Tuesday, October 19, 2010


FLG received an email today that, basically, asks how he learned to argue. If indeed FLG is a super-awesome arguer, which he doubts, then it was by following Aristotle's advice:
For the orator to produce conviction three qualities are necessary; for, independently of demonstrations, the things which induce belief are three in number. These qualities are good sense, virtue, and goodwill; for speakers are wrong both in what they say and in the advice they give, because they lack either all three or one of them. For either through want of sense they form incorrect opinions, or, if their opinions are correct, through viciousness they do not say what they think, or, if they are sensible and good, they lack goodwill; wherefore it may happen that they do not give the best advice, although they know what it is. These qualities are all that are necessary, so that the speaker who appears to possess all three will necessarily convince his hearers.

Good sense, virtue, and goodwill. That's FLG in a nutshell. Well, and pirates...and swearing...and object sex...and crazy theories that he repeats continuously...but the kernel is good sense, virtue, and goodwill. Well, maybe just sense, and thinking about being virtuous, and hoping to proceed with goodwill. Ah, whatever. Listen to Aristotle.

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