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The Discussion Book by Stephen Preskill, Stephen D. Brookfield

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Chapter 40

Critical Debate

A debate is not a discussion. In debate you try to convince someone your position is correct and listen to another's point of view only to discover its weak points in order to refute what he or she is saying; so it may seem strange that this technique is included in our book. However, our formulation of Critical Debate requires someone to engage seriously with a viewpoint or perspective he or she has previously dismissed as irrelevant or inaccurate. Both of us regard this as integral to discussion.

Purposes

  • To encourage people to consider views previously dismissed as irrelevant or inaccurate
  • To create a relatively nonthreatening environment in which participants are required to critique their own deeply held ...

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