[ExI] The Argumentative Theory of Reasoning

BillK pharos at gmail.com
Thu Jun 16 06:24:17 UTC 2011

On Thu, Jun 16, 2011 at 6:47 AM, Gordon wrote:
> That seems a good summary of the argumentative theory of reasoning: we don't reason to find the truth;
> we reason with others to defend the theories we posit, and that's all there is to it.

I think humans are more complicated than that.

Sometimes I get involved in discussions that I know I have no chance
of 'winning'.
I look on it as a learning experience. I put forward opinions
(hopefully with some evidence attached) then see what contrary
arguments are put forward. Even when people totally disagree, the mix
of ideas might lay seeds for future changes. Not only in the
participants, but also in those just reading the discussion.

The question / response method is the Socratic method.
The Socratic method is a negative method of hypothesis elimination, in
that better hypotheses are found by steadily identifying and
eliminating those that lead to contradictions. The Socratic method
searches for general, commonly held truths that shape opinion, and
scrutinizes them to determine their consistency with other beliefs.


More information about the extropy-chat mailing list