Saturday, February 16, 2008

How to Win Any Global Warming Argument

This was recollected while watching Monty Python's "Philosophers World Cup" (always good for a yuk). I had made mention, en passant, of Schopenhauer's little gem "Die Kunst, Recht zu behalten" in another post, I've Looked at Climate From Both Sides Now, but it really is stand-alone post-worthy.

So gather round kids as Uncle Arthur tells you how to fight back against any rhetorical bully.
Here's the table of contents, I'll put the link to the side-by-side Deutsch/English translation at the bottom of the post.

Controversial Dialectic
The Basis Of All Dialectic

The Extension
The Homonymy
Generalize your Opponent's Specific Statements
Conceal Your Game
False Propositions
Postulate What Has To Be Proved
Yield Admissions Through Questions
Make Your Opponent Angry
Questions in Detouring Order
Take Advantage of The Nay-Sayer
Generalize Admissions of Specific Cases
Choose Metaphors Favourable to Your Proposition
Agree to Reject the Counter-Proposition
Claim Victory Despite Defeat
Use Seemingly Absurd Propositions
Arguments Ad Hominem
Defense Through Subtle Distinction
Interrupt, Break, Divert the Dispute
Generalize the Matter, Then Argue Against it
Draw Conclusions Yourself
Meet him With a Counter-Argument as Bad as His
petitio principii
Make Him Exaggerate his Statement
State a False Syllogism
Find One Instance to The Contrary
Turn The Tables
Anger Indicates a Weak Point
Persuade the Audience, Not The Opponent
Appeal to Authority Rather Than Reason
This is Beyond Me
Put His Thesis Into Some Odious Category
It Applies in Theory, But Not in Practice
Don't Let Him Off The Hook
Will is More Effective Than Insight
Bewilder Your opponent by Mere Bombast
A Faulty Proof Refutes His Whole Position
Become Personal, Insulting, Rude (the Ultimate Strategem)

And that, children, is why we study philosophy.
(and watch Monty Python)
Thanks to for keeping the Art of Controversy on the web.