How to Teach a Child to Argue

Submitted by Bill St. Clair on Sat, 30 May 2009 14:16:03 GMT  <== Politics ==> 

Jay Heinrichs at Figures of Speech Served Fresh - when Mr. Heinrich's daughter had a temper tantrum in the bank lobby, he quieted her by saying "That argument won't work, sweetheart. It isn't pathetic enough." That worked because he had taught his daughter rhetoric, the ancient art of argument. [gsc]

I had long equated arguing with fighting, but in rhetoric they are very different things. An argument is good; a fight is not. Whereas the goal of a fight is to dominate your opponent, in an argument you succeed when you bring your audience over to your side. A dispute over territory in the backseat of a car qualifies as an argument, for example, in the unlikely event that one child attempts to persuade his audience rather than slug it.

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