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Thread: pragma-dialectical experiment

  1. #1 pragma-dialectical experiment 
    Forum Professor marcusclayman's Avatar
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    Would anyone be willing to take part in an experiment where volunteers first learn the rules of pragma-dialectic, and then participate in a variety of discussions that puts the rules to the test to see if such a procedure is as pragmatic as it's name suggests?

    Could a special sub forum be made with limited access only to participants?


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  3. #2  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    Can you give any insight as to the time required to learn the rules? One hour, one day, one week? A ballpark figure would aid the decision process.


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    WYSIWYG Moderator marnixR's Avatar
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    for starters, what IS pragma-dialectic ?
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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  5. #4  
    Forum Professor marcusclayman's Avatar
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    it is a procedure developed by dialectic theorists to resolve differences in opinion

    there are a few rules set forth that are designed to make sure an argument stays focused, and come closer to a resolution.

    I have an e-book to share, but i cannot post it on here since it is copy written. If anyone wants me to e-mail it to them, PM me, it is very short and gives a quick understanding of the purpose and the methods of critical discussion.

    It may come as common sense to many, but it is for those who will have to struggle to learn that I am doing this. Those who understand the right way to argue for or against a point will be able to help, but hopefully we will all be able to, not just practice our own skills, but help awaken others to their own abilities as well.
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  6. #5  
    WYSIWYG Moderator marnixR's Avatar
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    by all means mail me the e-book
    do you need me to send you my e-mail address, or do you already have it ?
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  7. #6  
    Forum Professor marcusclayman's Avatar
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    The first step in the pragma-dialectic process is to establish a difference of opinion. This is done by stating an opinion, as a lure to attract a challenge.

    The challenger states clearly, in one way or another "I disagree with your opinion"

    and this establishes that there is a difference of opinion

    The second step is to establish roles. Who is defending their opinion and who is attacking the other person's opinion? In my opinion: the person who made the original claim is obliged to take the defensive role; it is not always the case, but I think it would be easier if it was. Whatever the roles be: they must be clearly established and maintained firmly until the discussion is concluded. To establish the roles, the attacker(whom disagrees with the opinion of the defender) asks the defender to support(defend) their opinion.

    The third step is the meat of the discussion: defender and attacker take turns parrying with evidence and counter-evidence, until the discussion is concluded.

    The defender supports their opinion using established sources(in the case of scientific discussion: scientific reference books, and citations from them would be acceptable sources), the attacker then attacks the defender's support in one of various ways: by proving it as invalid; or by presenting conflicting evidence.

    At no time does the attacker try to make a point of their own, except that the defenders opinion is wrong. If the attacker attempts to make a point, other than "the defender's opinion is wrong" a meta-discussion has occurred, at which point they can agree to table the original discussion, for a later time. If an agreement cannot be made, on who's point is being defended, there is little point to discuss anything else. You may as well wrestle, and claim "the victor has the wisest opinion" or maybe burping the alphabet would be more appropriate.

    If one or both parties do not want to table the discussion, then the original discussion continues until the defender withdraws their opinion; or the attacker agrees with the defender's opinion.

    At this point the discussion is concluded. If any other "end" occurs, the discussion is considered incomplete.

    If the defender withdraws their opinion, this does not imply a change of opinion: it is a good chance for the attacker to state their own opinion on the subject, in which case the defender is obliged to either agree or disagree. If they disagree, they start a new round of dialectic. It is it's own discussion, not related to the previous one, although support that was used, can be used again, this time as counter support, and vice versa.


    Something that should be pointed out is that bringing up hipocritical statements --such as when someone said one thing in a previous argument, and something you understand as contradictory in a current one -- it is not pragmatic to point out such hipocrasy in the middle of a discussion. The only thing that will come of it is a meta-discussion.

    It is best to wait until the discussion is over, and then state your opinion about the person's integrity in an attempt to start a discussion about it.
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  8. #7  
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    Sounds like an interesting activity. I'm game.
    Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools, because they have to say something.
    -Plato

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  9. #8  
    WYSIWYG Moderator marnixR's Avatar
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    i'm afraid i'm probably too anarchic to stick to strict discussion rules
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  10. #9  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    I've read your summary and would be willing to participate.
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  11. #10  
    Forum Professor marcusclayman's Avatar
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    I understand, it is definitely a change from the usual forum mindset, but this is the point, to see what can be accomplished using such rules, that cannot be accomplished in a free-for-all, evidence-optional, type argument that forums are known for.

    Would you be willing to give it a try anyhow, marnix?



    As for how we would do this, I'm not quite sure. I'm thinking of starting another forum, but I'd rather find one already existent to hijack... such as this one

    I did a search, and there doesn't seem to be any dialectic forums. This forum, for example, was in the top 3. A forum that has about 20 posts, and zero debates, is the top 1; and revleft(revolutionary left) is the 2nd hit, with a whole 1 post about what books are best to learn dialectic from. So far, nowhere to actually go and practice dialectic.

    the only problem is with keeping trolls and those who fail to understand the rules of discussion from interfering. The easy solution would be to password protect the forum. But unless there is a way to prevent people from posting, while still allowing them to see what others have posted, attracting new people into the group will be more difficult.

    Any ideas?
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  12. #11  
    Administrator KALSTER's Avatar
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    Any ideas?
    Rigorous usage of the ignore feature.
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

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  13. #12  
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    Quote Originally Posted by marcusclayman
    the only problem is with keeping trolls and those who fail to understand the rules of discussion from interfering. The easy solution would be to password protect the forum. But unless there is a way to prevent people from posting, while still allowing them to see what others have posted, attracting new people into the group will be more difficult.

    Any ideas?
    You could start a thread in an appropriate subforum, depending on the topic of debate, and request the moderator of that subforum to enforce your special set of rules on that thread. The moderator would remove any inappropriate posts. If no moderator is assigned to the subforum, you could request a moderator to be assigned or ask Skinwalker or Insanity to remove the offending posts.
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  14. #13  
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    I have a feeling philosophy would be a great place for this kind of discussion.
    Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools, because they have to say something.
    -Plato

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  15. #14  
    Forum Professor marcusclayman's Avatar
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    The only problem is that dialectic is between two people, so it kind of goes against the idea of a forum. I wouldn't want the moderators to have to work double/triple/quadruple duty, just because some people don't get that they are not a part of this discussion.

    I think I'm going to have to make a forum.
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  16. #15  
    WYSIWYG Moderator marnixR's Avatar
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    unless IS is willing to create a subforum specific for one-on-one discussions of the type you had in mind
    anyone trying to butt in would have his/her posts (re)moved

    e.g. the RichardDawkins.net forum has a part for Formal Debates, which states "Only designated debaters should post in the active debates."
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  17. #16  
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    I'd say a subform for formal debates with a consistent and strict mod assigned would be perfect. instead of restricted access, just ask for a subforum like this and let you be the mod, as you have the clear and good mindset for it.
    Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools, because they have to say something.
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  18. #17  
    Forum Professor marcusclayman's Avatar
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    I guess mods are discussing it, until then marnixR made a sub forum at philosophorum.com
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  19. #18  
    WYSIWYG Moderator marnixR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marcusclayman
    I guess mods are discussing it, until then marnixR made a sub forum at philosophorum.com
    that's philosophorum.org - no ordinary com here
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  20. #19  
    Forum Professor marcusclayman's Avatar
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    wooopsies
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