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Critical Thinking Skills For Dummies by Martin Cohen

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Chapter 17

Ten Arguments that Changed the World

In This Chapter

arrow Seeing how the experts argue

arrow Unscrewing the secret formula for influencing people

Who says arguments don't change anything? Here are some famous arguments that have been seriously influential. These views certainly changed the way human society developed and evolved. Yet, curiously, all the arguments are a bit dodgy. They're not logically sound — and often not very cunning. (If you think arguments have to be logical to be useful, turn to Chapter 4 to see why life's more complicated than that.) The good news is that you don't have to be super-logical or mega-cunning to construct a great argument.

These arguments are great not because they're brilliant and complex, but because they offer simple answers to difficult questions. In fact, you can easily pick holes in many of these arguments, but afterwards enough is left standing to still be thought-provoking.

Naturally, many of the great arguments belong to philosophy, but don't be put off by that. Plato, Marx and the like produced arguments by the bucket-load, yet these philosophers are of a quite different kind from those in academia today. In fact, I'd say that they'd be more likely to write For Dummies books than be professors, because of their love of communication! ...

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