Philosophy: How to have better Arguments

Ref: C2340785

Conflict and disagreement are seen by some as undesirable, while others (appear to) provoke them (on social media for example). Consensus and social harmony are seen by some as essential for a good life, while for others they are 'fake' because they deny the reality of social conflicts. Between those extremes, the course examines features of a helpful attitude to conflict - for example assuming that the other person/side have reasons for their views; that it can be harder for some to be heard; that 'listening to' does not have to mean 'agreeing with'. It questions the obligation to 'tolerate the intolerant'; provides some useful tools from argumentation theory to enable participants to think and present their ideas with greater clarity; and considers examples to distinguish between apparent and real conflicts. Where conflicts are real, it attempts to understand the source of the conflict - for example, incompatible fundamental values or interests.

Course aim

an opportunity to gain an understanding of the arts of constructive conflict and informed agreement

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed
  • This course is suitable for beginners and improvers

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • identify at least two features of a helpful attitude to conflict
  • give at least two examples of people finding it hard to be heard and suggest how this may be addressed
  • explain reasons for not 'tolerating the intolerant' - and reasons for tolerating them
  • using tools from argumentation theory, show how conflicts can be real or apparent
  • using tools from argumentation theory, show the source of real conflicts - for example, incompatible fundamental values or interests

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning
  • You may be asked to undertake additional work in your own time to support your learning

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion
  • You will be encouraged to share your work with the group and discuss your learning
  • You will be encouraged to consider other students work and give your opinions and suggestions

What else do I need to know?

  • Nothing else is needed
  • It would be helpful if you had access to the internet (Mobile phone, tablet or computer at home or through a library etc.)

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading or pre course work is required

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Progress to a course with another provider
  • Become involved with the WEA in a range of voluntary work and other activities including campaigning as a WEA member

Download full course information sheet

Philosophy: How to have better Arguments

Enrolment Conditions

As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you book. Please could we ask that you check the list below to ensure you meet our basic criteria:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2018
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

Not sure or have further questions? Contact courseenquiries@wea.org.uk

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