The Art of Arguing Well

In this half day workshop, we will learn that the pursuit of argument and disagreement can be rich and enlightening, and a source of insight rather than misery. 

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.

Ideas explored include:

  • How tribalism, clashing world-views 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

Join Dr Tim Dean for this unique and robust workshop and learn the art of arguing well.


12.45pm          Afternoon tea & welcome
1.00pm            Class begins
2.30pm            Break (times vary)
4.00pm            Class finishes

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'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.

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The Art of Arguing Well



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Full price: $100.00
Concession: $80.00
(+ $2 booking fee and 1.5% CC fee) 

Valid concession cards include a Health Care Card, Seniors Card, Pensioner Concession Card and current student cards.

Please note that we are unable to offer refunds or transfers with less than 7 days cancellation notice before the original class date.

Please note that our core classes take place upstairs at 370 Bourke St Surry Hills. For mobility access, please contact us to discuss arrangements to ensure your access requirements are supported.

For general ticketing and box office enquiries please email