Civilization is defined by our willingness and ability to use words instead of fists - in the absence of reason, violence rules. The Art of the Argument gives you the intellectual ammunition - in one concentrated, entertaining and powerful package - to engage in truly productive, civilization-saving debates. Armed with this book, you will be empowered to speak truth to power, illuminate ignorance, shatter delusions, and expose the dangerous sophists within your own life, and around the world.
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Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Ras on 28-12-17
Very shallow with few wise points to say only
The author has some intellectual investment and he has a few good arguments which I cannot deny their common sense value. However, overall this book is full of shallow information and it seriously lacks an academic depth. It rhetorically appeals to feelings of layman. This is not necessarily a bad thing but the book markets itself with higher expectations. Besides, its title is misleading and extremely overrates the value of the book.The author starts with demeaning all academic knowledge on argumentation but then engage himself with them in a very primitive way to support his cases. I do not claim that the book is devoid of any meaningful points. However, the book's points can easily be captured in half an hour. It does not say much about argumentation per se. Rather, the book emphasises the value of argumentation as a means of proper political discussions, which are then used to promote liberalism as if all against liberalism were sophists. I am open to all political ideas and I wish to hear their merits and weaknesses. I had known beforehand that the author has political biases but the lack of depth of his arguments frustrated and bored me. I definitely do not recommend this book to anyone who wants to read intellectually engaging material. I was misled by many high ratings given to this book.
10 of 13 people found this review helpful
By Ben Yates on 01-07-18
Lacking substance and disturbingly arrogant
Although I disagree with the author's politics, I knew that when I bought the book. That isn't the problem. I think everybody should read material written by those whose opinions differ from their own - if they don't, there's no opportunity to exchange and debate ideas, or to persuade people to change their views. You can't have confidence in your own views if you haven't tested them or allowed others to challenge them. I'm willing to give a high rating to a book by an author I disagree with if it's well written.
The problem with this book is that it claims to be a manual setting out techniques of debate and rhetoric, when in fact there's really not much to it. What it really consists of is an opinionated rant, written in a weirdly unpleasant and arrogant tone. The author uses examples of supposed sophistry (many of which are flawed) purely to express his political opinions and to make quite childish and often ad hominem digs at those with differing opinions. If he were really interested in analysing debating techniques, he would include (better) examples of effective arguments contrary, or unrelated, to his own political views.
There's something else about his style which grates. At times, he sounds like he's giving a speech at a political rally, knowingly and cynically pushing certain buttons to whip up popular support. It's fundamentally condescending. I suspect this book, along with his podcasts, is largely aimed at a young and impressionable audience looking for guidance and direction, and he knows what he needs to do to appeal to them. In that sense, it isn't really an "argument" at all, but rather a piece of propaganda. He is, in fact, the sophist all along.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Bryan Schneiders on 21-12-17
Redundant explanations made the book twice as long as necessary. Otherwise good content and performance.
15 of 18 people found this review helpful
By RyanJ on 20-01-18
I thought this would be a book about the principles of argument. It was actually more a philosophical discussion of the concept of argument. I couldn’t finish because the book was unnecessarily wordy to the point where it was annoying. After 3 hours of what I can best describe as rambling (though the rambling may have some great philosophical perspectives), it is really somewhat pointless. The writing style paints the author as overwhelmingly arrogant as well.
32 of 40 people found this review helpful