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The Lost Art of Argument

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by

Stephanie Rugo

on 18 November 2013

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Transcript of The Lost Art of Argument

The Lost Art of Argument
Who is
Christopher Lasch?
Born in Omaha, Nebraska on June 1st, 1932
He was a professor at the University of Rochester
He was a well-known American historian, moralist and social critic
Died in Pittsford, New York on February 14th, 1994
By: Christopher Lasch
Lippmann vs. Dewey
Conclusion
The writer, Christopher Lasch, believed that in order for the public to be informed about current affairs, the public needs to be engage in more national issues.
An article written by Christopher Lasch
Lasch describes how he believes that the public knows less about public affairs than it used to know
He thinks that the blame of this is not the school systems, but the decay of public debate
The Lost Art of Argument
Thesis
The writer, Christopher Lasch, believes democracy requires a vigorous public debate to acquire the kind of information that can only be generated by debate
Lincoln and Douglas
Lasch explains how they exemplify the oral tradition at its best
They broke every rule of political discourse
They spoke considerably more open and honest compared to polticians today
Lincoln and Douglas Debate

Debates have now become a journalistic interrogation of political candidates in order to diminish them
Journalists now prompt candidates for specific answers, and even cut off the candidate whenever they respond
Candidates rely on advisers and depend on the management of visual impressions to prepare for this ordeal
Lincoln and Douglas
Then vs. Now
Lasch's Thought
Lasch believed that candidates should insist on directly debating each other instead of responding to the questions put to them by "commentators and pundits".
Press
Press in the nineteenth century opened public forums for hot debates to take place
Press were influenced and financed by political parties
The public is in need of more responsible press and not opinionated and partisans
Lasch mentions that the debate between Abraham Lincoln and Stephen A. Douglas in 1858 exemplified 'the oral tradition at its best'

He was a writer, journalist and political spectator in the late 19th and 20th century
He was an editor for the New Republican Magazine but also served under Woodrow Wilson, the democratic president of the United States of America
Lippmann held contrasting views from Lasch and Dewey
Lippmann argued that public debates were not necessary
Walter Lippmann
He was an education reformer, American philosoper, and psychologist
Unlike Lippmann, Dewey agreed that in order for people to communicate more effectively, there was the need for public opinions and debates
John Dewey

Question
Do you believe that public debates are necessary or unnecessary in today's society?
Question
Do you agree or disagree based on these views, that there is a need for public debates?
Full transcript