The Atlantic

Letters: ‘We Never Get Formal Teaching in How to Argue’

Readers discuss whether “erisology”—a new discipline studying unsuccessful disagreement—can usefully augment the work of preexisting fields.
Source: David Goldman / AP

The New Science of How to Argue—Constructively

Earlier this month, Jesse Singal wrote about the dynamics of today’s online flame wars—and described a new movement to study and learn from disagreement. “Erisology” looks specifically at unsuccessful disagreement.

According to the Swedish blogger John Nerst, who coined the word, an unsuccessful disagreement is“an exchange where people are no closer in understanding at the end than

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from The Atlantic

The Atlantic24 min readPolitics
The 2020 U.S. Presidential Race: A Cheat Sheet
Jay Inslee didn’t get much traction as a candidate, but his pet issue, climate change, has become a major part of the Democratic campaign.
The Atlantic6 min readPolitics
How Britain Came to Accept a ‘No-Deal Brexit’
The debate over Britain leaving the European Union has polarized the country and normalized what was previously unthinkable.
The Atlantic4 min read
This Way Up Is a Bountiful Binge Watch
Hulu’s latest British import is a delightful, openhearted comedy about a woman recovering from a nervous breakdown.