Dan Dennett on How to Argue with Opponents

I very much liked these four steps from philosopher Dan Dennett, in how to argue with strong opponents that pretty much reflects how I conducted my union negotiations on tough issues. Thanks to my friend Nigel for this:

How to compose a successful critical commentary:

  1. You should attempt to re-express your target’s position so clearly, vividly, and fairly that your target says, “Thanks, I wish I’d thought of putting it that way.
  2. You should list any points of agreement (especially if they are not matters of general or widespread agreement).
  3. You should mention anything you have learned from your target.
  4. Only then are you permitted to say so much as a word of rebuttal or criticism.

 

The rest of his article is at: 
http://www.brainpickings.org/2014/03/28/daniel-dennett-rapoport-rules-criticism/

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About creativeconflictwisdom

I spent 32 years in a Fortune Five company working on conflict: organizational, labor relations and senior management. I have consulted in a dozen different business sectors and the US Military. I work with a local environmental non profit. I have written a book on the neuroscience of conflict, and its implications for conflict handling called Creative Conflict Wisdom (forthcoming).
This entry was posted in Academic Conflict, Conflict Processes, PERSONAL CONFLICT RESOLUTION: CREATIVE STRATEGIES, Philosophy of Conflict, US Political Conflict, Ways to handle conflict and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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