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Reddit reviews on Thank You for Arguing: What Aristotle, Lincoln, and Homer Simpson Can Teach Us About the Art of Persuasion

Sentiment score: 19
Reddit mentions: 34

We found 34 Reddit mentions of Thank You for Arguing: What Aristotle, Lincoln, and Homer Simpson Can Teach Us About the Art of Persuasion. Here are the top ones.

Found 34 comments on Thank You for Arguing: What Aristotle, Lincoln, and Homer Simpson Can Teach Us About the Art of Persuasion:

u/iRayneMoon · 123 pointsr/changemyview

Going to attempt to fit this in one post...

1.) What are some fallacies to look out for?

List: Ad Hominem, Argument from ignorance, Argument from authority, Argument from final consequences, Appeal to Tradition, Overgeneralization, Begging the question, Correlation does not imply causation, False analogy, False dichotomy, Slippery-Slope, Straw man, Moving the Goalpost

2.) How do you recognize you are running around in circles?

Person A presents an argument, and Person B responds with a counter argument. Person A then uses either a Logical Fallacy or doesn't address any point Person B has made. If you try to get back on track, and Person A refuses to get back on topic, then you might be talking in circles.

You may simply have to leave the discussion if the other person refuses to address any point you've made.

3.) How do you recognize there is a flaw in your own premise?

See the list of Logical Fallacies, check to see if you have adequately addressed the argument at hand, and remember to not become too overly aggressive. Instead of posting immediately, check your own post and see if you can predict any counter arguments. Clean up your own argument for clarity, get rid of loopholes, and simply strengthen your point.

4.) How do you admit that you made a mistake?

If a person points it out, thank them for catching the mistake, apologize, and amend your argument accordingly.

Do not become defensive! Pride and ego have no place in an honest discussion. If you are more concerned with being right than having an open discussion where everyone learns, then you are hurting yourself and the discussion. Please, for the sake of everyone involved, come into all debates with a super humble attitude!

5.) How do you recognize when you have used a fallacy?

Check the list of Logical Fallacies, and become familiar with all fallacies. You just have to learn them, be aware that they exist, and reread before posting. If you find you've posted an argument with a fallacy, edit, declare the edit at the bottom, and say something like, "Amended argument issues".

6.) What are some common misunderstandings you see?

Very open question, but here are a few...

These aren't suppose to be arguments, which is based purely on emotion, but instead discussions. We're debating and discussing topics, but we aren't here to argue.

If you need clarification from the original poster, then ask for it instead of simply debating from miscommunication.

7.) What are some fallacies that are more grey than black or white (in your opinion)?

No True Scotsman: "The term was coined by Antony Flew, who gave an example of a Scotsman who sees a newspaper article about a series of sex crimes taking place in Brighton, and responds that "no Scotsman would do such a thing". When later confronted with evidence of another Scotsman doing even worse acts, his response is that "no true Scotsman would do such a thing", thus disavowing membership in the group "Scotsman" to the criminal on the basis that the commission of the crime is evidence for not being a Scotsman. However, this is a fallacy as there is nothing in the definition of "Scotsman" which makes such acts impossible. The term "No True Scotsman" has since expanded to refer to anyone who attempts to disown or distance themselves from wayward members of a group by excluding them from it. "

No True Scotsman is a Logical Fallacy, but a clarification exists. If I were debating religion with a Christian, I point out bad things that extremists do, and the Christian says, "I acknowledge they exist, but they're not the majority." That is not No True Scotsman. They acknowledged that those Christians exist, but are clarifying the statement by saying they are not the majority.

Tone Argument: "The tone argument is a form of derailment, or a red herring, because the tone of a statement is independent of the content of the statement in question, and calling attention to it distracts from the issue at hand. Drawing attention to the tone rather than content of a statement can allow other parties to avoid engaging with sound arguments presented in that statement, thus undermining the original party's attempt to communicate and effectively shutting them down."

A clarification can be made though. Every discussion of tone is not a tone argument. If you are being uncivil, using personal attacks, and generally making an argument so hostile and toxic that the other person has to leave, then you haven't won. If you act awful to people, then when they call you on it don't yell "Tone Argument! I win!". No, you didn't "win", you just were rude to a person before they decided to leave.

8.) How do you continue to maintain a civil discussion when name calling starts?

Calmly say, "I do not appreciate being talked to that way. We can have a discussion without going to personal attacks." If they continue you may want to message the moderators, or simply leave the discussion. If they aren't interested in a real discussion or debate, then don't waste your time.

9.) Is there an appropriate time to downvote?

In regards to /r/ChangeMyView, do not downvote for disagreement. Downvote for not adding to the conversation. If they have broken a rule message the mods, don't downvote.

10.) What are some of your pet peeves?

Please check your post before posting. Be clear, to the point, and don't assume your audience can read your mind. You have to explain yourself well, but with the fewest words possible.

If someone has made a great argument or post, please upvote them so we reward good skills!

11.) What is your biggest mistake in argumentation?

I have used logical fallacies before. Just admit it, amend your argument, and move on.

The biggest mistake is I have to be careful about topics I am emotionally involved in. Humans are emotional creatures, so it's easy to be overly emotional. I just have to take a deep breath, if I need to I'll take a bit of a break, and then come back. Don't let it get to you, and just remember you are responsible for the civility of the discussion as well.

12.) How can your argumentation be improved?

Avoid fallacies, watch debates on Youtube, or research a topic some before posting. Build up points and anticipate the counterpoints to your argument. Look through some of the best posts on /r/ChangeMyView and see common techniques used.

13.) How do you find common ground so argumentation can take place?

Treating the other person as a thinking, feeling human being. It creates common ground when you treat everyone involved as a person. If the other person makes a good point, acknowledge it and say you'll think about it. Treat the discussion as a sharing of information and ideas. If they change your view in some way though, then obviously award a Delta.

14.) What are some topics to formally study to better your experience?

That's complicated. School and college obviously always are helpful. The book Thank You for Arguing: What Aristotle, Lincoln, and Homer Simpson Can Teach Us About the Art of Persuasion is a great book that I've lectured with.

15.) What are some concepts that are important to grasp?

The other person is a person, treat them as such. Base your argument around actual counterarguments, not fallacies. Don't take discussions personally, and likewise don't make them personal.

16.) What are some non intuitive logical results?

None I can think of. May edit later.

17.) How do you end a debate that you have recognized is going nowhere?

"Thank you for the discussion, but I feel we are talking past each other. I think this discussion has run its course, so I should leave." Just say something like that and leave.

u/NewlyIndependent · 69 pointsr/IWantToLearn

The best route is to take up a course on Logic.

Study introductory predicate logic. Break statements into predicates - identify their antecedent and consequent. Identify the differences between a predicate's negation, inverse, converse, and contrapositive; more importantly, how they can be used to derive logical Truth. Familiarize yourself with Gödel's completeness theorem.

Next, learn to identify a fallacy; study up on logical fallacies.

Cognitive Biases are the next most important step. Being aware of your own cognitive biases will help you identify when your analyses are being skewed.

Study everything about everything. More information about your domain of concern will granter you further insight for analysis.

Lastly, take care of yourself. Get lots of sleep, eat healthy, and exercise; your judgement will be impaired if you don't.

Some books to help:

u/IWillBecomeChad · 15 pointsr/Braincels

I recently finished an excellent book called "Thank you for Arguing" (full-title: "Thank You for Arguing: What Aristotle, Lincoln, and Homer Simpson Can Teach Us About the Art of Persuasion").

From the book, I realized that women use high level rhetorical techniques to get what they want at a much higher rate than men.

Often times, they are full of sht, but they know how to play their cards right to get what they want by saying things like "Height doesn't matter!", "I don't like muscular men, gross!", "I wouldn't care if my boyfriend made less money than I did.". They say things like this all the time, but by and large, they don't really mean them and follow through on them irl.

Put on your [
They Live*](https://imgur.com/gallery/hY3Ro) glasses and realize that women are, as they say, full of shit, and they're very good at getting away with it. This also explains this post. Women with crap-tier genetics still pass them on because they manage to influence chads into impregnating them, then passing on their short height to their sons (interestingly, short women aren't considered as attractive in the Germanic / Nordic countries as they are here in the US, and that explains why they have significantly higher average heights than us in the US).

u/IAmScience · 11 pointsr/exmormon

Critical thinking is something that we stomp early, and that stays pretty well stamped out without some care and attention.

In his AMA earlier today, Neil Degrasse Tyson suggested that children are born scientists, who bring a sense of curiosity and wonder to everything they do. Adults are usually the ones whose minds slam shut.

Our schools, our churches, our upbringing in general teaches us precisely how to be accepting and uncritical. Those systems simply demand belief in what is being offered as though it were indicative of some capital-T "Truth".

So, your job needs to be to start thinking like a child again. Everything you encounter needs to be questioned and interrogated. Remember: You've been raised to do precisely the opposite, so this won't be easy. You need to continually remind yourself to look for the holes, the flaws, the shortcomings in the arguments that are put forward.

I would recommend the following things:

  1. Start by examining Op-Ed pieces in newspapers. Look for the biases of the author. Figure out which side they're on. I recommend the Wall Street Journal, and the New York Times op-ed pages. That's a fairly easy way to start looking at the arguments offered by the political left, and the political right in the US.
  2. Pick up the following two books: The Philosopher's Toolkit and Thank You for Arguing They're excellent books that will offer you a set of tools to evaluate arguments from a reasoned perspective. They demonstrate the tools of good argument, informal logical fallacies, and rhetorical tropes that are commonly used to persuade. They are very handy books that everybody should have on their shelf.
  3. If something seems off, then it demands further investigation. Evaluate the source of any and all information. Figure out where the data comes from, who funded the research, whether or not the numbers being presented are legitimate, etc. How to Lie With Statistics is a great tool for learning how people commonly fudge numbers to represent their positions. Knowing how it's done can help you see where people misrepresent data, whether maliciously or not.
  4. Recognize your own biases and preconceptions. Make sure you're clear on where your own privileges and understandings come from. Interrogate your own position thoroughly.
  5. Remember always that this will not be easy. Sometimes you will fall victim to the same biases and shortcomings as those with whom you are engaged in debate. Go easy on yourself, but remind yourself that you do not have all of the answers.

    The more you practice, the easier you'll find it to keep an open mind, and be willing to entertain evidence which challenges your beliefs and opinions. You'll even welcome those challenges, because they help you advance your knowledge and understanding.

    Do those things, and you'll find that all of the questions you pose here become much easier to deal with over time.
u/Michel_Foucat · 6 pointsr/Rhetoric

Aristotle's Rhetoric can be a really bad read, especially early in your rhetorical education, mainly because it's just lecture notes. I'd start with something like Thank You for Arguing. It's not perfect, but it's a fun book and teaches a lot of the missing vocab. If you enjoy it, then you're more than ready to take a stab at Aristotle.

u/periphrazein · 6 pointsr/explainlikeimfive

Definitely this. Check out http://www.openculture.com/2015/03/a-guide-to-logical-fallacies.html for a useful explanation.

It's a really old/ancient technique, and pretty easy to refute.

If you really want a fun read, check out Thank You For Arguing by Jay Heinrichs.

u/KendrickCorp · 4 pointsr/IWantToLearn

The Book Thank you for arguing is a good start.

But if you would like to focus more on clearly articulating your thoughts, rather than comparing your thoughts with others (i.e debate), I would suggest reading up on the following topics:

  • Khan Academy: Focus on the "logic" lessons under the mathematics category.
  • Understand the differences between converse, inverse, and contrapositive; Then, practice using them.
  • Read up on Logical Fallacies.
  • Study the differences between subjectivity and objectivity under as many contexts as possible.
  • Practice swapping the context of a conversation in such a way that the previous dialogue is still consistent with the new, unrelated context.
  • Keep posting on reddit and continue to facilitate a platform for rigorous intellectual discourse.
u/shane0mack · 3 pointsr/everymanshouldknow

Thank You for Arguing -- It's sort of a Cliff's Notes for rhetoric. Really interesting stuff.

The Definitive Book of Body Language -- If you practice a bit, these tells can really come in handy

u/carbidegriffen · 3 pointsr/seduction

I first read this book in a college course about persuasion, it's a great read not just for PUA but most of it will apply for that.

I'm going from memory but there is a chapter in there about perceived value. Raise the price and people will want it more. PUA equivalent, confidence increases perceived value.

If people really want to geek out on this kind of stuff pick up:

Our schools need to teach more ethics and rhetoric.

u/The_Shwassassin · 2 pointsr/Advice

I see what’s going on here.

First and foremost if you want to persuade people you need to stop leaning so much on logically fallacies. Telling people that they should listen to you because you’re smart or because your beliefs aren’t mainstream is not a reason to believe anything. Anyone can say they’re smart and have non-mainstream beleifs. Who cares? You’re talking about the merits of the argument, you’re partaking in mental masturbation. Who gives a shit?

If you want to convince anyone, cut that shit out. Get to the point, let the merits of your arguments stand for themselves.
No one cares about you, they care about the solution you claim to have.

Also, you need to backup your claims with evidence. The person making the claim has the burden of proof. To convince people of anything you need to back your shut up with good evidence. You need how to get lots of YouTube views? Great, how many views do you get and how does that compare to other methods? What specific results have you personally achieved? People won’t care unless you can back your shit up with real data.

Otherwise check out this book :


You should be able to find it at your library. If you can’t find that one, get another book about rhetoric. You can be right all you want but unless you know to argue effectively you’ll just spin your tires. Emotion and logic are vital in persuasion

You want proof? Go buy a cell phone from a guy and hear how often he talks about how mainstream he isn’t and how smart he is. He won’t.

u/ifauve · 2 pointsr/AskSocialScience

I am not aware of any works that will give you a "checklist" of deception tactics (and I feel like any such work would be inevitably incomplete/unreliable/boring to read). But if you want to read great great works on the subject, how about Walter Lippmann's Public Opinion, Jacques Ellul's Propaganda and, in a slightly different vein but very useful to identify how the media forms its agenda, Chomsky and Herman's Manufacturing Consent (if you read them in this order, you'll find the phrase "manufacturing consent" on Lippmann's book, that's where Chomsky and Herman got it from!)?

Ninja edit: of course, propaganda is more than just deceiving people. But these books are pretty fantastic if you want to study/understand deception.

another edit: Here is a general-audience book that you may find slightly useful. It's been a few years since I read this and honestly, this book was so unremarkable that I couldn't even remember it when typing out my response. But maybe it's your cup of tea, OP!

u/softservepoobutt · 2 pointsr/TrueAskReddit

Honestly - through rigor. I would suggest studying logic, some philosophy (this is about the structure of arguments, and deduction in a general sense) and then something applied, like policy analysis or program evaluation. <- those last two are just related to my field so I know about them, plenty of others around.

Some suggested books that could be interesting for you:

Intro to Logic by Tarski

The Practice of Philosophy by Rosenberg

Thank you for Arguing by Heinrichs

Policy Analysis is instructive in that you have to define a problem, define its characteristics, identify the situation it exists in, plot possible solutions (alternatives), and create criteria for selecting the alternative you like most.

Program Evaluation is really just tons of fun and will teach a bunch about how to appraise things. Eval can get pretty muddy into social research but honestly you can skip a lot of that and just learn the principles.

The key to this is that you're either very smart and can learn this stuff through your own brains and force of will, or, more likely, you'll need people to help beat it into you WELCOME TO GRADSCHOOL.

u/wiltscores · 2 pointsr/books

Weston's A Rulebook for Arguments is clear and concise.

Heinrichs' Thank You for Arguing is more informal with lots of pop culture references.

Sagan's Demon Haunted World is a paean to science & critical thinking and Whyte's Crimes Against Logic is good as well

u/SicKilla · 2 pointsr/atheism

Thank You For Arguing is a good rounded book on rhetoric. I like the modern practical examples used throughout this book. Books on logic and rhetoric are notorious for being dry and boring, but this one is actually enjoyable and I've read it several times. For an introduction/intermediate book on rhetoric that hits all the basics then throws in some more advanced tricks and is fun to read... a solid 4.5 stars.

u/Trichonowhat · 2 pointsr/YouShouldKnow

See, the thing is, repeating what I say doesn't do anything. Learning to argue will make you a much more interesting person. I strongly suggest Thank You for Arguing and This gem of a book.

The latter requires a good deal of reading comprehension to truly gain anything from it, so good luck.

u/yonkeltron · 1 pointr/IAmA

Have you read any of the more recent books on rhetoric and debate? I am referring to books such as Thank You for Arguing and How to Win Every Argument. What do you think of such books? Do you have any texts which you would recommend?

u/not_charles_grodin · 1 pointr/atheism

This is the book you want. Easy to read, easily understood and gives you more than enough strategy to combat any ridiculous argument. Also, any book that can use Simpsons' references to explain classical argumentation in a way anyone can understand gets an unpaid public nod from me - Random Internet User Posting Under a Fake Name

u/Anterai · 1 pointr/books

Good book which i want to get for myself.

But i need something simpler propably.

I was looking at this (sales link warning) http://www.amazon.com/Thank-You-Arguing-Aristotle-Persuasion/dp/0307341445/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1237320948&sr=8-1

Or something like it

u/evil_twinkie · 1 pointr/wheredoibegin

Thank You for Arguing was pretty good. I'm no expert in rhetoric but I think it's an interesting subject. I had an english professor whose focus was on rhetoric, and he had us read this book.

u/Pander · 1 pointr/IAmA

Rhetoric, probably. If you want to persuade people to do as you will, it's called rhetoric. Thank You For Arguing is a good (nonacademic) read for that sort of thing.

Philosophy, on the other hand, is devilishly hard to get absent good teachers. There's a lot of material written as and marketed as philosophy which is just terrible. Nothing like taking actual classes (even just community college classes) to get something out of stuff. If you're nice to your prof and not a complete idiot (you'd be surprised how many people manage to fail that test), they'll help you find stuff suited to your interests.

u/oaklandskeptic · 1 pointr/skeptic

Pick up a copy of Jay Heinrichs "Thank you for Arguing"

It's not going to bog you down with the esoteric aspects of logic (and if that is what you are looking for I still suggest starting here because of its great quality of writing and lay tone.)

Just clean simple explanation of the structure of arguments, fallacious reasoning and how to think about thinking. Plus its funny.

u/gh3ttoduCanada · 1 pointr/army

Thank You For Arguing by Jay Heinrichs.

Book answer of Leadership is "Influencing people by providing purpose, direction, and motivation."

Ergo, having a solid foundation in rhetoric, in my opinion, is tantamount to being a gooder NCO; in line with management and expertise (subject matter/technical/MOS & soldiering).

u/cavedave · 1 pointr/logic

This is a question about rhetoric. Rhetoric is generally based on logic, ethics and emotion.

Rhetoric is less related to pure logic then many think. Even a fully 'logical' argument would be damn hard to break down into propositional logic for example. NLTK has some discourse semantics engines if you are a programmer and interested in this area.

In terms of actual argument a book like 'thank you for arguing' might be of more help then a fully logical textbook. If you do want to study logic there are many threads on this sub asking for book advise.

u/SkepTickTickTickTock · 1 pointr/moderatepolitics

I didn’t even know we were in a competition :)

But in all seriousness, it would literally be impossible for me to lose considering you already lost after your use of ad-hominems. All I can suggest is get better at making good arguments, then you won’t have to do that. Look! I even have a book to suggest that you can read to help you out with that!

You’re free to run along now :)

u/Filmore · 1 pointr/books

I randomly read part of it at a store once. It's a fascinating overview of the art of rhetoric and it's applications in society. It uses examples from George Bush, to Abraham Lincoln, to Aristotle, to Homer Simpson to reiterate the key concepts of classical arguing.

u/[deleted] · 1 pointr/atheism

If you promote critical thinking then you will be biasing against religion. This is not an issue you can avoid. The best you can do is teach them to think for themselves, but that's antithetical to dogma as well.

Also, read this: Thank You for Arguing

It's full of inspiring anecdotes about the author's seemingly trivial argumentation with his kids, and how he encourages them.

u/DirtySnakes · -1 pointsr/videos

When you're entire argument is based around assuming my ignorance and throwing text at something without in any way giving evidence it is incorrect, you know you fucked up.

Bud, if you honestly think that Islam, where husbands are allowed to beat their wives if they “fear disobedience;” by religious law (and do with some fairly public cases) is as "modern" as present day Christianity, we just disagree on the definition of the word.

Let's discuss that. When I say modern, I'm speaking to a level of societal progression in which equality and mutual respect take priority, where one is able to be integrated with others.

I could see where the confusion would arise, as that is a rather arbitrary definition, though one that is generally recognized when discussing this particular issue.

And to close, I give absolutely zero fucks what religion you are, and the fact that you a.) have tried to use that to give yourself credibility and b.) made many assumptions about my experience and knowledge honestly just shows you need to learn how to "argue" better. You make good points, almost, you just fuck it up with all this extraneous bullshit.

Not trying to be a dick or condescending at all, but this book is honestly amazing. I highly recommend it if you're the kinda person who thirsts on knowledge, and you seem to be!

u/ActionBastard · -7 pointsr/atheism

Write a well thought out, rhetorically accurate post on Reddit? No, I think I'll just stay pissed off.

You, however, could probably benefit from this book.

Your logos is what we like to call in the literary world "fucking weak".