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L'Art d'avoir toujours raison…

L'Art d'avoir toujours raison (French Edition) (original 1864; edition 2019)

by Arthur Schopenhauer (Author)

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8201117,678 (3.57)4
A succinct and entertaining guide to the art of debate.
Title:L'Art d'avoir toujours raison (French Edition)
Authors:Arthur Schopenhauer (Author)
Info:Independently published (2019), 107 pages
Collections:Your library

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The Art of Always Being Right by Arthur Schopenhauer (1864)

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Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
In this volume, Schopenhauer's essay "The Art of Controversy", a detailed exposition on how to win logical arguments, is presented in its completion. A shortened version had previously appeared in his final work, 1851's Parerga and Paralipomena. Rounding out the contents of this book are essays on aesthetics, the wisdom of life, genius and virtue, and a collection of psychological observations.

In The Art of Controversy Schopenhauer gives a detailed exposition on how to win logical arguments. It is a tactical approach to argumentation, meaning that the object is not to prove a universal truth on a particular matter, but to provide a more convincing argument on a subject; not to prove oneself the bearer of absolute truth necessarily, but to prove oneself as a more effective arguer. In this way, the essay is more a practical guide than philosophical exploration. Of course, Schopenhauer praised truth above all else, so ideally one would win a argument and also possess the truth attempting to be proved. However, if all one wants to do is simply win the argument, or to make it look as if one has presented the more convincing argument, this essay demonstrates a number of methods to that end.
  AMD3075 | Feb 23, 2014 |
This man's logic makes me smile every time. ( )
  Melissarochell | Jul 20, 2013 |
This is as near as heavyweight German philosophers come to letting their hair down and having a good laugh (ok, Schopenhauer's hair naturally tended upwards, but you know what I mean). What in our time would have been a highly profitable little "How-to" book, this was actually written with satirical intent, in mock-defence of the proposition that in academic life it is more important to win the argument than to have the truth on your side.

Schopenhauer gives us a short introduction, heavily laced with references to Aristotle and other authorities, on the history of arguments as objects of philosophical enquiry, and then offers thirty-eight infallible strategies for winning one. The choice of thirty-eight is a masterful touch, of course. Had he taken ten, or fifty, or 1001, we would say "this is just another of those list books". But thirty-eight is a number that doesn't fit into any pattern: we feel that he must have picked it simply because he knew of precisely thirty-eight strategies worth documenting. Perhaps that should have been point 39: "If you use a list of heads of argument, never pick a predictable number..."

This sort of book works because it documents what we already know in an amusing way, not because it teaches us something new (cf. Scott Adams's Dilbert character). If you have ever lost an argument when you knew you were right, you will have seen at least some of the thirty-eight deployed against you: you have probably also used most of them against other people at one time or another. Schopenhauer somehow doesn't sound like the sort of person to have lost many arguments, but presumably he had some personal experience to fall back on too. And more than likely some of the examples he cites were not just random, but digs at specific people. Fun, anyway. ( )
1 vote thorold | Feb 10, 2013 |
Hilarious! An amusing, insightful, but no doubt very useful compilation of the best of the darker side of argument.

There are brief glimpses of these "rules" in Chapter X of G.K. Chesterton's "The Man Who Was Thursday."
  GYKM | Feb 5, 2011 |
This is an absolute must-read. So much of a must-read, in fact, that I think it should be used in schools at around age 18. ( )
  dr.falko | Dec 6, 2009 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Arthur Schopenhauerprimary authorall editionscalculated
Grayling, A. C.Afterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Grayling, A. C.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Saunders, Thomas BaileyTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Pubblicati postumi, questi 38 stratagemmi di Schopenhauer rappresentano un utile strumento per trasformare qualsiasi disputa in una vittoria. Non importa se l’opinione sia giusta o sbagliata, vera o falsa: esistono modi precisi per ribaltare le discussioni e superare dialetticamente chiunque. Sono precetti di immediata applicabilità, quasi i princìpi di una scienza, e spaziano dalla nobile disamina delle parole dell’avversario fino ad astuzie retoriche in grado di sgretolare le certezze di chi ci fronteggia: sfruttare i pregiudizi altrui, generalizzare e banalizzare, suscitare nell’avversario la confusione con domande inaspettate o l’ira con affermazioni provocatorie, proporre in tono denigratorio l’opposto della propria tesi al solo scopo di evidenziarne l’assurdità, fino a spingersi all’estremo dello sproloquio privo di senso o dell’offesa diretta, pur di ricacciare indietro l’oppositore.
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