Talk Me Into It

With a primer on each of the “three basic tools of argument” (logos, ethos and pathos), Jay Heinrichs gives a cogent argument for why you should teach your children to argue.

I had long equated arguing with fighting, but in rhetoric they are very different things. An argument is good; a fight is not. Whereas the goal of a fight is to dominate your opponent, in an argument you succeed when you bring your audience over to your side.

[…] Why on earth would any parent want that? Because persuasion is powerful. Rhetoric originated in the lawsuits of ancient Greece, when citizens who weren’t good at persuading could lose their houses — or their lives. It was a staple of education until the early 1800s, teaching society’s elite how to debate, make public decisions, and reach consensus.

EA NOTE: Rhetoric is a topic close to this contrarian’s heart. My major in college. And I am in complete agreement with Heinrich’s contention that our culture has lost the ability to usefully disagree (note emphasis).


Via The Lone Gunman




~ by eaesthete on 06/15/09.

One Response to “Talk Me Into It”

  1. This makes so much sense to me. When people disagree they rarely try to reason, they just yell at each other, with neither listening or noting the opposition’s arguments. The idea of scoring a win by bringing the audience to your side through persuasion is just so intelligent. Why isn’t this discussed more?

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