Isabella Besborodco

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Isabella Besborodco
Posted almost 2 years ago
Daniel H. Cohen: For argument’s sake
First of all I have to say that I really enjoyed watching this ted talk because Daniel H. Cohen talked about argumentation, which is something that applies to our everyday lives. If we think about it, it’s true, people are always arguing and always trying to prove themselves right. It is like a vicious cycle, there is no way of escaping it. I liked the metaphor he used, which is arguments are like puzzles, because that is the reality of it, arguments are composed of countless pieces of information and facts in order to prove one simple theory. But then there is the main question, why? Why are people always arguing? In the end what do they win other than satisfaction? Points need to be proven, at least that’s what we have learned with society today, and there is no way of arguing against this. There are three types, like Cohen mentioned, which are arguments as war, as proofs, and as performance. They are obviously linked to one another, because the arguments as proofs for example, you present a premise that is followed by a conclusion, trying to prove a point to someone, so it could carry an audience, being the arguments as performance, which all comes down to arguments as war. Again, it is all part of a cycle. War is the one that dominates, as mentioned, but then it always comes with deforming effects, since it always prevents compromise or collaboration. Cohen did a nice job in summarizing it. It’s true, in arguments no one ever tries to compromise with each other, it all comes down to right or wrong, like a competition. Just like Cohen said, the arguer can gain pleasure, but cognitively he gains nothing. I agree with the fact that there is no way of escaping this war metaphor because the losers of a discussion will never recognize the fact that the winner did a better job and presented better arguments. Great talk! But unfortunately I don’t think that there will ever be an end to this vicious cycle, and one main reason for this is because people are egocentric.
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Isabella Besborodco
Posted almost 2 years ago
To what extent can an idea be unique?
I believe there are actually two sides to this question. If we take a closer look and think deep about it, all ideas come from preexisting ones. They can be seen as answers to things that have already been stated. Think about it, when someone has an idea, it either contradicts a certain principle, or it expands it. We have ideas based on things that have already been put out there, they are ideas based on our opinions. This is the only point where it can get unique. The basis of ideas are our beliefs and opinions, and this is something that no one can take away from us. Therefore, considering this aspect, it is indeed unique. But I have to agree with what has already been said by a few people, we must consider the definition of unique before analyzing it. The correct definition according to dictionary.com is that unique means “existing as the only one or the sole example, having no like or equal.” However, in the world we live in today, it is very hard to have such unique ideas, in the end they are just combinations of various different things. I like the example given about technology because even though there are new advances, they are innovations that are based on previous ones. Then I think creativity comes into this as well, because creativity is unique, and being creative can lead to certain advances. So ideas itself are not unique, but rather the small aspects that make up ideas.