Paul Graham: How to Disagree

by Volker Weber

If we're all going to be disagreeing more, we should be careful to do it well. What does it mean to disagree well? Most readers can tell the difference between mere name-calling and a carefully reasoned refutation, but I think it would help to put names on the intermediate stages. So here's an attempt at a disagreement hierarchy:

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[via Daring Fireball]

Comments

This is excellent stuff.

Unfortunately, in the UK at least, people are increasingly using the word 'refute' to mean 'deny' (as in, "I refute this newspaper's statement" with no further argument stated) perhaps just because the word sounds more impressive.

It is never good, it seems to me, when language gets weakened through that kind of misuse.

Nick Daisley, 2008-03-31

"Refuting the Central Point"

Hm. Looks to me, the disagreement hierarchy is blocked before DH6 most of the time.

Frank Quednau, 2008-04-01

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I explain difficult concepts in simple ways. For free, and for money. Clue procurement and bullshit detection.

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