Sophistry in defense of climate science

Sophistry or Philosophy?

George Marshall discusses some practical advice — based on research in psychology and sociology — about how to talk to people if you want to change their minds (as opposed to simply engaging them in arguments).

For one, he says I should call denialists “dissenters” instead of denialists.

It seems like good advice. But it’s also worth noting that it’s decidedly unphilosophical in some important respects.

Philosophy is all about giving reasons for holding or rejecting a belief. It’s about arguments. It’s a process that assumes you are interested in rationally engaging with the world.

Marshall is right that many of us don’t come to our beliefs through a (purely) rational process. But shouldn’t it be an ideal we strive towards?

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