Re: Are Beliefs Like Clothes?

Robin Hanson (
Fri, 15 Aug 1997 14:27:35 -0700 (PDT)

[I've been without easy email access for a long time, and and have
missed a lot of interesting threads. Let's see how much I can do in
the next two hours. Robin]

I wrote:
>To elaborate, people want political issues which are closely aligned
>with aspects of their own values that they want to signal to others,
>and which do not overly threaten how things actually get done....
>Your desire to argue is also a social signal

Steve Witham responded:
>Right. But the social signal may be mainly about desire to argue! ...
>What I'm saying is that there are other purposes for non-practical
>conversation besides value and belief advertisement.

I was looking for explanations which could plausibly be given
evolutionary foundations. I don't see the evolutionary function of
just wanting to argue for argument's sake.

Robin D. Hanson