The Positive Purposes of Arguments
We have encountered a lot of information in this course about the meaning of an argument and what may constitute a reasonable argument. This discussion allows us to discuss more positive things that we can learn from “arguing” in the right way.
Prepare: Watch the following ”For Arguments Sake (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.” from Daniel H. Cohen, and review “Confronting Disagreement by Seeking Truth” from Chapter 9.4 Take a look as well at the required resources from this week and make sure that you have completed “The Graduate (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.” interactive scenario.
Reflect: Think about experiences you have had that involved conflicts with others. What was the genesis of the conflict? Would it have been possible for the exchange to be more productive? Think about why disagreements often lead to fights rather than opportunities to learn from each other.
Write: Answer the following questions: What is an area of life in which you have experienced people treating arguments as a kind of war? What were the consequences of that approach? What is an area of life in which you have experienced people treating arguments as a kind of performance? Was that approach effective? Why is it better to treat arguments as a venue for learning? What traits of character does it require to be able to live according to that approach? What benefits can it have in our lives to take that approach? Provide a specific example.