debate

Argument Repair

Posted on 3 June 2019 by Catherine Hundleby

It’s easy to blame current problems with public discourse on the brevity of on-line communication. People are moving away from blogs to image exchanges. TLDR. Limited word counts (such as on Twitter) and the combination of immediacy with anonymity lend to verbal fighting. Quick comebacks receive rewards of “likes” and “thumbs up”. We might mitigate
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Epicurus on Losing Arguments

Posted on 11 March 2019 by Scott F. Aikin

Epicurus’s Vatican Saying #74 runs: “the one who loses in a philosophical dispute gains more the more he learns.”  I remember reading that line as an undergraduate, thinking it curious and perhaps a bit perverse.  How would Epicurus himself apply this to his own views, after critique from the likes of Stoic, Skeptic, or Christian
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Why even bother with political debate?

Posted on 8 October 2018 by Karen Stohr

Debates about politics, whether in public forums or in private conversations, often seem to go nowhere. This is particularly true when the participants have diametrically opposed perspectives on how the world works and how it should work. Even when people manage to stay civil, which of course is not always the case, debating doesn’t usually
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The Heart of Justice

Posted on 4 June 2018 by Paul Bloomfield

The ancient Greeks all thought of morality in terms of the virtues: justice, courage, temperance, and wisdom. And they all thought of the virtues as if they are like skills that can be learned. As Aristotle said, “…we become builders by building and lyre players by playing the lyre. So too we become just by
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Good Democracy Needs Good Questions

Posted on 25 September 2017 by Lani Watson

“If you were president, what would you do about Syria and the humanitarian crisis in Aleppo?” This question was asked to both candidates at the second U.S. presidential debate, during the run-up to the 2016 presidential election. As per the ‘town-hall’ format of the debate, the question was asked by a member of the public,
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Arguing Virtuously

Posted on 14 August 2017 by Andrew Aberdein

I recently found out that I had been collecting books by accident. Rearranging some shelves, I discovered I had several books with similar titles, all acquired at different times, and for different reasons, but with a strikingly similar theme: Winning Arguments; How to Win An Argument; How to Win Every Argument; The Art of Always
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What we’ve got here is failure to communicate

Posted on 19 June 2017 by Mark Alfano

Debate is a social process of interactive communication. We can distinguish at least four roles associated with parties to a debate. First, there are the debaters themselves — at least two of them, but possibly more. Second, there is the moderator of the debate. Third, there are the partisan audiences affiliated with each debater. Fourth,
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Collaboration versus point scoring

Posted on 5 June 2017 by Alessandra Tanesini

Last Monday we held the first workshop associated with the project Changing Attitudes in Public Debate. The workshop was by invitation and designed to bring together some philosophers, social psychologists and linguists that analyse the verbal and non-verbal aspects of conversations.
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Reducing arrogance in debate

Posted on 19 May 2017 by Alessandra Tanesini

In many Western democracies, public opinion seems to have become bitterly divided over increasingly divisive topics like immigration, Brexit, and the qualities of Donald J. Trump. People whose convictions are strongly opposed to each other treat discussions as duels or shouting matches.
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