Word of the Day

Friday, May 07, 2010


\e-RIS-tik\ , adjective;
Pertaining to controversy or disputation; controversial.
Of argument for the sole purpose of winning, regardless of the reason.
Argument for the sole purpose of winning, regardless of the reason.
The art of disputation.
This factor is a leading characteristic that separates eristic dialogue from persuasion dialogue. In the quarrel, there is an appearance of paying attention to a logical assessment of the issue by weighing the arguments on both sides (as if the dialogue were, say, a critical discussion.) But this appearance is a sham.
-- Douglas N. Walton, Appeal to Popular Opinion
Both disputants attain their object in well-conducted argument, though not in eristic, for both cannot be victorious.
-- Aristotle,
We're offered ways to seduce, avoid conflict, manipulate the present tense to succeed at work, write speeches and even use eristic techniques to stop a U.S. cop from issuing us with speeding fines.
-- Peter Kimpton, Review: Thank You For Arguing, Guardian.co.uk.
Eristic relates both to Eris, the Greek goddess of strife, as well as what Plato called eristic dialogue, a type of discourse with no reasonable goal beyond winning the argument.
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