Arguments with losers

Florida Philosophical Review 16 (1):1-11 (2016)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

I want to say something about the sort of arguments that it is possible to lose, and whether losing arguments can be done well. I shall focus on losing philosophical arguments, and I will be talking about arguments in the sense of acts of arguing. This is the sort of act that one can perform on one’s own or with one other person in private. But in either of these cases it is difficult to win—or to lose. So I shall concentrate on arguments with audiences. We may think of winning or losing such arguments in terms of whether the audience is convinced. Of course, this doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with who is in the right. That means that there are two sorts of loser: real losers, who lose the argument deservedly, because they are in the wrong, and mere losers, who lose the argument undeservedly, because they are in the right. Hence there must also be two sorts of winner: real winners, who win the argument deservedly, because they are in the right, and mere winners, who win the argument undeservedly, because they are in the wrong. An optimal outcome for arguments with losers would be if all the losers are real losers.

Author's Profile

Andrew Aberdein
Florida Institute of Technology

Analytics

Added to PP
2017-08-14

Downloads
256 (#57,345)

6 months
44 (#78,631)

Historical graph of downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks on external links on PhilPapers.
How can I increase my downloads?