Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Dennett on how to argue

In the previous post, I described a barely remembered fragment of Daniel Dennett's advice on how to argue coherently.  Turns out, the post I recalled was about how to criticize with kindness and offered a excerpt from his book, Intuition Pumps and other tools for thinking.

From the "How to Criticize..." link:
How to compose a successful critical commentary:
  1. You should attempt to re-express your target’s position so clearly, vividly, and fairly that your target says, “Thanks, I wish I’d thought of putting it that way.
  2. You should list any points of agreement (especially if they are not matters of general or widespread agreement).
  3. You should mention anything you have learned from your target.
  4. Only then are you permitted to say so much as a word of rebuttal or criticism.

Good advice for us all.
Not related but not quite worth a blog post of its own.
Vignettes of Famous Evolutionists.  Ah, the content is worth a post (or more) of its own, but I don't have much to add.  Follow the link to learn about masters of the field of evolution.