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The Truth of the Lesser Men blog is proud to present, to you loyal reader, a proposal for a project for an idea, and, now here, to help and guide us in this brave endeavour, we invoke the totem of Tiger and Whining Little Brat!

conversations aren't contests

conversations aren't contests

«Conversations are not Contests» is a good saying, and it does warrant some points, specially as it is so relevant, but it does not change the fact that we ARE marking the scores. And you could even try to go the «if this is so we have to change what we are doing right now» but that is also a saying, it is also a play INSIDE the game.

I am not to say that there is nothing but the contest (this is a much, much longer tale) but if we want to understand the ins and outs of this game we must train ourselves from the beginning to not depend on external “anchors” to our analysis, and focus on the reality of the game, not in a conjectural (and not consensual) ontological root of knowledge. We must understand the argumentation art by what it is, not by what we think it ought to be!

And this, basically, is the Eristik 2.0 Project’s aim.

The Eristik 2.0 goal is a new understanding to the act of discussing. It’s final product will be a system, likelly to be incorporated in a text (blog post or maybe a publication, who knows?), which will present a restructuring, rethinking, and updating of the original “The Art of Being Right” by our most beloved Art Schopenhauer.

As so, we will stick to the format of “stratagems”, which is to say dirty tricks you can always use to turn the flames of debate towards your own debating victory.

The stratagems in LT’s Eristik 2.0 will be marked by an LT, so as to distinguish them from Shopenhauer’s, which will receive an S. Wherever possible, we will try to make a direct connection between S and LT stratagems.

Also, exactly as Schopenhauer, we will also try to provide a basic framework for analysing the various stratagems. But we will organize the stratagems according to this framework. So maybe the notation for LT stragems will have more than one number (like LT04.21), but preferably we can manage a BASIC-like use of numbers with spaces between them (like LT101, LT102 followed by LT201, LT202).

It is unavoidable that any such attempt will incorporate (or even instantiate) a given epistemological stance. This stance, needless to say, will be the one maintained (albeit chaotically) by this blog overall. But we also would appreciate if other blogs or persons or even institutions would provide their own hierarchies of stratagems according to their disagreement with us. If such comes to pass, i believe also that sticking to the same convention of numbering stratagems (with each choosing their own prefix) would facilitate cooperation.

Judging by the current state of all my other projects, this will still take some time, obviously. But this should be so much fun, and i had been hoping to carry something like it for quite so much time, that it will probably not die out in silence.


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