The Art of Being Right

The Art of Being Right: 38 Ways to Win an Argument (also Eristic Dialectic: The Art of Winning an Argument; 1831) is an acidulous and sarcastic treatise written by the German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer in sarcastic deadpan. In it, Schopenhauer examines a total of thirty-eight methods of showing up one’s opponent in a debate. He introduces his essay with the idea that philosophers have concentrated in ample measure on the rules of logic, but have not (especially since the time of Immanuel Kant) engaged with the darker art of the dialectic, of controversy. Whereas the purpose of logic is classically said to be a method of arriving at the truth, dialectic, says Schopenhauer, “…on the other hand, would treat of the intercourse between two rational beings who, because they are rational, ought to think in common, but who, as soon as they cease to agree like two clocks keeping exactly the same time, create a disputation, or intellectual contest.”

He “collected all the dishonest tricks so frequently occurring in argument and clearly presented each of them in its characteristic setting, illustrated by examples and given a name of its own.” As an additional service, Schopenhauer “added a means to be used against them, as a kind of guard against these thrusts….”

[Esta es una edición gratuita de un libro clásico sin derechos de autor porque, como decía el poeta Josep Vicenç Foix: si se quiere ser realmente moderno, hay que leer a los clásicos. Por eso lo ponemos a disposición de todos desde la web de los B&P]

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