TED Conversations

This conversation is closed. Start a new conversation
or join one »

Is a purely logical debate possible?

Is it possible to have a debate with absolutely no emotion and using only logic? I cant imagine it being possible because even if you craft a perfectly logical argument and remove your own emotion your listeners will still receive and analyze it in light of their own emotions. As a subquestion what emotions do you think predominate debate? I would say anger and fear. Would it be possible to change that? I'm thinking of this especially in light of persuasive debate, when you want someone to do something for you.

+4
Share:

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • thumb
    Sep 6 2013: No, I don't think so. There are too many variables in how 'facts', 'truths', and 'evidence' are presented in a debate. Confirmation bias for instance, sees to it that one evidenced fact can convincingly be opposed by another evidenced fact on the basis of the need to preserve perceived truths in ideology and belief. Human sensibilities therefore mean that logical debate is impossible.

    And a good thing too - it is those emotional elements in a debate that provide both stimulation and mobility in the subject discussed. Logic on its own is immovable and rooted in what it already knows, whereas the addition of emotion 'shakes it up' and can potentially move staid 'reality' to a new and better place.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.