Thank You for Arguing Book Summary - Thank You for Arguing Book explained in key points
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Thank You for Arguing summary

Jay Heinrichs

What Aristotle, Lincoln, and Homer Simpson Can Teach Us About the Art of Persuasion

4.2 (218 ratings)
15 mins

Brief summary

Thank You for Arguing by Jay Heinrichs is a book on the art of persuasion. It teaches techniques to effectively communicate, persuade, and win arguments through the use of logic, emotion, and character.

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    Thank You for Arguing
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    Arguments are essential to human life, influencing our attitudes and driving our decisions.

    For many, the word “argument” conjures images of two people engaged in an angry screaming match. But rhetoric – the art of argumentation – is much more than that. In essence, it’s a nexus of skills and techniques that help the arguer persuade others, and its origins can be traced all the way back to ancient Greece.

    But what bearing does it have on contemporary society?

    Well, even today, rhetoric shapes the way we think, without our even noticing it. The ancient Greeks held the discipline of rhetoric in such high esteem that it was the foundation of all education. They practiced this skill by making arguments. And arguments continue to play a key role in all human dealings: they’re made in advertisements and political speeches, in books and blogs, in the kitchen and the courtroom.

    A common misconception is that arguments ought to lead to an agreement. What they truly aim to achieve, however, is a consensus – that is, complete shared faith in the outcome. So the goal of an argument is not to win, but to win over your audience.

    The psychology professor John Gottman led a study that made this idea clear. In observing couples in therapy, he found that the pairs who stayed married had just as many disputes as those who broke up. But there was a crucial difference: partners in long-lasting marriages took the opportunity to solve their issues and reach a shared outcome. In other words, they argued; the couples that broke up simply fought.

    In other words, fighting, or being aggressive for the sake of winning an argument, isn’t a good way to argue. It won’t help you reach a consensus. So what’s a better way?

    The Greek philosopher Aristotle might have suggested seduction, which he considered the strongest kind of argumentation. Seducing your audience, persuading them to want what you want, is the easiest way to reach a consensus.

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    What is Thank You for Arguing about?

    Thank You for Arguing (2013) is a guide to the art of rhetoric. These blinks explain what rhetoric really is, how persuasion works and how to win a debate by drawing on in-depth research, anecdotes and theories from the great orators of history.

    Thank You for Arguing Review

    Thank You for Arguing (2007) is an insightful exploration of the art of persuasion and rhetoric. Here's why this book is worth reading:

    • It offers a practical guide to mastering the art of argumentation, giving readers the tools to effectively persuade and influence others.
    • By drawing on historical examples and contemporary case studies, it brings the concepts of rhetoric to life, making them relatable and applicable in our everyday lives.
    • The book's emphasis on ethics and empathy sets it apart, reminding readers that effective rhetoric is not just about winning arguments, but also about fostering understanding and connection.

    Who should read Thank You for Arguing?

    • Anyone interested in making good arguments
    • Politicians or anyone who debates politics
    • Parents looking for techniques with which to persuade their children

    About the Author

    Jay Heinrich is a former editor and publishing executive who dropped his first career in order to make rhetoric his full-time job. He blogs about rhetorical techniques and holds workshops aimed at popularizing argumentation.

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    Thank You for Arguing FAQs 

    What is the main message of Thank You for Arguing?

    The main message of Thank You for Arguing is that persuasion is an art that can be learned and applied in various situations.

    How long does it take to read Thank You for Arguing?

    The reading time for Thank You for Arguing depends on the reader's speed, but it typically takes several hours. The Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is Thank You for Arguing a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Thank You for Arguing is worth reading as it provides practical techniques to improve persuasive skills and communicate effectively.

    Who is the author of Thank You for Arguing?

    Jay Heinrichs is the author of Thank You for Arguing.

    What to read after Thank You for Arguing?

    If you're wondering what to read next after Thank You for Arguing, here are some recommendations we suggest:
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    • Language Intelligence by Joseph J Romm
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    • How You Say It by Katherine D. Kinzler
    • Resurrecting Sex by David Schnarch
    • Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
    • How to Be Your Own Therapist by Owen O'Kane
    • Making Great Relationships by Rick Hanson