Ernest Hemingway said, “The world is a fine place and worth fighting for.” What does “the world” mean? It could be macro issues, for example, human rights, social and economic policies, and international peace and prosperity. If you care about these issues, they are certainly worth promoting through sound argument. But “the world” can also mean your world, in an individual sense–for example, your health, your work, and your relationships. These issues affect you differently and are worth improving through sound argument. So when you think about it, there are as many reasons to argue as there are reasons to live. Your life itself is an argument, a statement of your beliefs and values, and what is important to you.
–The Joy of Argument, (Boyle & Dalton, 2015)
Argument is a tool we can use to exercise our freedom of speech. We express ideas, opinions, problems and solutions through argument with the intention to make society better. Within this “marketplace of ideas,” the best ideas will eventually rise to the top, and good argument allows this to happen faster.
When you understand how to effectively argue, you can use argument as a tool to better your life, expand your world view (and the views of others), and on a basic level, communicate more effectively. You can cut through irrational, emotional and irrelevant arguments and emerge victorious, leaving you to celebrate the triumph of truth.
But argument is a skill that doesn’t come naturally to many people. Arguments that are too complicated will result in confusion. Arguments that are founded in emotion, often result in conflict. Without properly preparing yourself for an argument, your chance at accomplishing anything through discourse is slim.
The Joy of Argument by Albert Navarra was written to help the everyday arguer, as well as professionals, become experts at argument. This book breaks down argument strategies and best practices into easily usable bits of information for a fast, worthwhile read. From body language, to hot words, from leading questions to recognizing victory, The Joy of Argument covers all stages of argument from preparation to practice.
To start learning how to use argument to get what you want, pick up a copy of The Joy of Argument here.
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