Tag Archives: arguments

The primary purpose of reasoning isn’t to figure out what’s true but to win arguments.

Reasoning is generally seen as a means to improve knowledge and make better decisions. However, much evidence shows that reasoning often leads to epistemic distortions and poor decisions. This suggests that the function of reasoning should be rethought. Our hypothesis is that the function of reasoning is argumentative. It is to devise and evaluate arguments intended to persuade. Reasoning so conceived is adaptive given the exceptional dependence of humans on communication and their vulnerability to misinformation.
Skilled arguers, however, are not after the truth but after arguments supporting their views. This explains the notorious confirmation bias. This bias is apparent not only when people are actually arguing, but also when they are reasoning proactively from the perspective of having to defend their opinions. Reasoning so motivated can distort evaluations and attitudes and allow erroneous beliefs to persist. Proactively used reasoning also favors decisions that are easy to justify but not necessarily better.

Via The Intersection.

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Jonah Goldberg draws no conclusions

Jonah Goldberg at The Corner:

Some fascinating maps of major American cities, highlighting ethnic breakdown.

Meanwhile, Red State cities like San Antonio and Houston are much better integrated.

It’s not an argument, just an observation.

Hey! Jonah Goldberg wants to show you something.

But he’s not saying it means anything.

He’s not even sure why he’s telling you about it.

He just kind of randomly copies and pastes links into his blogging software.

Not that I would dare suggest anything by mentioning this.

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