Maintaining Disbelief

The usual tactic for someone who is losing an argument to adopt is to change the argument. Another tactic is to interrupt the person who is winning the argument and not let him or her finish. There are probably a hundred ways to appear to be winning an argument while actually losing it. Continue reading

Political Argumentation

In Britain, as no doubt in the rest of the world where different political parties are permitted, our politicians waste so much time smearing the reputations and policies of other political parties that they do not have time or energy to think through the logic and suitability of the political policies they themselves promulgate  and so electorates are offered a very poor and un -nourishing bill of fare at the ballot box. A classic device – watch out for it – is a politician arguing against a proposition that has not been argued by his or her opponent. The trick is this.

You listen carefully to what your opponent has said. You then restate it but being careful to distort what your opponent has said, making sure that the distortion is unsupportable, and then you argue against the distortion while pretending to argue against what has been actually said. Everyone can win an argument if you define the proposition that you are arguying against , if the point of the argument is to win it, as opposed to discover the truth or advance learning.

 

 

Odd Things – Begging the Question

I keep hearing journalists and television people misuse the useful phrase “begging the question” and when i do I cannot take what they say seriously. If they can’t be bothered to use the language correctly why should I be bothered to try and figure out what they mean?

“Begging the question” means Continue reading