A conversational pattern

I suggest something.

A person responds with an objection I’d never seriously considered, and which is completely unpersuasive, but which I cannot immediately specify why its unpersuasive.

I’m unhappy because I can’t win the conversation, ie convince the other person they are


Part of what is going on is that the argument being unpersuasive is a statement in relation to my background beliefs, and not about the argument as such. Hence the structure of my response is:

That argument won’t convince anyone skeptical of the position.

Can you modify it to convince someone skeptical of the position?

This is ineffective because the person I’m talking with isn’t skeptical of the claim in the first place. A better response seems to be oriented around trying to get at why we should be skeptical in the first place, and tactically the approach should perhaps be to come from an unexpected conversational direction. Similar to how the unpersuasive argument itself was unexpected.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to A conversational pattern

  1. Ursula says:

    Your scenario sounds like every political conversation I’ve ever had with my dad. He makes up shit just to “win” the conversation. My best example is his response to the fact that Bush 2 entered the white house with a surplus and left with a [record] deficit. He said that the CBO “makes up numbers” when their party is leaving the white house. It made me realize that my father is going to be a bitter old jerk forever at this point.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s