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Rational Disagreement

The Big Idea for Tuesday, November 19, 2013

When you find yourself in a disagreement with someone - whether you are discussing politics or football - you probably tend to view the experience as a waste of time. Humans are stubborn creatures because we need to validate our own egos. That means no one wants to "give in." We all want to "win" the argument.

However, as Julia Galef, President of the Center for Applied Rationality, demonstrates in today's lesson, if you are simply out to "win" an argument and validate your ego, you really aren't winning much of anything. You are actually missing out on an opportunity for learning and personal growth. 

Remember that arguments are not like duels. At the end of the duel if it turns out that your opponent has a bigger and better weapon than yours, Galef says, once you lose that duel you then get a copy of that bigger, better weapon, which you can then use to win duels with other people about that issue in the future.



  1. 1 Rational Disagreement: Arguing Your Way to the Right Decision
    Big Think Editors Big Think Edge
  2. 2 Rationality in Action: Look at a Problem as an Outsider
    Julia Galef
  3. 3 You Can Be Your Own Team of Rivals
    Julia Galef In Their Own Words
  4. 4 So, What Does 'Rational' Mean, Anyway?
    David Berreby Mind Matters

Rational Disagreement

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