Arguing has a bit of a bad rap in modern society, being seen as divisive and a source of conflict. When most people hear the word, they think of heated rows where voices are raised, accusations and names are thrown back and forth like missiles, no satisfactory conclusion is reached, and the parties arguing end up angry, hurt, further apart, and more dogmatically entrenched in their positions than before. This reputation isn’t deserved – arguing is just another aspect of communication, one that allows an exchange of ideas and for issues to be resolved in order for things to move forward.
This book is going to teach you how to overcome the obstacles that stand between you and succeeding in convincing others to your way of thinking. It will take a look at what arguing actually is in order to gain a better understanding of how to do it well and efficiently, tackle the prickly issue of just how ethical it is to persuade someone, and look at the different ways in which we fail in our arguments, both in winning and occasionally in reaching a decent resolution without devolving into fighting. It will also take an extensive look at logic, particularly how it is applied to construct valid and compelling arguments, and finally closes with 10 tips that will help you win your arguments.
The section on logic takes up over half the book – logic is the cornerstone of a convincing argument, after all. This isn’t a stuffy book that will give you dense theory with no connection to real life, though: Each entry includes a personal and professional example that you are likely to come across in real life. Along with the positive uses of logic, some ways in which the techniques discussed can be used in a dishonest way that takes advantage of how the human brain works are also included. There is a brief discussion of the ethics of using these techniques, but ultimately the power is given to you, the listener.