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Do We Need More or Less Argument? University of Windsor Says More

Jake Neher/WDET

Catherine Hundleby (right) with Stephen Henderson (left)

Let’s say — for the sake of argument — that a reasonable and persuasive debate plays an important part in everything you do, like what products you buy or who you are friends with.

But it goes beyond that. Perhaps a good argument could stop wars or bad policy.

But increasingly it feels like argument is more about fighting on social media or over a dinner table about politics, and less about spirited debate balanced with pragmatism and facts.

The University of Windsor thinks good arguments are important enough to the fabric of our global society, that there should be more scholars who are experts of the philosophical debate.

Dr. Catherine Hundleby is a professor of philosophy at the University of Windsor and the graduate coordinator for the university’s new PhD program in argumentation.

Arguing and being argumentative is commonly understood as to fight with somebody, to have verbal dispute, and, perhaps, to try to beat the other person using your words,” says Hundleby.

But good argumentation is about using persuasion, using reason — and reason involves listening, too,” she continues. “Understanding people with whom you disagree, understanding different perspective, paying attention to evidence.”

Click on the audio player above to hear the full conversation.

Image credit: Jake Neher/WDET

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Detroit Today

Dynamic and diverse voices. News, politics, community and the issues that define our region. Hosted by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Stephen Henderson, Detroit Today brings you fresh and perceptive views weekdays at 9 am and 7 pm.

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