimed at onlookers more than your interlocutor.

Once you have stated your position and corrected any factual misunderstandings, there is nothing further you can do. Anyone who still disagrees with you cannot be convinced by you arguing with them.
internet  arguing 
august 2017 by enne
Collected Essays: Autobiographical Notes [by James Baldwin]
"About my interests: I don't know if I have any, unless the morbid desire to own a sixteen-millimeter camera and make experimental movies can be so classified. Otherwise, I love to eat and drink---it's my melancholy conviction that I've scarcely ever had enough to eat (this is because it's impossible to eat enough if you're worried about the next meal)--and I love to argue with people who do not disagree with me too profoundly, and I love to laugh. I do not like bohemia, or bohemians, I do not like people whose principal aim is pleasure, and I do not like people who are earnest about anything. I don't like people who like me because I'm a Negro; neither do I like people who find in the same accident grounds for contempt. I love America more than any other country in the world, and, exactly for this reason, I insist on the right to criticize her perpetually. I think all theories are suspect, that the finest principles may have to be modified, or may even be pulverized by the demands of life, and that one must find, therefore, one's own moral center and move through the world hoping that this center will guide one aright. I consider that I have many responsibilities, but none greater than this: to last, as Hemingway says, and get my work done."

[via: ]
jamesbaldwin  autobiogaphy  food  drink  poverty  hunger  pleasure  laughing  arguing  bohemians  bohemia  us  hemingway 
july 2017 by robertogreco
A philosopher’s 350-year-old trick to get people to change their minds is now backed up by psychologists
Put simply, Pascal suggests that before disagreeing with someone, first point out the ways in which they’re right. And to effectively persuade someone to change their mind, lead them to discover a counter-point of their own accord. Arthur Markman, psychology professor at The University of Texas at Austin, says both these points hold true.

“One of the first things you have to do to give someone permission to change their mind is to lower their defenses and prevent them from digging their heels in to the position they already staked out,” he says. “If I immediately start to tell you all the ways in which you’re wrong, there’s no incentive for you to co-operate. But if I start by saying, ‘Ah yeah, you made a couple of really good points here, I think these are important issues,’ now you’re giving the other party a reason to want to co-operate as part of the exchange. And that gives you a chance to give voice your own concerns about their position in a way that allows co-operation.”

Markman also supports Pascal’s second persuasive suggestion. “If I have an idea myself, I feel I can claim ownership over that idea, as opposed to having to take your idea, which means I have to explicitly say, ‘I’m going to defer to you as the authority on this.’ Not everybody wants to do that,” he adds.

In other words, if it wasn’t enough that Pascal is recognized as a mathematician, physicist, and philosopher, it seems he was also an early psychologist.
psychology  arguments  arguing  Trump  Pascal  reverse-psychology 
may 2017 by thegrandnarrative
Bullish Q&A: How Can I Defend Feminist Ideas If I’m Terrible at Arguing? – GetBullish
If there’s a fact you’d like to present but you can’t remember it exactly, say that, and offer to send the information later if the person really wants it. If appropriate, even acknowledge that you could be misremembering, but you’re pretty sure that, for instance, the vast majority of people in the US receiving government benefits are seniors, veterans, and disabled people, and that in fact cash aid to poor families with children barely even exists anymore. But who can remember the exact stats? “I’ll send it to you later if you’re interested.” Shrug. You know the truth. If others want it, you’re willing to help them. You are not required to make an argument here. That doesn’t mean you’ve lost. You are reasonable and unruffled. You can leave the matter unsettled. That’s okay.
arguing  questions  jen 
april 2017 by seakelps
1) If the argument you find convincing doesn’t resonate with someone else, find out what does

Whenever we engage in political debates, we all tend to overrate the power of arguments we find personally convincing — and wrongly think the other side will be swayed.

How to sway the other side: Use their morals against them

2) Listen. Your ideological opponents want to feel like they’ve been heard.

How “deep canvassing” works

Here's a video example of deep canvassing. It's of a real voter and a canvasser from the Leadership LAB, a program of the Los Angeles LGBT Center, in March. The woman in the video starts off ambivalent on transgender issues. But through deep canvassing, the activist is able to turn her around.

This technique has only been proven to work with identity issues, like transgender rights. It’s hard to say how to adapt it for talking a relative out of their support for gun control.
arguing  arguments  persuasion 
january 2017 by thegrandnarrative
How to Argue Fairly and Without Rancor (Hello, Thanksgiving!) - The New York Times
If the 2016 presidential election has shown us anything, it’s that it sometimes seems as if opposing views can never be reconciled.
In the days since Donald J. Trump has been elected president, thousands of angry people have protested in at least 52 cities across the United States. At a Brooklyn restaurant, a male Trump supporter punched a female supporter of Hillary Clinton’s after they argued about politics, The Daily News reported.
politics  debate  speech  arguing  nytimes  respect 
november 2016 by rgl7194
No, We Won't Calm Down – Tone Policing Is Just Another Way to Protect Privilege — Everyday Feminism
“Calm down so we can discuss this like adults.”
Have you ever tone policed someone in a conversation on oppression? Tone policing focuses on the emotion behind a message rather than the message itself – and you might think you’re helping by making the conversation more “comfortable.”
But in this comic, Robot Hugs makes a great point about how tone policing protects privilege – and silences people who are hurting. This is no way to get justice, and this breakdown will help you understand exactly why.
With Love,
The Editors at Everyday Feminism
politics  privilege  debate  speech  arguing 
november 2016 by rgl7194

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