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  • Some arguments focus on the person

  • and not what they're saying.

  • A way to keep your focus on the discussion is to think of the sporting phrase:

  • 'play the ball, not the player.'

  • It's hard to listen to people we don't like,

  • and difficult to disagree with those that we trust and admire.

  • But there's a difference between who a person is

  • and what they're saying.

  • For example, you might not like a particular fossil fuel company because

  • of past illegal and unethical behavior.

  • A smiling representative from the company comes on television and claims their

  • chemical research division has discovered an environmentally friendly

  • 'clean' form of petrol.

  • It's too easy to be suspicious of their actions. After all, you don't like them.

  • They could be lying to make money.

  • The company's history may imply its actions could warrant closer attention and further discussion.

  • But you can't logically claim that they're wrong based on that argument alone.

  • Linking your dislike with your disbelief

  • is playing the player, not the issue.

  • You can't be an expert on all things and how you feel about a person can be

  • a tempting first step in deciding if you trust them.

  • But arguments based on who you trust and who you suspect, just aren't valid.

  • We turn to experts when we're looking for good advice. However, claiming a conclusion

  • is logically true because an expert made the claim, is a poor argument.

  • Climate change is not a concern because experts say so, it's a concern because the

  • facts and the logic indicate that global warming is a sound conclusion.

  • That doesn't mean that we should ignore experts,

  • instead we need to ask questions to better understand the facts and the logic that

  • they use.

Some arguments focus on the person

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A2 UK TOEIC logically trust company conclusion expert

Critical Thinking Part 4: Getting Personal

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    賽魯 posted on 2015/04/23
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