The Art of Argument

Using logic, strategy and empathy for collaborative discussions.

Learn how to...

  • Move beyond exchanges of opinion to collaborative discussions

  • Disentangle disagreements by tracing them back to the underlying assumptions

  • Work towards a joint solution or shared understanding

  • End inconclusive conversations amicably, knowing why agreement wasn’t possible

  • Understand what’s happening in a disagreement and intervene constructively

  • Adopt a win-win strategy for arguing, rather than win-lose

Who we are...

The Philosophy Foundation has a mission to involve as wide an audience as possible in the aims and practice of philosophy. We do this by facilitating philosophical conversations, and sharing philosophical principles, skills and techniques in schools, workplaces and public forums. We are experts in the rules of reasoning for all subjects – from playground politics to the mysteries of existence and all points in between.

What you will learn about

Arguments have rules: the rules of logic. Everything we say to make a point is either valid or not, according to these simple rules. What happens in everyday life, however, is that these rules are obscured by complex topics and emotions. Anyone who learns the rules can use them as a way of getting discussions back on track. We’ll be exploring pure logic as well as  discourse analysis and the psychology of argument – all in ways that non-experts can understand and enjoy.

Where you can use this

  • These skills can make you more effective at work, especially if you need to persuade others or adjudicate when others disagree.

  • You can have more satisfying and functional discussions in your personal life (e.g. family meetings, relationship check-ins, conversations with housemates etc).  

  • You will be more effective in political debates, able to listen and reply with more precision and presence.

  • You will understand arguments and disagreements of all kinds more clearly.