The Art of Arguing Well
You may have noticed that most arguments end up going nowhere these days, whether it’s a debate over the dinner table or a clash of ideas in the political sphere. Arguments are often a powerful source of misery. They leave us feeling defeated, often agonising and rehearsing the conflict alone in our heads. Instead of engaging constructively with others, or persuading them to genuinely understand our views, we often talk past each other, hurl criticism or accept defeat without even sharing our views out loud. But, unless everyone miraculously comes to hold exactly the same positions on everything, disagreement is going to be a fact of life. So, we had better learn to deal with it – and learn to do it well.
The good news is that it can be done. In fact, argument and disagreement can be rich and enlightening, and a source of insight rather than misery.
In this day-long workshop, you will learn:
- How tribalism, clashing worldviews and polarised discourse leads to us generally being terrible at disagreeing;
- What ideological diversity is and the nature of disagreement;
- The importance of diversity and disagreement;
- How to respectfully listen to others & synthesise opposing theories;
- How to articulate a persuasive argument;
- How to develop a rational opinion;
- The rules of rational discourse, and how to avoid those who break them.
Through an exploration of the importance of disagreement and well-reasoned points of departure, join Dr Tim Dean for this unique one-day workshop and learn the art of arguing well.
10.00 Welcome & Workshop commences
13.00 Lunch (times vary)
16.00 Workshop finishes
'I dislike arguments of any kind. They are always vulgar and often convincing'
— Oscar Wilde
Tim Dean is a philosopher and science writer. He has a PhD from the University of New South Wales on evolution and morality, and has an interest in ethics, the philosophy of biology, philosophy of science and moral psychology. He is an Honorary Associate in the Philosophy department at the University of Sydney. In 2015 he won the Australasian Association of Philosophy Media Professionals' Award for his writing on philosophy in New Philosopher, Acuity Magazine, Cosmos, ABC's The Drum and on Channel 10's The Project.
Workshops and Intensives allow more time for an in-depth exploration of the topic through conversation and activities. Our workshops provide an opportunity to work with leading members of our faculty over the course of a highly structured day.