Discussion

Most teachers do not like controversy. A study some years ago found that 92 percent of teachers did not initiate discussion of controversial issues, 89 percent didn't discuss controversial issues when students brought them up, and 79 percent didn't believe they should. Among the topics that teachers felt children were interested in discussing but that most teachers believed should not be discussed in the classroom were the Vietnam War, politics, race relations, nuclear war, religion, and family problems such as divorce.

Discussion without asperity, sympathy with fusion, gayety unracked by too abundant jests, mental ease in approaching one another, these are the things which give a pleasant smoothness to the rough edge of life.

Discussion without asperity, sympathy with fusion, gayety unracked by too abundant jests, mental ease in approaching one another, these are the things which give a pleasant smoothness to the rough edge of life.

Discussion without asperity, sympathy with fusion, gayety unracked by too abundant jests, mental ease in approaching one another, these are the things which give a pleasant smoothness to the rough edge of life.

We must grasp the number of aims entertained by those who argue as competitors, and rivals to the death. These are five in number, refutation, fallacy, paradox, solecism, and fifthly to reduce the opponent in the discussion to babbling - i.e. to constrain him to repeat himself a number of times; or it is to produce the appearance of each of these things without the reality.

Discussion is an exchange of knowledge; argument is an exchange of ignorance."

The period of time covered by history is far too short to allow any perceptible progress in the popular sense of Evolution of the Human Species. The notion that there has been any such Progress since Caesar’s time (less than 20th centuries ago) is too absurd for discussion. All the savagery, barbarism, dark ages and the rest of it of which we have any record as existing in the past exists at the present moment.

The justification and the purpose of freedom of speech is not to indulge those who want to speak their minds. It is to prevent error and discover truth. There may be other ways of detecting error and discovering truth than that of free discussion, but so far we have not found them.

The great enemy of knowledge is not error, but inertness. All that we want is discussion; and then we are sure to do well, no matter what our blunders may be. One error conflicts with another, each destroys its opponent, and truth is evolved.

As soon as any part of a person’s conduct affects prejudicially the interests of others, society has jurisdiction over it, and the question whether the general welfare will or will not be promoted by interfering with it, becomes open to discussion.

All silencing of discussion is an assumption of infallibility.

To be surprised, to wonder, is to begin to understand. This is the sport, the luxury, special to the intellectual man... If anyone in a discussion with us is not concerned with adjusting himself to truth, if he has no wish to find the truth, he is intellectually a barbarian. That, in fact, is the position of the mass-man when he speaks, lectures or writes... The man who discovers a new scientific truth has previously had to smash to atoms almost everything he had learnt, and arrives at the new truth with hands bloodstained from the slaughter of a thousand platitudes.

The aim of an argument or discussion should not be victory, but progress.

The end of argument or discussion should be, not victory, but enlightenment.

The aim of argument, or of discussion, should not be victory, but progress.

Men become susceptible to ideas, not by discussion and argument, but by seeing them personified and by loving the person who embodies them.

No danger flowing from speech can be deemed clear and present, unless the incidence of the evil apprehended is so imminent that it may befall before there is opportunity for full discussion. If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the process of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence.

Instead of looking on discussion as a stumbling block in the way of action, we think it an indispensable preliminary to any wise action at all.

Discussion is an exchange of knowledge; argument is an exchange of ignorance.

The greatest barrier in this world is use and wont. To say that a thing has never yet been done among men is to erect a barrier stronger than reason, stronger than discussion.