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PT Dialectic- A Plea For A Return to Classical AValues in Argument and Dialogue

The dysfunction of some argument on PT threads led me to start thinking about this in the broader context. People seem to have forgottten (or not been taught) the basics of argument or dialogue- Thesis, Antithesis and Synthesis.

Here is how wikipedia describes it:

* The thesis is an intellectual proposition.
* The antithesis is simply the negation of the thesis.
* The synthesis solves the conflict between the thesis and antithesis by reconciling their common truths, and forming a new proposition.

My suspicion has been that post-modernism and post-structuralism has been to blame for the decline in broader adherence to any semblence of the dialectic. Any political arguement these days seems to serve some therapeutic purpose and to simply shut down debate. There is no longer any attempt to acknowledge the antithesis, and certainly no synthesis. Hence the chaos in argument.

I looked this up in Wikipedia, and sure enough, Richard Rorty, (among others) is cited as a critic of the dialectic. Rorty is the intellectual heir to Heiddeger, Foucault and Derrida. (Three guys who have taken philosophy on one long strange trip).

There are a couple ways to look at this- a) we can embrace a return to classic (and I think more civil) form of argument, or b) blame it all on post-structuralism- because at the end of the day- everything is relative!!


Mon. Apr 16, 10:13am

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wikipedia generally produces well balanced arguements, and in my experience both sides of an argument will be presented.

Monday, April 16, 2007, 1:09 PM

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Were people ever really that civilized in poltical debate? I mean, sounds great, but I'm not holding my breath...

Tuesday, April 17, 2007, 1:00 AM

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I think that political speech prior to Bush 2 was much less heated. Much. Something about Bush made the left go nuts.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007, 8:23 AM

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One problem I see is that in an online forum it's really difficult to address thesis, antithesis, and synthesis because if it gets too long then people skim (I know I do). I try to make all of my posts really short and to the point, which admittedly can sometimes come off as harsh, which sparks debate.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007, 1:28 PM

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Wikipedia is full of fakes and edit monger. At least start with a credible source.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007, 1:32 PM

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1:32- right, it is user edited, but what is your relevant point? Do you question the definition of dialectic? Do you question their take on Rorty?

Tuesday, April 17, 2007, 1:40 PM

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This is a cool thread. Found it by accident. Thanks for the English lesson.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007, 9:22 PM

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