How to Argue

Suppose you’re in an argument or debate with someone, and they dismiss your ideas without providing valid reasons in return – what do you do? Assuming the debate is real–in other words, both parties are conversing in order to get to the truth, and not for the sake of winning an argument–you can easily focus the discussion by asking the other party to state your case for you: ask them to repeat your own argument.

This will ensure you’re talking about the same thing and the other party understands your position clearly. If they don’t, you can correct them. If they do, they’ll have to refute your idea at some point using a valid reason. Of course, if they’re not interested in the truth they likely won’t do this, especially if they doubt their own position. If this happens, don’t waste your time, there’s nothing to gain here.

Share on Twitter Facebook Email

“For even falsehood, uttered by the tongue of man, seemed like truth and light before this hopelessly-deaf and unresponsive silence.”

My new book: a translation of selected short stories by Leonid Andreyev, the father of Russian Expressionism from the Silver Age of Russian literature. A piercing, pitiless glance into the heart of the human condition.

☛ Read online

Further Reading

Proust wrote that the true voyage of discovery is not to visit strange lands, but to possess other eyes, to behold a hundred universes that each of them beholds. Thus, in the words of Ruskin, what good books give us is not mere knowledge, but sight.

Sign up to my email newsletter to receive regular recommendations of exceptional books on a wide range of topics including design, art, history and philosophy. A summary of latest site updates will also be included. Sign up below: