The Beauty of a Good Argument with Walter Sinnott-Armstrong



We are fortunate to have philosopher Walter Sinnott-Armstrong (Duke University) on the podcast today, talking about arguments — not the kind you have when you’re angry, but the kind you construct in favor of a position or policy. Arguments respect people by treating them as real agents capable of reason; they have myriad other benefits, and Walter walks us through all of it, as well as talking about polarization itself, why some kinds of it are harmful, and some possible ways forward.

1:30 – Polarization defined & measured; which types are bad?
11:00 – Civility and incivility
20:00 – Possible technological fixes for polarization
25:00 – Why Walter loves arguments
38:00 – Dan and Walter talk Jonathan Haidt and Paul Bloom
50:00 – Difference between Fights and Arguments
1:03:00 – What are some bad arguments?
1:13:00 – Walter challenges Dan’s politics a little
1:21:00 – Ellen and Dan discuss the interview

Walter’s WSJ piece: https://www.wsj.com/articles/to-get-along-better-we-need-better-arguments-1531411024
Walter’s latest book: https://smile.amazon.com/Think-Again-How-Reason-Argue/dp/0190627123/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1540775147&sr=8-2&keywords=think+again
Walter’s online courses: https://www.coursera.org/instructor/~932346

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Depolarize! is produced by Dan Koch & mixed by Chris Keene

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